Cribbs delivers for Kent State fans

OMAHA, Neb. — When Joshua Cribbs showed up at TD AmeriTrade

Park Saturday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns wide receiver was greeted with a

standing ovation.

His alma mater, Kent State, trailed by three runs in the first College World

Series game in the program’s history, but the fans in section 202 showed Cribbs

that they still had plenty of energy and enthusiasm.

Cribbs was responsible for getting many of them there.

Through his Team Cribbs initiative, he was instrumental in chartering a bus to

take fans more than 800 miles from the Kent State campus Friday to Saturday’s

game in Omaha vs. Arkansas. Cribbs bought 53 tickets to the game, and all 46

available seats on the bus were filled by Wednesday.

“It’s a good showing,” Cribbs said. “This is a once in a

lifetime thing and I’m glad it came together to help people get out here.  (Kent State Baseball) has been so good for so

long. Finally making it here now, I knew I didn’t want to miss it. I’m glad

this whole thing kind of came together.

“It’s fun. I wish the score was a little different, but this is a

beautiful place. We’re going to cheer ’em on to the end.”

Cribbs was Kent State’s quarterback from 2001-’04. Now the NFL’s all-time

leader in kickoff returns for touchdowns, he made a $100,000 donation to the

school in 2010 when his No. 9 jersey was retired.

When Kent State shortstop Jimmy Rider hit a sixth-inning home run for the

Flashes’ only run in an 8-1 loss, Cribbs high-fived fans and waved a gold rally

towel.

“I actually was offered some seats up in the suite but that’s not

me,” Cribbs said. “I’m cheering them on from here.”

The Browns had their final organized team activity practice session of the

season Friday afternoon. Cribbs and his daughter, Kimorah, flew to Omaha on

Saturday afternoon.

The bus trip, which lasted almost 16 hours after the group stopped twice to

eat, cost each traveler $150. Included was the bus transportation, a game

ticket, a special “FlashMob” Team Cribbs T-shirt, food and beverages

on the bus and a Friday night hotel stay. The bus left, headed back to Kent,

after the game — but not before Cribbs joined the group for dinner and tweeted

a picture.

One report estimated that Cribbs had spent $10,000 between chartering the bus

and buying the tickets. He didn’t want to talk financial details, saying only

that he’s glad it all came together.

“Worth every penny,” he said.