When someone achieves financial success to the point that they have enough scratch to buy an NFL franchise, I suspect that they have lost the ability to sit back and see themselves used as a punching bag or held up as a laughingstock. If my suspicion is correct, I think Jimmy Haslem – Browns’ owner for the last 4 or so years – has already tired of being labeled as meddlesome, incompetent, impatient … You get the idea. I doubt that anyone buys into the NFL with the “secret ambition” to be lumped in with Danny Boy Snyder as an owner.
Haslem’s time in the owners’ box in Cleveland has not exactly been uplifting.
Since 2012, the Browns have not had a winning season.
Cumulative record since then has been 19-45
Hue Jackson will start next season as the 3rd head coach since 2012.
The Browns do have loyal fans and here is what Haslem had to say to those fans who have supported the Browns through thin and thinner times over the last 16 seasons:
“We are devoted to making significant improvements and giving you a team that you can be proud of for years to come. We greatly respect and appreciate your unmatched dedication to the Browns, especially during home games in 2016 that will feature our AFC North rivals, along with premier matchups against the Cowboys, Patriots and Giants.”
Were I to deconstruct that comment, I would quickly point out that “making significant improvements” over last season’s 3-13 record is hardly a Herculean task. Last year saw the Browns win 2 home games – over the Titans and the Niners both of whom finished last in their divisions. But hey, the Browns have a new coach and probably a new QB and so hope springs eternal…
Then there is the business side of owning a franchise. The Browns have an “unofficial mascot”; it is a mastiff named Swagger. If an organization would like to have Swagger “make an appearance” such that the organization can align itself with the team or with the slogan, “Be A Dog”, that the team uses to attract fans to buy seats in the Dawg Pound at the stadium, that will cost $800. Jimmy Haslem referred to “unmatched dedication” regarding Browns’ fans in that quotation above; I might suggest that anyone paying $800 to have a dog “make an appearance” demonstrates “unmitigated stupidity”. Then again, I am not a Browns’ fan…
Before leaving the Cleveland Browns in the rear view mirror this morning, let me resurrect an old “art form” that I have not used here in a while. It is time for a Quick Quiz:
Consider the career arc of (at least for the moment) Browns’ QB, Johnny Manziel. Which former NFL QB also taken in the first round had a career arc that most resembles Manziel’s?
A. Ryan Leaf
B. Todd Marinovich
C. Art Schlichter
1000 words or less; answers are due by Monday noon…
The Browns had the second worst record in the league last year; they draft second in a few months; their fans are being sold hope and promises and “improvements’. At the other end of the scale, the Carolina Panthers had the best record in the league and will draft next to last in the first round as the losers of the Super Bowl game. Their fans felt euphoria during the season and the playoffs and now their fans will need to dig deeper into their pockets for tickets next year. According to profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, the Panthers will raise the prices on two-thirds of the seats in Charlotte between $5 and $12 per seat. According to that report, that sets the price of non-premium seats in the stadium between $48 and $195 per seat per game. Such is the price of backing a winner in the NFL…
Season tickets are expensive for NFL games and season tickets are expensive for MLB games too. The Texas Rangers have an interesting promotion going on regarding 2016 season tickets; it is called “Swing for Your Seats”. Here is the deal:
Fans can go to the Rangers’ stadium tomorrow (2/20/16) and plunk down a 25% deposit on a full-season or a half-season ticket plan. The balance on that “contract” is due on 4 March – – – unless…
Those fans will have the opportunity to take three swings to hit a home run out of the park. If anyone does that, then the ticket package they just put their deposit on is free for 2016.
The pitcher for this event will be a pitching machine; the hitters will be in the normal batter’s box.
I wonder what the Rangers might do if Barry Bonds were to show up with his credit card to buy a season ticket under this plan…
Much was made of Governor John Bel Edwards’ recent statement to the people of Louisiana that the budget situation in Louisiana might require the cancellation of LSU football in the Fall. I particularly liked Dwight Perry’s view on the matter in the Seattle Times:
“Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards says LSU football could be eliminated if the state can’t fix its budget mess.
“Coincidence? Edwards just went into hiding with Sean Penn.”
Finally, one more observation from Dwight Perry to close things out for the week:
“Why isn’t Tennessee point guard Kevin Punter on the football team?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports……..