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Local boys represent Cleveland Browns at NFL draft

Twins Robby and Darren Goforth with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
(Courtesy)

With the number one pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on April 27, the Cleveland Browns selected Myles Garrett, a powerful defensive end from Texas A&M. While Garrett was celebrating with his family in his Texas hometown, 12-year-old twin brothers from San Diego had the opportunity to walk on stage in Philadelphia with Commissioner Roger Goodell to hand over a freshly-minted Browns jersey. Robby and Darren Goforth shook the commissioner’s hand and stood on stage in front of a raucous, roaring crowd.

The seventh graders have their dad to thank for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The boys’ father, Rob, has been a Cleveland Browns season ticket holder since 1999 and raised them to be Cleveland fans in every sport. Season ticket holders were entered into a sweepstakes to win the opportunity to be at the draft and Goforth was the surprise winner. While Rob was allowed just one guest to join him on the all-expenses paid trip, he was able to negotiate with the NFL to be able to bring his twin sons along.

The boys knew the picks about three minutes before the public did as they waited in the Nike green room where players’ names are placed on jerseys when the pick is in. Their phones were confiscated so they couldn’t leak any of the information.

Before the draft, the boys studied up on mock drafts and knew all the prospects and who might go where. There weren’t able to meet any of the draftees but got a good look at them.

“They were pretty big,” the boys said.

Once the name was called by Goodell, the boys brought the jerseys on stage.

“At first I didn’t know what Mr. Goodell was going to be like because everyone was booing,” said Darren as Goodell was heartily booed every time he took the stage throughout the first round. “But he was nice.”

Their dad, Rob, did the on-stage duty for the Browns second pick at number 25 in the first round, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers and the twins returned to the stage for the 29th pick, tight end David Njoku. None of the players drafted by the Browns were in attendance that day so the Goforth boys served as the official team representatives.

At the NFL’s big party in Philadelphia, the boys were able to meet and get autographs from several players they ran into such as retired players Ron Jaworski, DeMarcus Ware, Warrick Dunn and Thomas Davis, a linebacker on the Carolina Panthers. The boys also got Goodall’s autograph and the family got to keep the draft cards that the names were read from.

Darren and Robby are faithful Browns fans despite it not being the easiest gig in sports. Last year the Browns went 1-15 but on the plus side, the team’s sole win came against the San Diego Chargers which gave them a lot of bragging rights at school.

“All of our friends joke around about how the Browns are so bad and when we won it was the best thing, it felt good,” Robby said.

Every year the boys travel with their dad to a few NFL games — they have been lucky to catch games in Cleveland, Seattle, Arizona and Dallas.

As has become tradition, the Browns drafted a quarterback—this year taking DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame in the second round. The boys were split on whether he will find success or not.

No matter what, the boys say they will remain Browns fans forever.

“It’s in our blood,” said the twins.


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