The Columbus Blue Jackets went north toward Cleveland on Tuesday, and they came bearing gifts.
Nick Foligno and Brandon Dubinsky delivered personalized jerseys to quarterback Baker Mayfield and coach Freddie Kitchens as part of their trip to Cleveland Browns training camp in Berea, Ohio.
The Columbus forwards recently caught the Browns attention when Dubinsky and teammate Josh Anderson produced an epic football completion off a jet ski while visiting Foligno in Sudbury, Ontario. They made the trip as a goodwill mission in hope of converting Kitchens and Mayfield into supporters.
"That's how you become fans. You trade off things; you show that you care about what they're doing," Foligno told the Akron Beacon Journal. "I think they appreciate what we're doing south of them, but it's really cool to have that relationship start to build."
Dubinsky and Foligno were at Browns practice to watch the pros up close, specifically Mayfield, the 24-year-old, second-year Browns signal caller who burst on the scene by winning six games in his rookie season.
"He's a really fun guy to watch," Dubinsky told the Akron Beacon Journal. "He's competitive, especially for his age, it's insane how competitive he is, how mature he is and just fun to watch. You're seeing it with this team and the players that they're getting because they want to play with him, players want to be around him, and I think that's one of the reasons this team is headed in the right direction is because of a guy like that."
The Blue Jackets forwards visited the Browns on the same day the Blue Jackets extended their partnership with Cleveland of the American Hockey League. They also had advice for the Browns, who made some big moves and are a trendy pick to make the AFC playoffs and even advance to the Super Bowl.
"You have to believe it in your room first," Foligno said. "That'd be my only advice: make sure your room is solid and an understanding of what it is it's going to take and what you're trying to build, and then everything else kind of takes care of itself. That's usually why the underdogs do well because they have a belief in themselves before anyone else does. I'm excited to see what these guys can do."