Same Old Browns

Posted: February 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

On October 16th, 2012, former Philadelphia Eagles’ President Joe Banner was hired by new Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam to be the team’s CEO. Months later, the duo fired coach Pat Shurmur after just two years and replaced him with Carolina Panthers’ offensive 130416174625-jimmy-haslam-single-image-cutcoordinator Rob Chudzinski. Shortly after that, Haslam hired executive Mike Lombardi as the team’s new General Manager.

One year later, everyone but Haslam is gone.

The organization announced today that Banner and Lombardi, the latter of whom was signed less than a year ago, are no longer with the organization. Lombardi will be replaced by another former Philadelphia Eagle, Ray Farmer, who played linebacker for the team in the mid-to-late 1990s. Granted, losing Banner may be addition by subtraction. But, the instability that has become ingrained in the Cleveland culture ever since their return to the NFL in 1999 is alive and well. Browns fans had hoped that Haslam’s purchase of the team in 2012 would help lead them to new horizons. Instead, his lackluster leadership has only served to drag the team further into the cesspool of the NFL’s also-rans.

Since the Browns were re-created as an expansion team, they’ve burnt through 8 coaches in 15 years. From Chris Palmer, who took the reigns of the team in 1999 and was out following the 2000 season; the team moved on to former Miami coach Butch Davis. Following a playoff berth for the first and only time in their post-expansion existence in 2002, Davis was canned in 2004. Following a brief interim stint by Terry Robiskie, the Browns moved on to Bill Belichick disciples Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini from 2005-2010. Neither coach ever experienced much success, with Crennel earning the most wins in the team’s brief history with a 10-6 2007 campaign. Shurmer and Chudzinski, the team’s two most recent commanders, have gone a combined 13-35 in three seasons. The Browns haven’t won more than 5 games since that 2007 season.

No, the problem isn’t the coach. Nor is it the GM or the executives in the front office. The problem is the culture. Cleveland may “rock” according to Drew Carey. But, they stink worse than a used gym sock stuffed with sardines when it comes to sports. The city has not won a championship since the Browns were crowned in 1964. That’s 50-years of epic futility for a town that doesn’t exactly have much to fall back on.

Cleveland fans thought they were getting their savior in Jimmy Haslam. Instead, they received yet another painful reminder of how putrid their sports culture truly is. Haslam, as it turns out, is no savior. Instead, he’s just another rich, overbearing figure who will be swallowed up and spit out by the massive black hole known as the city of Cleveland.


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