Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

The best thing we’ve read in a long time

If you are only going to read one other item the rest of today (other than this site, of course), you would be hard pressed to find a better article than Vince Grzegorek’s interview with Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner in Scene magazine.

Over the course of five interviews Grzegorek got Lerner to open up about the Browns in a way that we’ve rarely seen.

A few items stand out from the piece:

  • Lerner clearly cares about the team and, just as importantly, about the fans. When the NFL came up with a ridiculous prototype of a new Browns uniform – complete with white helmet – Lerner said no. When the league and his fellow owners criticize Lerner for not selling the naming rights to Cleveland Browns Stadium or for not trying to squeeze every last dollar out of Browns fans, Lerner tells them where to go.
  • There is little reason to believe that Lerner is somehow being fleeced by team president Mike Holmgren. The notion that Holmgren is just cashing a paycheck handed to him by a disinterested and distracted Lerner is beyond absurd.
  • Reading about Lerner’s charitable work – trips to Afghanistan to visit U.S. troops, co-chairman of the U.S. Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, his donation to the National Portrait Gallery in London – makes it clear he is anything but “pathetic and irrelevant.”

The biggest takeaway is that Lerner wants to get this right and bring a winner to Cleveland. Just because he doesn’t need to feed his ego by constantly going in front of a group of reporters, like Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care.

Many Browns fans have a hard time wrapping their head around that idea, but that’s there problem. Lerner gets criticized for way too many things that have nothing to do with the success of the Browns.

But after reading this article, it would be hard for fans to carry on with that fiction.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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