Jeff: No, there's no break. I don't get anything.
And they say conversation is a lost art!
On weekdays at her classified-ad sales job, Marianne comports herself with a calm dignity that seems to radiate from a lamp in her spine. But Sunday afternoon in her basement shrine to the Browns, with her boys on the tube, she gets the hard-set, half-crazed look of someone who does not merely memorize the media guide but eats it. "It's like she's sealed off in a little cubicle of her own," marvels Jeff, a watercooler assembler who played tight end at Wichita State in the early '80s. "It's like she's inside the TV and can't find her way back out."
Marianne's coworkers call her the Dawg Lady, after the Browns' infamous woofing section. She's still in Jeff's doghouse for costing his basketball team a rec-league championship in February 1990. With Jeff's team ahead by a point in the closing seconds of the final, and Marianne cheering raucously from the team bench, the ref called a technical.
"On who?" growled Marianne.
"On you, Coach," said the ref.
"I'm not the coach, you idiot!"
The ref called a second technical, the other team sank both free throws, and Jeff's team lost by a point. "Talk about hung faces!" says Marianne.
When you grow up with four older brothers, as Marianne did, you tend to become a sports fan. Whenever the boys played football, Marianne tagged along. "Mom said we had to let her play," says her brother Don Storts, "so my brother Rick and I made her the goalpost." Don recalls one field goal attempt that came up short and bloodied Marianne's lip. "She was hurt so bad that she cried all the way home," says Don.
"I wasn't hurt," protests Marianne. "I was mad that the ball didn't go through."