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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Buffalo Goes to the Dawgs For Battle Against Bengals

NEW YORK -- The Browns are gone from Cleveland. The Dawgs they left behind have found a new American National Football League team to root for -- at least for a week.


About 2,000 members of the Dawg Pound, that notorious section in Cleveland Stadium that made trips into the end zone hazardous for visitors by tossing dog biscuits onto the field, will be in Buffalo on Sunday. Bills owner Ralph Wilson invited them, sort of as a tribute to their loyalty and the fact they had a team ripped away from them.


"It suits me,'' Bills center Kent Hull said. "I remember how vocal those guys were, and they were a real asset to that football team. I would love for them to change over to the red, white and blue and start hollering for the Buffalo Bills. ''


Even better for the Dawgs is the opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals. When the Browns still were around -- and not floundering near the bottom of the AFC Central Division as the Baltimore Ravens (the renamed and relocated Browns) -- the Bengals were one of the teams that stoked the ire of the Dawg Pound.


"It's going to be fun, because I'll be cheering against the Bengals,'' said John "Big Dawg'' Thompson, leader of the group. "It won't be hard, because I've been doing it all my life. The bone bag's full. I've got the mask, I've got the collar. ... There will be a lot of people decked out in their dog paraphernalia.''


They might see a terrific game. The Bengals (4-6) have won three straight since Bruce Coslet replaced Dave Shula as coach. The Bills (7-3) are tied for the AFC East lead and have that look. You know, the one that means another surge toward the Super Bowl is underway.


Coslet has a 1-7 record as a head coach against Buffalo. He built that record while with the New York Jets. The Bengals certainly are not playing like the New York Jets.


"There's a fine line between succeeding and not in the National Football League,'' Bills coach Marv Levy said. "I told our team, 'You all saw that they beat Pittsburgh.' If anybody thinks they beat Pittsburgh because Pittsburgh let down, they're wrong." They beat them because they're good.''