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Golic brothers still believe as 30 for 30 “Believeland” debuts

The "Believeland" poster details some of the notorious moments in Cleveland sports history.
The “Believeland” poster details some of the notorious moments in Cleveland sports history.
Mike Golic (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Mike Golic
(Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

Cleveland natives Bob and Mike Golic understand the heartache the Cleveland fan base has been through since the city’s last major pro sports championship victory more than 50 years ago.

Bob, who was interviewed for the upcoming 30 for 30 film “Believeland” (Saturday, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), even experienced it firsthand while playing for the Browns from 1982-88.

Bob’s brother, Mike – co-host of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike – says growing up in Cleveland and rooting for the home teams in the 1980s was “tough despite the [NBA’s Cleveland] Cavaliers making the playoffs a couple times.”

Former Brown Bob Golic, Mike’s brother, discusses “The Drive” and more on Mike & Mike

Bob Golic discusses Cleveland’s sports woes in “Believeland.” Today on Mike & Mike, brother Mike Golic and co-host Adnan Virk interviewed Bob Golic about what it was like to suffer devastating defeats as a Cleveland Brown. Listen

Mike says it’s a struggle balancing the good memories with the bad, even when recalling watching his brother play for the Browns in the ‘80s: “They had a couple chances to go to the Super Bowl and the Denver Broncos ended them. . . Those were great until that happened and then they were horrific because it was about as close as we got.”

With the Cavaliers awaiting an opponent for the start of the Eastern Conference Finals (exclusively on ESPN), does Mike think this is the year the “curse” is broken?

“It could be this year, but I think it’ll be in the next couple years,” he said. “The other teams just aren’t there. I would say within the next three years they’ll have a title.”

“Believeland” is directed by ESPN producer Andy Billman, who is an Ohio native himself.

Billman, who has been with ESPN since 2002, understands what it is like to be a fan whose love and loyalty have endured despite half a century of heartache. He “hopes that everyone who sees the film will come away feeling some of that hard-earned love.”

This is box title

Former Cleveland Browns star Earnest Byner visited ESPN today as part of a “Car Wash” in advance of “Believeland,” in which he apologizes for the infamous play that haunts his NFL career.

In the AFC Championship Game against the host Denver Broncos January 1988, Byner fumbled as he seemed headed for a potential game-tying touchdown with 65 seconds remaining. The Broncos, who had demolished the Browns’ playoff dreams the year before in Cleveland with “The Drive,” escaped with a victory and a Super Bowl berth thanks in part to “The Fumble.”

Byner told Front Row: “First, talking about my Cleveland experiences is a treat. To have played and represented the Browns, my teammates and loyal fans, to this day, has been and is an honor. I love Cleveland and the connection that is part history, love and dedication.

“To tell the truth, I can’t say I wanted to talk about my experiences,” he said. “Talking about my inner most feelings has been an agent of healing. The healing has been for me and for others that were right there with me in Denver and other games. It brought to light some of the emotions, thoughts and energy that I didn’t realize lay deep inside of me. Wow!”

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