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Local man’s loyalty goes to the Dawgs

Nothing captures the attention of sports fans as much as rivalries. And November is known for rivalries in football.

Although the OSU-Michigan game isn’t until Nov. 30, people are already getting ready. OSU and Michigan flags are everywhere. On some houses we see the “house-divided” flags that are half OSU and half Michigan. Hopefully, occupants will not be using the flags as grounds for divorce.

And who can forget the recent OSU band performance that featured a T-Rex devouring a Michigan player and an OSU ship sinking a ship with a Michigan flag? Yep, the excitement is building.

After the Cincinnati Reds/Cleveland Indians baseball games over the summer, another battle of Ohio is planned on Nov. 17 in Cincinnati. That is when the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals meet on the gridiron.

Now I imagine that our area has mostly Bengals fans since we are much closer to Cincinnati than Cleveland, but we also have our Browns fans. And there are no bigger Browns fans than the men of the Foster family of Mad River Township.

Since February of 2000, Russ Foster and his crew have been taking their vehicle, The Dawg House, to Browns games.

Painted bright orange like a helmet with a white stripe, this 1977 Dodge Class C motor home has been customized to provide all that Browns fans need when they go to a game. The interior is upholstered and decorated in Browns colors and logos. Photos of favorite Browns players adorn the walls. Scores, stats and records are detailed on the walls, inside and out.

It truly is a wonder to behold.

“We recently took out the stove and sink to provide more seating,” said Foster.

Generally, six men ride in the vehicle, but considerably more attend the tailgating that centers on the vehicle. Foster’s sons Brian and Craig, and son-in-law are regulars.

“When we got it, it had 37,000 miles,” said Foster. “Now it has 76,000 miles, all of them back and forth to Cleveland.”

Since the Browns have Nov. 10 off, it is the perfect time for the Dawg House to have some maintenance, and get new tires.

“We are constantly working on it,” said Foster.

Although they go to as many games as possible, Foster’s group is not planning on going to the battle of Ohio on Nov. 17 in Cincinnati.

As Foster explained, most people respect the Dawg House in the parking lot, but he worries about it when he is in the stands during the game. It was defaced in the past at an away game, so he won’t drive it to Cincinnati.

“I won’t allow that to happen again.”

After seeing all the detailing, I can understand why.

Instead they will set it up in the driveway of friends who live in Centerville. The Dawg House will be the focus of a big party while they watch the big game on television.

Foster might even bring along his Browns decorated golf cart, but if he doesn’t you can count of seeing him on the fairway of Locust Hills. The golf cart has actual seats from the Browns stadium, which, according to Foster, are quite comfortable.

However, the Dawg House will be on the road to Cleveland again on Nov. 24. Two friends will be flying in from Las Vegas and Washington D.C. for the honor of riding the Dawg House to the big game with Pittsburgh.

“We’re definitely going to make the Steelers game,” said Foster. “It’s bigger than the Bengals game to us.”

Like I said, November is the month for rivalries!

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