Yesterday, Haslam and the two men responsible for picking the right coach parted ways.
There aren't many people in and around Cleveland mourning the departures of Mike Lombardi and Joe Banner from the club. Those guys hardly did a stellar job in their single year of running the team. It's that the Browns once again made national news because of a front office change that has some already assuming that new general manager Ray Farmer and new head coach Mike Pettine are about 11 months away from being terminated.
Cleveland fans are battered, and it's vital that Haslam understands that.
Dear Mr. Haslam,
Your customers in northeast Ohio are tired. They're tired of paying to watch a product that isn't worth half of the money spent to enter FirstEnergy Stadium. They're tired of wasting several hours 16 Sundays a year to watch a football team that fails to compete more so than it wins games.
Do you realize, Mr. Haslam, that front offices turn NFL teams around and convert losers into winners in the amount of time that you've gone through multiple coaching staffs, general mangers and CEOs? Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts are examples. The New York Giants did it in the same season , starting out at 0-6 this past fall before finishing the campaign at 7-9.
Heck, you would have been crazy to suggest back in December 2011 that the Seattle Seahawks were a few years away from being a potential dynasty in the making. Look at Seattle now.
Cleveland fans are tired, sir, of the team being the laughingstock of the NFL, an unfunny comedy that is currently averaging one overhaul per offseason. They're tired of the Browns being easy targets for the likes of Jay Leno and Purell. I'm not going to pretend that I know enough about the Pilot Flying J scandal to comment on it. I do know, however, that the situation is one more thing that makes the Browns and Cleveland laughable in the eyes of far too many.
Cleveland fans are tired of the Browns constantly missing out in free agency and in the NFL Draft. You want to keep safety T.J. Ward? Do it. You want Johnny Manziel? Trade up and get him. You want Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater instead? Fine, but make sure you get your man and you get it right.
Cleveland fans are tired of the radio announcers of the Pittsburgh Steelers laughing about the Browns whenever the two sides meet, which is exactly what occurred during the 2013 regular season finale. Cleveland fans are tired of Pittsburgh fans actually feeling sorry for those who still follow the Browns. That the Steelers don't even consider you and your team rivals anymore should make your blood (almost) literally boil.
Are you aware, Mr. Haslam, of the amount of parents and grandparents out there who are convinced that they'll never see the Browns even make it to a Super Bowl? My grandmother was one of them. She kept the faith all the way up to her 90th birthday.
She never saw a 91st.
No more excuses, Mr. Haslam. No more blaming local or national media members for your franchise having such a poor reputation. When you blew up the front office of the Browns on Tuesday, sir, you became the man in charge, the holder of the keys to the kingdom. You're now the sheriff, the head honcho, Cleveland's own Jerry Jones.
What you have to understand is that you would be a god to those who follow the Browns if the team won a championship under your leadership. Do you know what would happen in Cleveland during the two weeks leading up to a Super Bowl that featured the Browns? Bars and restaurants would stay open 24 hours a day. Thousands would flock to the city for the game as much as they would to wherever the Super Bowl was being held that year just to be in Cleveland just in case the impossible occurred.
And if the Browns win that mythical game, Mr. Haslam, your feet likely won't touch the earth for days because of people offering to carry you wherever you want to go. Parade? You and the players wouldn't be needing vehicles to travel through the streets of downtown Cleveland.
It's painful to be a Cleveland sports fan in 2014. The Indians are better than they've been, sure, but no reasonable person out there believes that the Tribe is winning it all anytime soon. All indications are that LeBron James isn't returning to save the Cavs. Besides, Cleveland is undeniably a football town, and thus it's you, Mr. Haslam, who will have to play the savior role.
It's what you signed up for the second you bought the team.
Give Cleveland a winner, Mr. Haslam. It's what Browns Backers located in Cleveland and in San Diego and in Erie and in Pittsburgh (yes, they exist) and in London and in Australia - yes, Australia - deserve. Just one, Mr. Haslam.
One before I die.
Browns fans everywhere
Zac has been following Cleveland sports since a little before his birth, and thus his heart breaks a little more with every year. He has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the NFL for Yahoo! Sports since 2010
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