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Welcome to my world

By Bert Daniels

Dear Mike Holmgren,
Welcome to my world. The world of Cleveland Browns football. Our world is partially populated by people who really need to get a life because their happiness depends upon two single letters of the alphabet, W and L. I and the rest of planet Browns feel sorry for that type of fan, but like it or not, they exist. Other more balanced fans make up the bulk of our population, but we are no less passionate about our favorite team. You see Mike, life is tough for the blue collar fans of planet Browns. A good game on Sunday does not earn a better pay check or provide health insurance. A win does not cure cancer or settle domestic disputes. Somehow though in the midst of a life that is filled with hard things it is really nice to enjoy a game that inexplicably has woven itself into the fabric of American life. Don’t argue with me Mike that this should not be so. Don’t start comparisons that pull on our heartstrings and make us feel like heels because we watch football and football makes life a bit more or less miserable. This is the reality of our world and you are now president of our world. Sure, if you do a good job we still breathe polluted air tomorrow and if you do a lacklustre job and laugh all the way to the bank we will exhale that same carcinogenic air. Life goes on and we really aren’t changed if the truth be told.

But never underestimate the value of our team to us. I’m sure you think you can dismiss that last statement because you think every fan base makes the same claim. Immediately you probably recall those fans of the frozen tundra as unique and hold special memories for you forever. They were different than many and most fan bases. Seattle, well... whatever. Give Cleveland a chance. Your legacy in Green Bay began to rust with Favre’s departure and eventual entry into Viking country. If Rogers leads the Pack to the Promised Land, the rate of decay corroding the Favre/Holmgren Superbowl win and era will accelerate much to the delight of hurt and dismayed Packer fans.

I assure you that if you take this role as president of our world seriously, and deliver a Superbowl to Cleveland, you will never be forgotten until the modern era of the NFL is replaced by a future modern era.

It won’t happen unless you take this presidency as more than a job. You didn’t take the job for the money. You didn’t take the job for the joy of setting yourself up to be scrutinized and chewed up in the media weekly. You took it because you have a pride to accomplish something that no one else has been able to do, that is to deliver a Superbowl to Cleveland Brown fans. Disagree? Then you don’t get it. Get out of town butthead.

Get it, and you have a legacy that will be inseparable with one of the most amazing fan bases in all of North American professional sports. This is what keeps you guys in the business. This is your chance at 80 to 100 year immortality. After that, who cares?

Learn the culture of planet Cleveland. Never ever look at ‘Red right 88’ or ‘the drive’ or ‘the fumble’ with your eyes again, look at them with your heart and learn to grieve with us. Learn to like players like we do. Bill ‘the genius and makes me puke’ Belichick made a football decision and threw a player named Bernie Kosar under the bus. X’s and O’s, forty yard dash speeds, and all that jazz be danged. Most Browns fans liked Kosar. He was a Browns fan. He overachieved with his ugly passing, and ran like a drunk stork. But he was a winner and he was a Brown. If you do your job, based on X’s and O’s and can’t or won’t see the intangible of guys like Kosar, you will have little success in Brownstown. You can do it, remember the kid spoken of earlier, Brett Favre. You throttled him, cursed him, loved him and won with him. He was rough as a cob, but you saw a winner, and win you did. You have to do that again. That same intangible Farve had, that our Kosar had, that Ozzie Newsome saw in the personnel that dotted the roster of his Raven championship team, you must find for your Browns. It is not only about talent. No one is foolish enough to think talent does not matter. I remember the Martyball draft days and a LB called Mike Junkin that was a bust of huge magnitude. So I do not mean that type of talentless decision, but your Browns must have a few special overachievers. Those possessing the intangible of being a winner. That’s right, “your Browns.” You signed on the dotted line and now you have inherited the whole history.

No, it’s not a new day, or era. When the Art Modell stole the Browns from our world and went to another planet, Cleveland fans refused to dawn a new era. Stubbornly and with no give, the name, colors and records stayed in Cleveland. You are not the hope for a new tomorrow, you hold the hope of a history that remains entrenched in fable, lore and hope. You belong to something bigger than Mike Holmgren. Something that was before you and will be after you. Your only hope to not be another failed and nearly forgotten name is to become a Brown within and without and fit into our world.

Don’t distance yourself from this role. Sure, your position is closer to the ownership than players on the field. Unlike the uncluttered hall between you and your new best friend Randy Lerner, you will have several layers between you and a playbook and headset. If you hire a coach to blindly run your west coast offense and not learn and understand the AFC North, you are not really our man. You’re just another disappointment to be semi forgotten. Don’t bring in a bunch of aging and mediocre Seattle leftovers. Get players who have character and want to build a future, to be part of a legacy, not guys trying to earn one more million before retirement.

Some inhabitants of our world think life sux without a Superbowl appearance or win. Poor folks... they really do need to get a life, but a little happiness for the rust belt wouldn’t hurt. A smile on the face of a hurting auto workers and the inner city kid who plasters his wall with Brown’s stuff would be good. That’s who we are. That’s who you are too.

Sorry dude, your President of a world now. This is your job. Screw us over and we will speak of you with the same venom as we say the name “Modell”. Become a Brown and bring us a winner and you will forever be one of our Browns.

1 comment:

  1. It will be great to watch Cleveland Browns, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.