I know you’ve missed me, so let me say Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year. Josh[1. Well, I NEVER] keeps me busy, so that’s about how long it’s been since I've written in this space. This week, the Cleveland Browns fell apart. The team has been on a downward spiral since the bye week, but it all came crashing down Sunday during…and after the game versus the Steelers. I have no dog in this fight, but I’ll say the Cleveland Browns are a complete and total disaster, and if they aren't, then management isn't doing anything to show anyone otherwise.
Divorce: I Am Divorcing The Cleveland Browns
After being spanked by the Steelers, the team fired first year head coach Rob Chudzinski (I still won’t call him Chud, he’s 45), who proceeded to leave the team’s headquarters in Berea and run at least one traffic light. I can’t believe that happened.
The traffic light, not the firing.
On Monday, Chudzinski, Banner, and Haslam (not together of course) sat down with the media to explain what happened. Frankly, I’m not sure if any of the three of them knew what happened.
Here’s what it looks like, the Browns hired someone who they quickly decided he wasn't the right fit and sent him home for three years. I’m good with this. This type of thing happens in the real world. Chudzinski didn't get past his probation period, except in this instance he’ll get somewhere around $10 million to stay away.
In my opinion, if Haslam didn't think Chudzinski was the right guy, then he did the smart the thing by firing him. He’s obviously OK with the perception that the team doesn't have a clue as to what to do with its head coaching position. I’ll guess nothing could be further from the truth.
Haslam can obviously do whatever he wants to with his money, but the truth is the fans are upset. They don’t like a first year coach being fired, and many don’t seem to like the list of potential coaches. Fans have been committed to this organization since its return in 1999 through the countless coaching, quarterback and regime changes and it’s time for Haslam to put his money where his mouth is.
This can mean only two things:
- The Browns MUST make the playoffs next year.
- The Browns MUST find a coach and stick with him for a significant period of time.
There is a chance the Browns can accomplish both, but history clearly suggests they can’t do anything but poop themselves.
If the playoffs or “significant improvement” don’t happen, then fans need to vote with the only instrument they really have: their dollars. It is time for fans to make the organization remember who buys tickets and merchandise, and who listens to hours of terrible programming on the radio.
Vote with your dollars. If that means there is a blackout or two, then so be it.
What's your stake?: Shareholders Vs. Stakeholders: Browns Fans Know Your Role
It’s time for the “best fans in football,” to become the smartest fans in football. If you like giving your money and time away to watch a shitty product every week, then don’t demand change. But if you are a smart, and If the team won’t listen to your anger on social media, then don’t show up on Sunday’s.
Am I Browns fan? Nope, but I picked them to win eight games this year. They did not. They were absolute garbage.
“Same old browns”
The Three Stooges
At Monday’s press conference WOIO’s Dan DeRoos asked Haslam if he, Banner and Lombardi were the Three Stooges. DeRoos said the question came from a post on Facebook. People became upset. Explain why? I, for one, and thrilled to have someone in the media ask a difficult question. If that question spurs change or causes management to pay attention, then DeRoos deserves praise.
You can argue if the way in which he did it was nice, but frankly, I don’t care. It’s a fair question that many fans want to hear and it deserved an answer.
How about instead of having the media ask the question, Haslam and Company invite 100 season ticket holders to Berea and allow them to ask whatever they want? I’m guessing the same question would have come up, and in even less polite terms.
If you think Dan DeRoos is more of an embarrassment than what the Browns have put on the field since 1999, then you are stupid. At this point, I don’t even know if the three guys running the Browns franchise are good enough to be compared to the Stooges, but we’ll find out soon with their next coaching hire.
Which is more embarrassing, having someone publicly ask your owner if he’s part of the Three Stooges, or having your football team win less than six football games for the sixth year in a row?
Browns fans deserve better. Demand it, and demand that if Haslam has to fire Banner and Lombardi to get the right coaches and players in here that he do it. If Haslam really cares about winning, he’ll do it in a heartbeat.