He called his old buddy in Seattle to talk football. Many fans and media are up in arms about it not because of what he said, but because he’s seemingly out there talking to Seattle more frequently than he is talking to Browns fans. That assessment might be harsh, but in the world of sports and entertainment where fans cling to every word, perception is reality. What’s most surprising to me is that Mike Holmgren and the Browns for all their experience don’t seem to get it. There’s a really really easy solution to all this.
Mike Holmgren needs to preempt every Seattle appearance with a Cleveland one.
Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is.
Mike Holmgren needs to pick one radio show, be it WKNR, WTAM, 92.3 or even WMMS and talk to them for 10 minutes on the same day before he calls his buddy Dave Mahler in Seattle. Maybe even do it a day before he calls Mahler. Seattle won’t mind. I promise.
If Holmgren really wants to make sure he gets a home team interview he can even just do a quick podcast with Vic Carucci for ClevelandBrowns.com
Maybe Browns fans are overly needy. Maybe it is silly that Mike Holmgren needs to placate fans and hold their hands so much. Even if that is your opinion, so what? Every NFL job comes with a pretty lucrative paycheck and slightly different sets of requirements. If Browns fans need more hand-holding, load up the tape recorder and hold their hands with a few minutes.
It would be better than inviting select media to a conference room, telling them to leave their tape recorders and cameras at home and not releasing any transcripts so that Twitter and next-day articles are needed to figure out what you said. This is the modern world.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it wouldn’t be good enough and people would still complain, but you never know until you try. Another appearance on KJR and another day of sports talk radio making it a topic of conversation means that you’re not doing it right yet.
Fix it. It will be far and away easier than solving all the personnel issues that you need patience to fix on the field on Sundays.