Jimmy, sorry, I mean Mr. Haslam. If you have a billion dollars, and spend it on the Cleveland Browns, I'll call you Mr. Haslam. Actually if you have a billion dollars to spend on a franchise like the Cleveland Browns, I'll call you daddy and pretty much wear almost any weird outfit you would want to go a long with that kind of thing. But let's start from a nicer place.
Congratulations Jimmy Haslam! Congratulations, you just bought the Cleveland Browns! I mean that. I know that sounds hilarious to 99% of the country, but I think it sounds beautiful!
This is how you know I'm a real Brown's fan. I remember watching "The Drive" on the tv display in a department store on Pearl Rd. with a crowd of about 20 people. My Mom dragged me there while the game was playing, because she knew better and was trying to avoid my heartbreak. I remember my soul being crushed along with 20 middle aged ladies.
I'm starting to get gray hairs, and I'm constantly sad inside. Yep, I'm a Browns Fan.
So, I feel comfortable speaking on behalf of other long-suffering Brown's Fans with this open letter to the new owner, Jimmy Haslam.
Yay, Jimmy! Seriously, I'm very excited about you owning the Cleveland, Browns. I want to make sure I capitalize their name because one day they will be worthy of proper grammar.
I know you aren't from the Cleveland area, and I know you owned a piece of the Steelers. I understand. I feel like I have a special connection to you. My name last name is Noll and the former coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers Chuck Noll is like my third cousin or something, whatever. So growing up in the Cleveland area was always confusing. I didn't care what half my family thought on Sundays when it was Pittsburgh VS Cleveland. I'm a Browns fan, I bleed brown! (I should probably see a doctor. That's a serious issue.)
But Mr. Jimmy, I am hopeful. I am hopeful for the future of my beloved and very lost franchise. And here is why. When the horribly inept, over-his-head head "coach" Pat Shurmur didn't go for it on 4th and 1 with the game clock winding down, and cameras caught you having the same conniption that I was having. I knew then, that you were like me. You were already bitter. p.s. I know you were reacting to the drop not the coaching decision, but it fits my argument better if I do it this way.
And bitter you should be, you just spent 1 billion dollars on a franchise that never wins on the road, almost never wins against it's own division and playoffs? You want to talk about playoffs?
Here are 5 pieces of advice from a guy who can't afford Netflix, to a guy who just spent a billion dollars on a pro football team:
5: We're ready for new uniforms - We have the ugliest uniforms in the league. And I'm almost fine with it, but the kids, they are not. The white on white and that dated ugly brown is over. And the orange ... listen, I'm color blind but even I know that is UGLY! Keep the helmets and make the uniforms fancy. I don't care if they run out there looking like Master Chief from Halo or they look like the workers at Walmart! It can't be worse. Change the freakin' uniforms.
4: Make the stadium fun - It's not that fun. It looks super generic. It's boring. It's has nothing unique about it, and the dog pound isn't anything like the old and real dog pound. It's the kind of pound you would have a poodle in, not the kind of pound you would have a dirty crazy lovable mutt. I want the kind of pound you would find a mutt. I want the kind of pound you would find a mutt that has a rare disease that made him disgusting, but you don't care, because he has a winning attitude, and you care about winning! So you take that disgusting dog home with you and he makes your house smell horrible! But he's a winner, so you don't care!
3: No more 5 year plans - How is it that the NFL is the only league in which teams can go from worst-to-first every season ... except if they are from Cleveland? C'mon Jimmy, I'm sure you see this too. This isn't that racket known as Major League Baseball, this is the National Football League. The rules are the rules, and the cap is the cap. You gotta be smart and you gotta be aggressive. Well, our last owner was a soccer fella. Good chum I'm sure. I'm sure he handed out many polite handshakes in his day. ZZZZZZ. This is the NFL, you can win in this league no matter which city you are. So, do it. Win.
2. Pat Shurmur wouldn't make a good manager of Denny's - He needs to go, and go now. If he managed a Denny's, my hash browns would be cold.
Mr. Haslam, I know you said you aren't canning him until after the season, and that's probably the right thing to do for a long list of reasons. But I don't like long lists and nobody else does either. He needs to go now and here is why: just like people say winning can be, LOSING IS INFECTIOUS. Oh c'mon Mr. Haslam, you know this is true. If someone has a loser mentality, it tends to spread. And sadly, Pat Shurmur has that mentality. It's not even his fault. He wasn't ready yet for this large a task, he's just not ready to be a winning NFL head football coach. Maybe someday, but someday is not now and I'm going to die of narcolepsy if I have to watch one more of his game plans enacted.
He forgets that you can run the football at times. He forgets that you don't have to run up the middle. He forgets that you can trust your O-line and running backs on 3rd and 1, he forgets that you can make in-game adjustments, and not be 3 plays behind the other team. He's a dull man playing checkers against interesting men playing chess. He has to go, so that we all know that you agree with the idea that we deserve better.
1. Super Bowl or GTFO - Cleveland has a sickness. It's very serious. Even when it gets better it never really is completely healthy. So it just stays sick. It's sad. I'm sad. My dog is sad.
There is only one thing that will cure it. A professional sports championship.
Just win a Super Bowl Mr. Haslam. Do WHATEVER has to be done to make that happen. You could run for Mayor, Governor, Senator, Hell, I'd vote for you to be President Of The United Freakin' States if you made the Cleveland Browns Super Bowl Champs. I would begin a petition to make you President Of The World. I would intrust in you the power to take control of the entire world's nuclear aresenal to fight the moon or whatever other crazy idea you had if you would just do me the one little favor of bringing a Super Bowl win to the city of Cleveland, Ohio?
I believe you could do this. Even though the last time I went to one of your Pilot gas stations like all the pumps were not working. But that's ok. You bring me a Superbowl, and I will totally forget that very slight inconvenience. Deal?