It seems that Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports doesn’t have a high opinion of Browns owner Randy Lerner, or Cleveland for that matter. This isn’t about power rankings or preseason predictions, but rather a ranking of NFL owners. Lerner was ranked #20 in Silver’s article, but it was the comments rather than the actual ranking that got me going.
Randy Lerner: Some people in Cleveland, noting the promise displayed by the organization last season, might argue that Lerner should be higher on this list. I would argue that Lerner probably isn’t one of those people. Chances are, he’ll read this and shrug. He seems far more concerned with Aston Villa, the soccer team he owns in the English Premier League, and the frequent trips to London that gig necessitates. Perhaps because his late father, Al, was such a prominent figure in Cleveland – or perhaps because it’s, you know, Cleveland – the younger Lerner doesn’t appear to share the same enthusiasm for the home of the Browns. Lerner recently hired former league employee Mike Keenan as president, finally filling the job that opened after John Collins lost out to general manager Phil Savage in a power struggle in 2005. He also refuted a rumor that he’s moving to London full time to be Villa’s CEO. In terms of NFL dealings, one owner says of Lerner, “He’s not very decisive. Whoever gets to him last has got him, and he leads the way in terms of manipulating the revenue-sharing agreement to his advantage. It’s very disappointing.”
First of all, I bet that Silver is right on one point- Lerner will certainly not lose sleep over this opinion. Rock did an excellent piece on Randy Lerner and his connection to the English Premier League earlier. Does anyone in Cleveland feel slighted by Lerner’s ownership of Aston Villa? Lerner has made it known that he intends to let football people, namely Phil Savage, run the Browns. The one time that Lerner really needed to handle a situation was with the Collins/Savage situation, and let’s just say that Randy made the right decision there!
What really irks me is this line- “because it’s, you know, Cleveland”. Mr. Silver why do you have to add your name to the list of pompous jerks that feel it appropriate to look down upon Cleveland every chance you get? Have you even been to our city? I’m glad that you live in some sort of magical enchanted metropolitan area that has no problems. Perhaps you might use your infinite wisdom for good and offer some suggestions for how to improve the city and it’s image. Otherwise keep your derogatory comments to yourself. Believe it or not sir, there are many who live in Northern Ohio because WE CHOOSE TO. We are not trapped, under some spell, or otherwise unable to relocate. We could find jobs in other parts of the country, as I have done before, but would much rather live here than anywhere else.
Rank Randy Lerner wherever you want. I don’t have the first clue about most NFL owners, but it seems to me that an owner willing to spend money putting a quality product on the field, while not hovering over the shoulder of his GM would be a good thing.