For many in the exalted community of men, women, and children who understand that the solutions for world peace and ending global hunger directly correlate to the success of the Cleveland Browns, Sashi Brown and his legacy refuses to be clearly resolved. It stands as an annoying backdrop to every draft pick, roster cut, and starting lineup decision. Much like the fly who established residence in your kitchen when little Tommy forgot to close the door on his way upstairs to get washed up from Little League, it never ceases to buzz, and drives us slowly to the precipice of insanity. It has its own hashtag and has divided families.
The time has arrived to finally close said door and shoo away that fly. I have asked myself: “What would Sashi say?” I have put myself in the shoes of our protagonist (or antagonist) and have given myself the liberty of penning an open letter in his name to Browns fans everywhere. Admittedly this is completely without his blessing or approval but men have done far worse in the pursuit of peace and harmony.
Dear Cleveland Browns loyalists, wherever you may be found,
On January 3, 2016, I was given the keys to a once proud franchise. My mission was to bring back the long-forgotten pride of wearing brown and orange uniforms and helmets without logos. We would not rest until Sundays returned from what has become a day to clean the garage in frustration back to being a time spent in front of the TV with our offspring sprawled on the carpet around us.
Fellow Americans, I am here to tell you I had a plan. I would use all the tools at my disposal to embark on a total teardown and rebuild. I have never shied away from the fact that it would hurt. Deeply. You would find people wistfully reminiscing about the last family Thanksgiving dinner or the gory details of a shattering breakup to escape the pain of what was unfolding on the screen. Yet I believed. I desperately wished to succeed. With a combination of the much-maligned A word and good scouting, we would acquire valuable assets and set up a long era that would become forever known as the glory days of Browns football.
We made great progress in that direction. Valuable capital was gathered diligently and we looked primed to begin the climb out upward. Yes, we made grievous errors. Confounding draft day decisions and a coach that I never wanted or hired, all contributed to my never getting the chance to finish what I started. I will forever wonder if my unfulfilled future held a statue on the lakefront or another failed GM job relegated to the dustbins of history.
That, however, is for me alone to live with. You, my dear former subjects, are urged to move onward. There is a bright path ahead. Quit agonizing over Carson and embrace Baker. Wake up from the nightmare of 0 and 16 and 1 and 31, and begin to dream of 12 and 4 and 11 and 5. The drafts of my tenure are over. The players I passed on aren’t riding in on a white horse and the ones I chose are stocking shelves in Walmart. The assessment of my abilities and execution of my ideas are for another day. Much won’t be known until years down the road. Leave the past to my crushed ambitions and embrace a present filled with limitless potential. Now it’s about Mayfield, Garrett, and a perennial playoff contender. The moment has arrived. Let us end the Sashi Wars.
It is your time, Cleveland. Let there be peace.
Former Executive VP of Football Operations