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Former Browns player now biggest fan from the bench

Kardiac Kid linebacker Dick Ambrose judges Browns a success
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 4:26 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Dick Ambrose has gone from playing ten years in the NFL to seventeen years serving as a judge, moving from the field to the bench.

“I think this job is much more important than my previous job as a football player and that’s just because of the effect that this has on the rest of society,” the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge said.

Known as “Bam Bam” during his playing days, number 52 played from 1975 to 1984, including on the 1980 Kardiac Kids team, a season with miraculous, come-from-behind victories but one that ended short of the Super Bowl.

“Wish it would have been a little different in the end but that’s life,” the former linebacker remembered.

A 12th round draft pick from the University of Virginia, the New Rochelle, New York native found a home in Cleveland, passionate football fans a large part of staying in the area.

“I think Cleveland especially was football crazy,” Ambrose said from his chambers, filled with Browns memorabilia. “All you needed to do was give them a little bit to feed that frenzy and you really had a town that was totally behind you.”

Voters in Cuyahoga County got behind him three times in successful campaigns for Common Plea Court, his career in football preparing him for sitting on the bench for trials like accused serial killer Anthony Sowell.

“Preparation was always key, as it was in football and as it is now in my life as a judge,” Ambrose said.

And he wants to be remembered as the same way as a judge that he was as a football player.

“Came to work everyday, did what he had to do, worked hard at this job and, whether it’s as a player or as a judge, and tried to make a difference.”

Judge Ambrose said expects the Browns to finish with double-digit wins and watches every Sunday -- preferably someplace where he can study on the game. And he said Kevin Stefanski made him a fan when the first year coach contacted Browns alumni to introduce himself last season.

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