Jimmy Haslam ranked 31st among NFL’s best owners

Jimmy Haslam Steely


Jimmy Haslam, that “breath of fresh air” who took over for the Cleveland Browns a little over a year ago, ranks 31st among 32 NFL owners in a list constructed by NBC Sports’ Rotoworld.com.

In a tier titled “Alone at the Bottom,” Patrick Daugherty discusses a botched transition that could only happen in the city of Cleveland.

Haslam was gifted with a unique opportunity when he purchased the Browns in 2012: Deliverance. Outside of the Chicago Cubs, the Browns are the most-tortured fanbase in American sports. Haslam could have been the savior, the man who erased Tim Couch, Art Modell and “The Drive.” He could have been a new lease on life for a Dawg Pound that’s sick and tired of the jokes and the losses. Instead, he’s become subject of a federal investigation, and employed as many head coaches in 18 months as the Steelers have in 45 years. Haslam isn’t just more of the same in Cleveland, he’s everything that’s wrong with the modern owner. Haslam is an arrogant, rash, amoral man who believes the law doesn’t apply to him. Someone who will cut as many corners as necessary to ensure he gets as many dollars as possible. Someone who — allegedly, of course — spent years ripping off the exact kind of people who make up the bedrock NFL fandom, a bedrock that is gradually being priced out of attending games. Maybe Haslam will beat his federal rap. He is, after all, a billionaire with more lawyers at his disposal than the average man will ever meet. But Haslam will never beat back the impulses that have made him a(n alleged) criminal and clueless owner, for that would require two things he could only dream of: Humility and empathy. Even if he eventually wins, Jimmy Haslam is not a winner.

Good news for Browns fans who are desperate for something to cling to: Washington’s Daniel Snyder is seated firmly behind the Tennessee businessman. In his first week on the job, Haslam attempted to make Browns fans feel as if he were one of us—the dude sat in the Dawg Pound and greeted fans at the gate. The honeymoon phase, however, ended abruptly, leaving fans with an owner who would be dead last if not for the one who has spent the last 15 years building an “edifice to ignorance.”

It wasn’t all that long ago that Haslam was greeted by his peers with a standing ovation. To Haslam’s credit, the man has—at least over the last several months—taken the proverbial bull by the horns, ridding Berea of self-inflated bottom feeders like Joe Banner and a GM who never showed his face in Mike Lombardi. No longer can the wins and losses of Haslam’s reign be attributed to other men. It’s his show now, and only he can decide which direction his legacy goes, regardless of how little downside there truly is.

(Photo: Joshua Gunter/Plain Dealer)

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha…….. Owner lists.

  • Natedawg86

    Super Bowl

  • Hopwin

    Rotoworld couldn’t come up with a mock draft version 10,026 so instead they made an owner’s list? Sweet.

  • Ryan P. Case

    I love how the picture makes it look like Jimmy is coping a feel.

  • dwhit110

    This picture will never get old.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Exactly my thoughts.

  • Harv 21

    “Haslam is an arrogant, rash, amoral man who believes the law doesn’t apply to him.”

    Unless Daugherty is somehow blessed with the irrefutable facts of an insider’s insider in Haslam’s company, seems he’s just another arrogant, rash, amoral sports columnist looking for cheap hits with stupid lists, one who doesn’t believe the law of journalistic responsibility applies to him.

  • Garry_Owen

    Some guy just forced out an opinion on all 32 NFL owners, like a man “bearing down” after devouring a whole wheel of cheese, and we’re supposed to care that he ranked our team’s owner #31. At the next stop, I’d like to get off this world.

  • Wow

    Yikes can we give the guy a chance to turn it around?

  • boomhauertjs

    The NFL…sticking it to the city of Cleveland since 1995…

  • CB Everett

    Seriously. Somebody please wake me up when they get to something titillating like the top 32 public relations departments. Other than that, this s is ho hum.

  • dimoko

    I have a hard time naming players on a lot of teams, let alone the owners.

  • Garry_Owen

    And if you could name them, you’d be a savant. Or it would be a “Stupid Human Trick” on Letterman.

    But somehow, it must matter where these guys are arbitrarily ranked!

  • BenRM

    “Haslam is an arrogant, rash, amoral man who believes the law doesn’t apply to him.”

    Even if it wasn’t about the Browns owner, I don’t like the kind of writing that asserts opinion as fact. It is made even more laughable by the fact that he follows up the extreme indictment of Haslam with “…oh wait….all of this is still just alleged.”

    hack piece.com

  • BenRM

    HA! I didn’t read the other comments and just wrote the same thing. Great minds 🙂

  • nj0

    Agreed. You don’t need hyperbole to explain why fans should dislike Haslam. And honestly, his legal issues are pretty low on the list of reasons. Yes, it speaks to the morals of the man, but I’m guessing most billionaires are shady to one extent or another. There’s plenty of Browns related reasons to complain. Stick to those, Mr. Internet List Making Guy.

    Also, for some reason this annoyed me: “the Browns are the most-tortured fanbase in American sports”. No, the Browns are a football team. “The Browns have the most-tortured fanbase in American sports.” Need an editor.

  • BenRM

    hahaha, very well said.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You only get one try at a first impression though and Haslam’s was horrible. And lets not forget his little issue with the government just yet either although I’m expecting him to walk away.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa they so generously gave you a team back and helped with a new stadium what is there to complain about? ;-(

  • mgbode

    Jimmy is copping, Weeden will be the one coping with it.

  • mgbode

    you mean I can get on Letterman?!?!

    I will even arbitrarily rank the top10 worst or best or most senile owners if he would like too.

  • mgbode

    Uh, the NFL helped strong-arm Herb Evans(Nationwide Ins.) to sell the team to Art Modell in 1961 who then started dismantling the empire (running off Paul & Jim Brown among others).

  • Garry_Owen

    No, you’re a savant. You missed the “or.” No Letterman for you.

  • mgbode

    Dangit. Probably my one chance for Letterman and I get the useless savant label. Sigh, maybe next time (and it better not be for Fallon!).

  • Wow

    I’m going to base it on this season. Although he definitely did not have a good first impression.