April 20, 2014

Top Five Non-Essential Things Jimmy Haslam Should Do With the Browns

There is a whole Tumblr page dedicated to these Browns jerseys. It is funny, but also embarrassing.

There are some really important decisions to make about front-office personnel, coaching and stadium issues, but I have some less relevant things that Jimmy Haslam should probably tackle when he finally officially becomes owner of the Browns. Here they are in non slide show format…

5. Start an obsolete Browns jersey trade-in program

I don’t know what the appropriate denominations are to make this program work, but it is high time that Cleveland Browns fans everywhere be given special amnesty for the hosts of bad jerseys that have been purchased over the years. Even a fan favorite like Chris Spielman is an utter debacle from the perspective of consumerism. Additionally, and more seriously, the obsolete jerseys running around the circles of Cleveland Browns fans is reinforcing the exact culture that Jimmy Haslam is coming in to change. It doesn’t do anyone in the world any bit of good to be at the same tailgate with some guy wearing a much-too-bright-and-clean Jake Delhomme jersey. Even worse, what team with Trent Richardson needs to be reminded of the failures of William Green, Travis Prentice, and even Peyton Hillis? Offer a voucher to get at least a high percentage of those bad boys off the street.

Hey look! We can see!

4. Improve training camp seating and maybe capacity

Cleveland Browns training camp is run very well right now. It’s free, the players make themselves accessible and the staff is generally pretty nice. Even the walk up the street from Baldwin-Wallace, while not ideal, is far from an issue. Once you are inside and want to see some practice action, it is much more difficult. The space along the side is tight. The bleachers are extra tiny and the lack of elevation makes it almost impossible to see for many of the fans.

I don’t have the solution for this. I don’t know if the Browns should move their training camp, or if they can improve upon the facility in Berea to make it bigger and easier to see. All I know is that I am jealous when I see pics like the ones from Bills training camp at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.

3. Create a singular brand identity for the team

The only thing worse than not having a real identity as a football team is enduring the constant debate about it. Should the Browns be the Dawgs? Should the team really be able to capitalize on something that was created organically by a couple of players and wholly embraced by the fans? Should they bring back the elf? What color jerseys are the Browns going to wear and when? I think these can be somewhat important questions, but indecision and throwing a bunch of things against the wall is not any kind of answer. The Browns need to figure it out, be decisive and go with it. If it’s the Dawgs? Fine. If it is the elf? Do it. Just do something and try to tick off as few people as possible. Just end the silly debate on the topic, please. It has almost nothing to do with football and this fan-base is forced to reckon with it because ownership hasn’t been able to do so.

2. More web streaming

Maybe this is a little too specific for an online writer who covers the Browns but gets shut out for access once training camp ends, but it would be nice to have more accessibility to live press conferences. Cleveland Browns fans have a voracious appetite and having been to camp live, I’ve seen how the players and coaches are corralled by the media. It really wouldn’t take much to bring a few more events to the podiums that are connected to the website. They have a media room and set up a media tent during training camp. If it is in Jimmy Haslam’s power, he ought to use it all more. (Either that or allow certain online entities more access to the team.)

1. Cheerleaders

This seems like an easy one. I know Jimmy Haslam is coming over from Pittsburgh and they don’t have cheerleaders, but so what? Haslam also made the rounds visiting both the Patriots and Cowboys recently, if I’m not mistaken. Both of those teams have cheerleaders. The Patriots cheerleaders even have a swimsuit calendar for sale. Obviously this doesn’t actually matter, but it can’t hurt either. It’s an extra group of attractive people in the community on an annual basis. We’ve seen the Cavaliers dance squad, so we know it can be done in Cleveland.

And that’s the end of my list. Certainly the list of important things would never stop. Can you think of any non-essential things that I missed? And yes, this whole topic should avoid comments like, “I just want the team to win.” It’s too obvious and meaningless to say that. Every team wants to do that whether they’re qualified to do it or not.

But you see, even a team that is unqualified to win can start a cheer-leading squad.

  • Richard from Tommy Boy

    I like his idea….

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.gilbert.589 Jim Gilbert

    i can’t believe someone bought one of those.

  • cmm13

    In game experience:

    1. Player entrance – even the players I know think the “fan/special interest group tunnel” is pathetic.

    2. Pre-kick off ritual

    3. New kick off music

    4. Post touchdown celebration ritual

    ….oh no, did I just create my own “Ram Rules”?!?

  • Kildawg

    #3 is key actually, instill more pride to our team instead of just orange helmet or worse, the orange square (stripes optional). The Dawg would be an awesome option given there are feline and bird teams but no canine teams in NFL. As for #1, cheerleaders can be classy, right? After all, it is a (spectator) sport.

  • Dee P

    It would distract Big Ben as he looked for his next victim. Anything for home field advantage is good in my opinion.

  • hanover_fist

    yeah, my phone barely works on non-gamedays.

  • porckchopexpress

    The world hates us enough as it is, sending piles of Beau Bell and Ben Gay jerseys to the 3rd world is just the sort of thing to push a complacently impoverished dirt farmer over to the extreme camp.

  • porckchopexpress

    Actually no stripper in her right mind would give up even Sunday afternoon stripper money to be a cheerleader. I don’t think there is a squad in the NFL that pays more than $75 a game. Even with appearance fees I bet its tought to crack 10k a year as a cheerleader.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Get off my lawn.

  • The Realist

    Disagree. When I was a kid, and all the other kids in the class were drawing NFL logos on their notebook covers, like the Cowboy star and the Steeler diamonds, what did I draw on my notebook? A stupid blank football helmet. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a Browns fan thru and thru since the days of Dave Logan. But I have always wanted a logo. And by the way, brown and orange? Let’s be real. Those colors suck. No logo and terrible colors are embarrassing. New England changed up their scheme, as did Denver. Why are Cleveland fans so stuck on a tradition that has been worthless for most of our lifetimes?

  • Garry_Owen

    So what you’re saying is that they don’t even have the self-respect to be strippers? That’s bad. Bad.
    [On another note, since this my only social network, did you get the new TAB album yet? It's taken a week for me to like it, but in that week it has become my favorite of all of theirs.]

  • JK

    What’s a touchdown?

  • maxfnmloans

    I +1′d you because I’ve had to try and explain this to people before myself.

  • mgbode

    thanks. i design servers for this market, so i know it a bit. and really, it’s amazing that the current networks work as well as they do as they were never meant for the capacities they are currently supporting.

  • maxfnmloans

    yeah no one was thinking about streaming videos of UEFA Champions league matches to their cell phones back in 1983. In 1983, I had 3 channels (3,5,8). Yesterday, I got paid to “monitor” UEFA games through my cell phone, and deliver screen shots of certain elements back to the marketing company doing the research.

  • Adam

    Just use T-Mobile, their network is empty and it works great!

  • maxfnmloans

    that’s what the other team scores once we kick our fifth field goal and take a lead over them in the fourth quarter

  • nowearman

    No logo(s), please. The elf is simply…um…well, it seems a little fruity to me. Perhaps in 1957 it was okay, but no longer. And that damn dog/dawg logo? A few years ago I started a new job and my boss (who was a fruity and delusional Broncos fan) put “personalized” covers on our handbooks and he put the dog/dawn on mine and i thought it was the red dog beer logo. Bottom line, the dawg/dog thing is obsolete at this point, in my opinion. I strongly believe that we should remain logo-less.
    I do like the suggestions of having a few local cheerleading teams cheer at the games instead of full blown team cheerleaders. IF it’s deemed that cheerleaders are necessary. Which I dont think is the case.
    The jersey buy back program is a GREAT idea.
    Go Browns.

  • Larry Flynt

    The Stadium has plenty of neanderthals already, I promise. Putting in cheerleaders / strippers would just bring out more of them and entice them to drink more beer, giving the team more revenue. Unfortunately we’ll likely mismanage that money on lineman who will blow out their knees before the season begins! So in total, no huge win but at least this way we get some eye candy on the sideline during these debacles we call football games every week. Hey at least I’m not the guy who suggested the high school cheerleaders…what’s up with that weirdo?

  • Jeff Cox

    Strippers with a Sunday afternoon second job? Have you ever talked to any of them or checked out their bios? Most of them are actually college students or young college graduates with years of dance training (ballet, jazz, etc.), plus experience in gymnastics and, naturally, cheer leading. I don’t want cheerleaders, either, but don’t insult the young women who perform across the NFL.

  • Garry_Owen

    Wow. Old conversation.

    It was a simile, for the purpose of comparison, not to be read literally. I was referring to how they appear. I stand by it. If these “highly trained” women elect to dress and perform as they do, that’s up to them; but they are undeniably open to criticism (indeed, they invite it) – and there’s no way that you can convince me that any “cheerleading” occurs, regardless of how much experience they may have in that pursuit.

  • Jeff Cox

    You ever actually attended a dance class? The attire in the typical dance class, which takes place thousands of times each day across the country with women and girls of all ages, is every bit as skimpy as you will find on a football field. Sometimes even more so.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’ve attended plenty of NFL games, and I know that the dudes ogling the “cheerleaders” don’t give 2 licks about the dance moves (except to the extent that they reveal stuff).
    Also, I’m shocked that their bios don’t mention exotic dancing. Shocked. But then again, I’m not sure anyone lists that on her CV.