We always liked Browns center Steve Everitt. Yes, he went to the University of Michigan (no one’s perfect), but he felt the same way we did about the team’s move to Baltimore in 1995.
Everitt, a first round draft choice in 1993, had recently purchased a home in town and was upset that the Modell family kept everyone in the dark about their intentions. “I remember David Modell congratulating me about the house that fall,” he says. “After the move was announced, I tried to break his hand every time I shook it.
“I try not to hold grudges, but the move just blew my mind. I had made some great friends in my three years in Cleveland, had just bought a house, and then all of sudden it was over.”
Everitt wore a Browns bandana under his Ravens helmet during preseason the next year. “It was my way to reach out to the fans,” he says. “I felt like I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, so I hid the bandana in my bag and then put it on when I got on the field.” The move instantly cemented him in the hearts of Browns fans. “I got so many letters from Browns fans, some even sent money to help me pay the fine the NFL gave me.”
An accomplished artist, Everitt had become a staple on the Cleveland arts scene with an exhibit of his watercolors on display at a local show. He was pegged as a renaissance man in our 1995 article and enjoyed the balance of his twin passions, art and football. “I got pleasure from animation,” he says. “I would draw Tommy Vardell and Vinny Testaverde and the guys would just love the exaggerated features. It was fun.”
After the move, Everitt played for the Ravens for a year, went to Philadelphia for three seasons and ended his career in 2000 with the St. Louis Rams. After retiring from football, he bought a house in the Florida Keys, married his longtime girlfriend Amy and continued to practice his art. “What I do now is mostly art projects around the house,” he says. “Amy and I just completed a huge wooden shark that hangs on the side of our house.” He also helps out the local high school team, coaching the offensive line and long snappers.
“Right now I’m just enjoying laying low and entertaining my friends and family on my boat and at the house,” he says.
He keeps in touch with his old teammates and makes his way back north on occasion (Amy hails from Youngstown). “The Browns have an untouchable fan base,” he says. “If you could draw up a football stadium, the old stadium would be it. It was a great atmosphere to play in.”