Stop Overreacting to Mike Holmgren’s Word Choices

I transcribed Mike Holmgren’s interview with Seattle radio yesterday and was pretty encouraged by the things that Mike Holmgren said about the team.  He admitted that the offense was young, inconsistent and developing. He said he thought the team played pretty good defense.

I titled the post “Holmgren Speaks… to Seattle Radio Station” because I thought it was funny to make a little dig at WFNYTD who wondered aloud on Monday “Mike Holmgren, Where Are You????”  I even used the same picture.  I guess I should have seen the explosion coming.

Little did I know that Cleveland Browns fans would become like kvetching housewives discussing their fake counterparts in New York, New Jersey or Beverly Hills.  **

“Did you hear what he said?  He said ‘they’ when he should have said “we!”

“I know! And why was he talking to them instead of us!”

You might as well be talking about which “diva” snubbed who at the ice cream social on Sunday.

Stop it.  Mike Holmgren is a Seattle resident, pretty much.  He still has his house there. His kids and grandkids are all there.  He said in the interview he wants to end up back there.  So yeah.  When he is talking to a Seattle radio host and a Seattle audience referring to Cleveland Browns fans and how he wants to create something WE CAN BE PROUD OF, is it really so crazy that he would use the word “they?”

Mike Holmgren is doing a job for a group of stakeholders.  He could have said he was trying to create a team that the Lerner family can be proud of, right?  Randy is the one who signs the checks (probably.)  That could easily make him the #1 stakeholder for Mike Holmgren in his role as President of the Cleveland Browns, but apparently it doesn’t.  To me, it sounded 100% like he was referring to the Browns fans (from a Seattle radio audience perspective “they”) when he said he was trying to create a team that we can be proud of.

A team that we can be proud of.  That’s what Mike Holmgren’s stated goal is according to his chat with the Seattle radio station.  Regardless of what pronoun he uses, it sure seems like he understands what his goals are.  Yet some are now accusing him of “stealing” a paycheck whatever that means.

Not to mention the fact that after describing the stakeholders as “they” he immediately described the young Cleveland Browns as “us” and “we” throughout the rest of the interview.

But let’s stop and harp on that first pronoun because it is just too important to make sure that everyone says everything 100% exactly as we want them to say it, right?  Wrong.  This isn’t a “reality” show.  There is no extra ratings bump for creating extra “drama***.”

So please stop with the forensic analysis of every word the man used in a radio interview.  You’re not helping yourself or your favorite team in the slightest.  You aren’t catching a guy in some kind of lie.  You’re turning on a guy who is trying to get to the same end goal that you are.  He might not ever get there, and he may make some mistakes along the way, but referring to Browns fans as “they” when talking to a fellow member of the Seattle community isn’t it.

So why was Mike Holmgren talking to a Seattle radio station?  Why is he talking to them instead of us?  Admittedly, maybe Holmgren shouldn’t have been talking about the Browns to his buddies in Seattle before talking about them here.  At the same time, when he talks to the Seattle station about the team it will be in generalities.  From that perspective he might have thought that it wouldn’t seem like he was undermining his head coach.  If he had called up Baskin and Phelps, The Bull and the Fox, or Rizzo this week it would have been a much more intense and specific line of questioning that could have really undermined Pat Shurmur.  As we know from Mike Holmgren’s short tenure here, he does everything he can to not undermine his head coach in public.

Maybe he shouldn’t have talked to the media at all this week.  But don’t let the radio guys tell you he was absolutely wrong for doing it because they are mostly just jealous and offended that Holmgren talked to someone out of market instead of them.  It was a bit inconsiderate of Mike Holmgren to the hometown media.  Still, in the scheme of things, considering his role of fixing your Cleveland Browns, why are you so concerned about Holmgren offending local media?

These are the same media that helped propagate the  Peyton Hillis story over the bye week and almost systematically made it impossible for anyone to like Eric Mangini.****

In the end, I can’t tell you how to think, but I can tell you how I think.  I don’t go through my life looking for things to get offended about to create extra “drama.”  I heard on the radio this morning some people were wondering whether this was irreparable damage by Mike Holmgren.  Really? Irreparable?

Don’t play into that please.

It’s taking your eye off the ball.  Pat Shurmur and the Cleveland Browns need to get better by the end of the year.  If they don’t it will be time to hold Mike Holmgren accountable for something real.  You know, the football being played on the field on Sundays?

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

** I have told my wife on numerous occasions that the Housewives shows are the absolute lowest form of culture and they do irreparable harm to the landscape for real art and artists.
*** I DESPISE the overuse of the word drama in reality TV because it is all synthetic and leaves a film on your eyes.
**** Eric Mangini didn’t help his own cause a lot, but it is hard to argue that the media gave him anything resembling a fair chance.

  • Eli


  • Pining4The’Ship

    Love the write up Craig, completely agree!

  • stin4u

    Well said Craig.

    I turned off 92.3 this morning because I couldn’t take it anymore. The guy is doing a good job so far in the job he was appointed to. I couldn’t care less if he referred to us as ‘they’ to a seattle radio station (you know that place way across the country that isn’t Cleveland). Sensationalism at its finest.

  • mgbode

    * slow clap *

  • Garry Owen

    I’m pretty convinced that if Cleveland didn’t over-react, it would never react at all.

    This town goes to “11.” Fast.

  • MallaLubba

    I picture two dueling presenters on a stage with a ear mounted boom mics, tons of flashing lights and fog screaming over top of each things like “Synergy!” “Dynamic!” “Empower!” “Strategic!”

    In other words: all sensationalism, no content.

  • oribiasi

    Time will tell, Craig. And you’re right, he doesn’t undermine his coach who has the same agent as himself and Heckert. Instead, he chooses to undermine the fans. A bigger, easier target, because he’s smart, and he knows we’ll go to the games with or without a winner on the field.

    What is stealing a paycheck, you wonder? Well, it’s when you are aloof from the fans of the product you create, you repeatedly deny interviews to local sports radio/television, you declare martial law at Cleveland Browns Stadium and disallow “excessive standing,” you interview four people for the head coaching job, you don’t go after a Wide Receiver…the list goes on and on.

    Look, you know why we’re upset: the team seems to have regressed! We had a steal of a prospect in McCoy for QB last year…what happened to that? Every major NFL analyst was saying how smart we were to grab him so late. Holmgren brings in the “I’m smarter than everyone else” Shurmur and Colt suddenly is worse. Where have we improved? And, by the fates, if anyone here cites the “new coach, new system, lockout” excuse I’m going to lose it. The goal is to improve each year; this team looks like the 2009 Browns.

  • If you were Mike Holmgren would you want to waste your time talking to the clowns who make up Cleveland sports radio?

    Not to mention, isn’t Wednesday the day that teams generally deal with the out-of-town media? The fact that the Browns are playing Seattle this week played a role in Holmgren talking; I’m sure it would be the same if the Browns were playing Green Bay.

    Now if he starts going on Pittsburgh radio stations, then we’ll have a problem …

  • jimkanicki

    i see the same things you do ori.

    i think the ‘all is well,’ ‘building for the future,’ ‘relax we’re 2-2’ denial of reality kinda makes people more strident.

  • 5KMD

    Wow, if the Browns lose to Seattle’s backup QB at home this weekend, this place is really going to lose it.

  • stin4u

    @7 – How would you not expect them to regress? They have a bunch of first and second year players, in a new system, on a shortened schedule. You also have a first time HC who is still trying to wrap his head around everything that is going on. That isn’t exactly a recipe for immediate success.

    And, I’m tired of the San Francisco comparison. They have a FO in place with some proven players on both sides of the ball, all they did was add new coaching. That is not what happened here so to me there is nothing to compare.

  • @jimkanicki and oribiasi, I don’t begrudge any of the criticisms you lobbed. They are legit concerns all the way around. Holmgren using the word “they” on Seattle radio is not.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    I’ll admit to overreacting a little to this, but it’s still a bad PR move in my opinion.

    @10 – yeah, if they come out and stink up the joint on Sunday, I might have to “take a break” for a while…

  • Ben

    I care nothing about talk radio and could care less who Holmgren actually talks to.

    What does bother me is that he is in charge of one of the most mind boggling coaching changes in recent memory.

    You don’t fire Mangini and replace him with Shurmur. If he had come down and coached himself I could have least lived with that.

    Take away the awful start as Mangini was cleaning house and he went 9-11 in his last 20 games and the team was trending in the right direction. Heckert has had some good drafts and the talent level was getting better.

    What Holmgren does is blow the whole thing up, hire a rookie HC, attempt to install an offense they do not have the people for, and we are supposed to just sit here and be happy that we won 2 games against teams that may go 0-32 this year?

    It’s the dumbest organization in pro sports right now…but this is where I am supposed to be mad at Larry Dolan…right???

  • NJ

    I think fans are overreacting to this because it beats reacting to what we see every Sunday.

    Official or not, we’re in rebuilding mode yet again, two whole years after our last rebuild, and that’s just depressing. So where do we direct our energies, knowing that meaningful football is, at least, twelve more months away? We lash out at ownership and management, as you’d expect.

    Call it unfair, but this fanbase has been sold a pack of lies by so many new coaches, GM, presidents, etc. that we can’t help but overreact when things are going poorly on the field (yet again).

    I hope somebody in Berea eventually realizes how worn-down, angry, and cynical this fanbase has rightly become. Clevelanders have become tempermental and irrational thanks to 4,000 years of losing. Yeah, we need to be coddled some time. Wish somebody in Berea was smart enough to realize that.

  • stin4u

    @NJ – I think you hit the nail on the head there.

    @Ben – Do you think GB was psyched about the hire of Mike McCarthy? The season before he had coached the 49ers to the worst offense in the NFL. A few years later, after some good drafting and time to get his feet wet they’re in the super bowl. The reaction to Shurmur in general has been knee jerk.

  • B-bo

    Know what’s fun? Type the word “conspiracy” into this site’s search bar and look at how many articles come up. I think we may need to bring this guy back as the offical mascot of WFNY.

    There’s reacting, there’s overreacting, and then there’s taking things to an entirely different level of anger/paranoia. This story has taken us to that uppermost level.

  • @NJ

    I know it is unfair to Browns fans, but what good is it going to do you to hold Mike Holmgren responsible for Carmen Policy, Butch Davis, Phil Savage and more who have failed us in the past?

    Holding Savage to that standard probably helped land us some of the worst, high-priced free agency deals ever. For a minute there we looked like we were heading toward Redskins territory.

  • Ben

    @stin4u When Shurmur turns it around in 2 years will the person who replaces Holmgren want his guy in there?

    This is what drvies me crazy. It is a cycle that keeps repeating itself. Aaron Rodgers also helps!

  • @Ben the idea is when Holmgren leaves, that there will be someone here to take his place as president, I am sure. That guy will in turn keep Heckert in place. Maybe it is Heckert himself, who will hire a new GM in his image. The organizational philosophy (hopefully including a successful Shurmur) shouldn’t have to change.

    This is all best case and in theory of course. They have a LOT of work to do, obviously.

  • stin4u

    @Ben – I feel like if Holmgren left he would pick his replacement and that if Shurmur was doing an effective job of coaching and play-calling that yes they would keep him. I think that is the point of all of this. To get things headed in the right direction and appoint people who know what they’re doing. So far so good in my eyes. Shurmur has been rough but that has to be expected.

    You’re right about Rodgers. Obviously, McCarthy turned that team around with better personnel (Favre, Jennings, Driver, etc.) faster than Shurmur can with the roster we’re giving him to work with. But, that is why Heckert is here and so far he’s doing a pretty good job of drafting.

  • Ben

    @Craig You have to admit. We have heard this before.

    My only concern is at what point to Browns fans actually stop going to the games. Stop paying attention. Don’t care if the game gets blacked out.

    This is what the people in Berea seem to not understand. I think they are finally at the cliff with their fan base and need to be very careful.

  • oribiasi

    @ stin4u: How can I expect them not to regress? What kind of question is that? If you are the Uber-leader of the Browns you presumably want your team to win; if that meant keeping Mangini and improving, then he would have presumably done that. Since he didn’t, should my only assumption be that he thought he would do WORSE with a new coach!? Then why make the G.D. change?

    Again, this is all presuming Holmgrens gives two you know whats and does want a winner here. He may not really care; the product sells, we’re all idiots who go to the games and buy the gear sans a victory, so why run around with your hair on fire making changes? I get it, I really do; its a business for him; it’s a team for me and, I hope, the rest of the fans. See the difference?

  • oribiasi

    @ Ben: Exactly. If the fans stop showing up then look out, man. Berea will have to own up to it to Uncle Al Lerner and he may swoop down from his soccer club and make a change. Until that point, he sees no reason to.

    Again, this is a team to us and this seems to just be a business to Mike Holmgren. Shurmur is too much of an idiot to know the difference and I can’t gauge Heckert…only because he also chooses not to speak to the media.

  • Excellent, excellent stuff, Craig.

  • mgbode

    @oribiasi – sometimes you have to take a step back to take 2 steps forward. if Holmgren felt we could win 8 or 9 games with Mangini this year, but that was likely the ceiling w/ him at the helm, then he could have wanted to make a change to someone whom Heckert is more accostomed to acquiring talent (4-3 D and WCO).

    Holmgrens job #1 is to put everyone in the organization in a position to succeed. his end-goal is to make this not only a superbowl team, but a team whom can compete year-in and year-out. yes, it requires patience. yes, we have heard this before from past FOs, but it does little good to cast him in with them until he deserves he belongs there.

    all that said, let us hope that we do start to show real progress on the field so that we can focus on the play rather than the rest of these matters.

  • da -Z-

    Thank god for this article. I too had to turn off 92.3FM this morning. I love that show in the morning, it’s sarcastic and dry, but they went waaaaay over the top this morning. Talking about how “them” in the Cleveland media are being denied. Well Cleveland media, keep it up like you have been. If it was for you, we would be running Holmgren out of town right now and start rebuilding again….and again….and again… Start talking football again, stop reading into things. Cleveland media, be insightful, not a sad sack of grumpy old guys complaining

  • JM

    Good grief, everyone loved it when Holmgren was hired. Give the guy a chance. I don’t mean to call out anyone on here, just saying in general. BTW 92.3 is becoming as bad as WKNR due to the constant whining and complaining over stupid things. Can we ever get good talk radio in this town?

  • oribiasi

    @mgbode: If Holmgren truly had that kind of crystal ball clairvoyance and could prove it, I’d ask him to buy my lottery tickets.

    The fact is that no one has that kind of vision, and if someone tells you otherwise check his feet for hooves. No one can know what a coaches win “ceiling” is. You can obviously feel if something isn’t working correctly (i.e., now), but you can never know something like this ceiling nonsense.

  • Gbwoy

    Speaking for myself, I’m completely with Craig on this one. Freaking out about our coaching and FO right now just doesn’t do anyone any good.

    And quite frankly, we have to have SOME form of stability if we are ever going to return the playoffs. If we keep changing head coaches and GM’s every other year, nothing gets better.

    Lets wait until we actually need to make a change before fan’s start calling for firings or questioning someones commitment to winning. I’m not sure when exactly that will be, but I’m damn sure it isn’t 5 games into the first season under this regime.

  • mgbode

    @oribiasi – this is why it’s hard to take you serious when you throw posts out like #24.

    “Exactly. If the fans stop showing up then look out, man. Berea will have to own up to it to Uncle Al Lerner and he may swoop down from his soccer club and make a change. Until that point, he sees no reason to.”

    for one, RIP Al. I know, a simple brainfart, but it’s Randy now.

    Second, the fans have always shown up. Yet, both Al and Randy were not hesitant to make a change at the FO or HC level if things were not working out. And, they were not hesitant to pay those mistakes to go away. It is laughable to say that until the fans show up that Randy won’t care. He has proven that he DOES care.

    “Again, this is a team to us and this seems to just be a business to Mike Holmgren. Shurmur is too much of an idiot to know the difference and I can’t gauge Heckert…only because he also chooses not to speak to the media.”

    Did you miss the part about Holmgren being inconsolable and mad and throwing stuff/yelling after the Bengals game? He realizes that in his role it does the team no good to act that way, but he obviously cares.

    Holmgren has been in football his entire life. His legacy will always be tied to the QBs he has mentored, but he wants to be known as more than a coach as well. This is his one opportunity to create a legacy that outstretches coaching in football. I have seen nothing that makes it seem he is not motivated to do so.

    Shurmur is an idiot? Perhaps you know him personally, but I think that’s a bit harsh for a 1st time HC to be called after a whole 5 games. I am disappointed at the lack of an imaginative gameplan coming out of the bye, but I would hardly call him an idiot.

    I can gauge Heckert by what he does rather than what he says. He does speak to the media when it is apt (beginning of offseason, after the draft, after final cutdowns). Go to the homesite and search for ‘heckert conference’ if you want to go through them. But, what he does is the more impressive side so far. 11/16 draft picks playing significant time (9 starting), 14/16 still with the team. All high picks looking like they will stick for the long term.

  • stin4u

    @oribiasi – So you expected there was going to be a seamless transition from one coaching regime to another? How often does that happen, and how often does that happen when the team has very little talent? This organization made whole sale changes starting at the very top and like it or not those guys at the top are going to make the best moves they can long term for the team. The point is this process should have happened wayyyyyyy long ago because there were bound to be growing pains, but the fact that were dealing with another rebuild is driving the fans even crazier than normal.

    Also, people seem to be really keen on saying the people in Berea should respect how the fans are feeling about this (not in so many words but that is general consensus I’m getting). How about we show Mike Holmgren a little respect? Honestly, the guy has been doing this for how long? To say he’s here to collect and vulture money is incredibly disrespectful and ridiculous on top of it.

  • Ghost To Most

    I like NJ’s comments, a little more communication on Holmgrens part with the fans wouldnt be too much to ask. Hes not required to do so, but it would help to bridge the gap between the organization and the fanbase who feel alienated by 12 + years of losing.

    With that said, I do agree that some may have had unrealistic expectations for this team. People complain about Shurmurs play calling, his schemes or whatever. And they may have some valid points. BUT, looking at the Browns roster, this is not a very good team. They have a young QB with limitations, and they havent put enough playmakers around him to be successful.

    Bill Walsh could be calling the plays and the offense would still be anemic. Playcalling matters, but its also overrated, the execution of the plays is more important than the sequence in which they are called.

    I mean this is what, year 5 of the media chirping about “getting Josh Cribbs the ball more”, when are the writers going to realize that Cribbs is not Devin Hester? The only thing he does well, consistently, is return kicks. And Cribbs is still their most “dangerous weapon”. Yikes.

    The Browns might need better coaching, but they definitely need better players. And unfortunately due to the lockout, they didnt have much of an opportunity to upgrade their personnel.

  • mgbode

    @oribiasi (#29) – ok, I was not clear enough in that post. that is my fault.

    my point was that Holmgren could well have thought that if he was going to be able to win a championship and set this team up to consistently contend, then he needed to put everyone in a position to succeed at what they do best (Paul Brown and Bill Walsh heavily believed in this philosophy, which is the coaching tree from which Holmgren is from).

    by picking Heckert to be GM in year1 (a man best at drafting talent for the 4-3 D and WCO), he may have sealed Mangini’s fate. he may have felt that if the team was going to have the best chance to succeed, then he should have aligning philosophies from the top to the bottom. Mangini did not fit as he was at his best in a 3-4 D and a bit of a hybrid WCO w/ alot of power-running (much different OL blocking and running than WCO, but WR-tree actually pretty similar).

    now, you can say that Holmgren should have fired Mangini once he hired Heckert. and, there is a solid point there as if it was a pure philosophical reasoning, then he should have seen this immediately and made the change. that is a ding on Holmgren. if he just felt it was the fair thing to do to give Mangini another year, then he was setting our team back w/ a lockout coming. he needs to be more business-like with those decisions.

  • JM

    for comments saying he is not going to be here beyond 10 tears and just wants to “see improvement”/”lay the foundation”/”so they can feel good before I make any changes(retire/move on)”… I don’t know if there is any other way to interpret those comments other than- I’m not looking to do whatever it takes to build a sustainable championship franchise that will thrive if/when I retire.. Instead: I’m gonna split once he team is consistantly over .500 and there is a chance they can be better than mediocre on a regular basis.

    “Hey!, Look at me! I’m the contractor building your new home… we poured the foundation this morning and it should cure nicely as long as that looming storm to the west stays where it is. Looks like my work here is done! The carpenter, electrician, and plumber should show up tomorrow to finish the rest of the project. Tfor the check. It cleared last week. Good luck!

    Get someone in here who wants to see it thru. I hate Bron as mush as everyone else, but atleast Lebron, while he was here, left us with the impression he was going to stay and fight til’ they won a championship. Holmgren isn’t even giving us that…

  • oribiasi

    @ mgbode: “Shurmur is an idiot? Perhaps you know him personally, but I think that’s a bit harsh for a 1st time HC to be called after a whole 5 games. I am disappointed at the lack of an imaginative gameplan coming out of the bye, but I would hardly call him an idiot.”

    Please see the ENTIRE Peyton Hillis situation (from not knowing what his “illness” was to not knowing if/when he went back into the game last week).

    And sure, the fans have always shown up…think that will last? In the hey-day of the Indians sellouts I bet no one was thinking that would end, either. Keep putting this certified manure on the field week in/out and I cannot fathom why the stadium would be filled with jersey-wearing/beer drinking/memorabilia buying fans. Woops, I forgot “not allowed to stand” fans.

    I’d personally like to know where all of this faith comes from with this group. I wish I had some of it or, if nothing less, I could drink from the same cup of Kool-Aid. After watching Shurmur be out-smarted in the most obvious ways twice in 5 games (quick count/fake fieldgoal), I don’t see how anyone could look at his mug and see potential.

    Let me strike that; I see the potential for a new coach in our not so distant future.

    Also, RIP Al. Mea maxima culpa.

  • mgbode

    I agree, if the team does not start to win, the fans will stop showing up. But, your point was that Lerner wouldn’t care about the team until that happened. He has proven that he will care well before that point.

    I also agree that Shurmur has not had a good start. The real question at this point is how well does he learn from his mistakes and how quickly can he progress as a HC. I am willing to give him more than 5 games to show me he can.

  • NJ

    I wanted Holmgren to do two things as President –

    1.) Stop the losing. I can accept that’ll take time. I’ve disagreed with some of MH’s decisions, but I’m willing to give Shurmur time.

    2.) Stop the idiotic drama. I think he has failed on that front thus far and that’s what annoys me about this interview.

    With our franchise rudderless yet again, with players griping, and with pointless idiocy dominating the news, I asked myself multiple times – where’s the Walrus? Why isn’t he out there controlling this situation?

    So when he finally does break his silence, it’s to field some softballs that are more about Mike Holmgrem than the Cleveland Browns. Ugh. Really, Mike? Really? For nearly a month I’ve been waiting for you to put a stop to this Hillis stupidity and I think the local media respects you enough that if you said it’s a non-story they’d listen, but instead you stay mum on it all and opt for this kind of interview instead?

    Mountain out of a mole hill? Maybe, but there sure have been a lot of mole hills during Big Mike’s tenure.

  • Jason

    Cleveland fans tend to overreact because we’re so tortured.

    It’s sad, but when we do something well or take the lead near the end of a game, my happiness only lasts for a few seconds, as my thoughts immediately switch to thinking about what possibly weird way we can lose.

    We’ve seen this team go through so many front office hires that we always think the sky is falling.

    I’m willing to be patient with H and H and give them a couple more years to see some real progress. I would be happy with 7-9 this year and we’re right on pace.

  • humboldt

    @Craig –

    “what good is it going to do you to hold Mike Holmgren responsible for Carmen Policy, Butch Davis, Phil Savage and more who have failed us in the past?”

    Not to speak for NJ, but the point seems to be that anyone – Holmgren or otherwise – who assumes stewardship for this franchise needs to understand the pathologies that have accrued to this fan base over the past decade due to failed leadership. Words matter, both in terms of their content, and, in this case, to whom they are spoken. Holmgren erred in both cases here and, as I believe Harv said earlier, his “leadership” seems tone deaf at best, cynical at worst.

    It’s not dissimilar to the role of the current US president. The problems of the global economy certainly aren’t his fault, but his rhetoric — whether in a state of the union speech or a stump speech at a picnic in Georgia — can create huge shocks in the global economy, or help assuage capricious markets.

    Holmgren has to be more savvy about things like this, bottom line.

  • Andrew Koestel

    Everyone on Kiley and Booms this morning was whining like a little girl about this. None more-so than Booms. I wanted to call in and tell him to stop being a little girl but I just changed the station instead. They were drama queens this morning. I was actually embarrassed to be a Browns fan listening to that garbage.

  • Painesville

    Everyone exhale now….

    That’s it, good.

    Count to 10.

    Pet a cat.

    aaaaaaah much better.

  • B-bo

    @JM Mike Holmgren is 63 years old. 63. How is it unreasonable for a guy that age to be looking at a limited time frame (and is TEN YEARS really that limited?) to do this–or any–job? The man has made millions and could easily have chosen to sit at home with the wife and kids and soak in the good life for the next 20+ years. Instead he chose to do the yeoman’s work (albeit for a king’s pay) of resurrecting a once-proud franchise in a city where the fans are so desperate for success and impatient that they will attack anyone who doesn’t bring them ALL OF THE WINS immediately.

    I truly believe us to be as loyal a fanbase as there is in all of sport, but we are also as demanding of one. Had our team not been taken away, I think you would see less support in terms of ticket sales and such. But we are so afraid of losing our team again that we don’t want to let our support appear to waver. Instead, we have become bitter and vindictive and entitled and miserable as we spend our hard-earned money and THEY OWE US. I really have begun to question my faith–not in the team, but in the fans. Can’t anyone has any chance to make things better? Do we have to be writing the new coach’s obit after 5 games? Do we have to now be assailing the guy who not long ago was our beacon of hope to right the ship? It’s been over a decade now: is a season or two more of patience and rationality too much to ask? Sadly, it appears so. And that makes me sick.

  • ben

    @41: you and me both, man. It was shameful.

    I’d be a bit peeved if I was the Cleveland sports media, but I wouldn’t try to make something of nothing.

  • humboldt

    Oh B-bo, come on dude. The drama of sports is why it’s so much fun.

    I find it interesting that a certain pattern always emerges in these sorts of discussions:

    1) There is a negative stimulus for Cleveland sports team
    2) Fan reaction splits, sometimes aggressively so
    3) Half of fans accuse the other side of irrationality and overreaction, using condescending phrases like “step away from the ledge”, “take a deep breath”, “calm down”, etc
    4) The other half entrench and accuse the other fans of being pretentious, dull, and unable to see the implications and/or causes of negative stimulus
    5) Time passes and all is forgotten until the next negative stimulus

    I for one love it.

  • B-bo

    Oh I agree humboldt, the drama of sports–on the field, court, pitch, ice, whatever–is by far the best part. The melodrama of angsty fans and their knee-jerk reactions to every little thing when their team is down is the nauseating side of it. I mean, we’ve been going back-and-forth for two days now about a radio interview by a front office guy, for crying out loud. Not anything on the field or in the locker room, but a radio spot by a suit. That’s not the fun side of sports for me. Of course, I’ve allowed myself to get sucked in to it, so that’s my own fault.

  • Garry Owen

    @ B-bo

    We’re not even talkin’ about practice, man.

  • Matt

    I live in nw Ohio and when it comes to the NFL, there are sooooooo many front runners around (esp. Spittspurgh) it’s sickening. People laugh, jeer and look down their noses at the Browns and their faithful, but guess what? Who was the WORST NHL team from the late 1950’s to the early 90’s? If you guessed the RED WINGS, now a perennial power, you’re right. And from about 1930—1972 or so, who was the WORST NFL team? If you guessed perennial power Steelers, also a right guess. And who went 86 years before winning not 1, but 2 World Series titles in 4 years? The RED SOX. So it just takes time to build a winning org. from what I can tell. GO BROWNS!!!!!!!