Cleveland Browns fans, like chef Micahel Symon, are trading hope for swagger this season.

Spicy Sriracha Chicken Wings
Credit: Maura McEvoy

For the first time in two decades the Cleveland Browns are in first place in the AFC North. And fans are trading seasons of hope for actual confidence, even swagger, including superstitious super-fan chef Michael Symon. The busy chef and TV star gets together with friends when he can to cheer on his beloved Browns. “I don’t have season tickets anymore so I watch the game at home with a bunch of my friends. If we’re winning, no one gets up, no one moves, no one goes to the bathroom. You don’t switch seats with anybody. You stay where the hell you’re sitting and you end the conversation. Back in the days when I had season tickets, at the stadium if we had a big drive going and someone had to pee, it’d be like, “Hey, you know what buddy? No. It’ll warm you up. It’s cold outside. You’ll be fine.”

As a kid Symon spent every Sunday with his grandfather cooking and watching football. Now his go-to game day dishes include spicy Sriracha chicken wings and pork cheek and black-eyed pea chili. And they’re, of course, paired with local Great Lakes Brewing Company beer. “Beer and chili? Beer and wings? Come on. Great Lakes is the best beer in the country. It’s got incredible depth and complexity—they make beer like a winemaker makes wine. It’s great with food.”

Let’s hope Symon is in his lucky seat this weekend.