Randy Lerner, owner of the Cleveland Browns, stated that he is “Sick” about the state of his franchise. Finally Cleveland, the owner’s now on board! Not since the rebirth in 1999 have the owner and the loyal fans seen eye to eye, but now maybe times are a changing. I am still worried that this only comes as a response to the proposed sit out this coming Monday night in Cleveland.
Two longtime Cleveland season ticket holders, Tony Schafer and Mike Randall (Dawg Pound Mike) have organized a temporary sit out for the start of next weeks Monday night game against the Baltimore Ravens. They plan to meet with owner Randy Lerner on Tuesday morning, in which they will present Lerner with over 2000 emails they received since launching this initiative. They also hope to urge Lerner to speak to the Cleveland fan base. Now with this in mind let’s look at this in the Cleveland fan frame of mind.
We as fans, finally had the opportunity to make our feelings known on a global scale, and these two devoted individuals have gone and messed it up. Absolutely nothing that will benefit the fans, or the product put before us, by these men meeting with Mr. Lerner. The only one who benefits is Lerner. He makes a necessary statement after the 30-6 loss to Chicago going into the bye week. He then takes a 20 minute meeting to prevent his organization from losing millions more from the Monday night sit out. It’s very easy for Mr. Lerner to say the right things, throw a few names around of help he’s seeking, and thank and reward them for being such loyal fans. In truth, if Cleveland fans would really boycott, not only the kickoff but the first quarter, you’d see some changes. The average stadium is 80-85% filled at kickoff, we are 1-7, we’ll be lucky to get 85%(62,220) to show. Take away 20,000 (2000 emails x 10, everybody has friends) boycotting kickoff, and we are at 58%(42,220) for kickoff. You think anyone will notice the more than half filled stadium, wondering why so many people are actually there. Great boycott. Do you feel like you did your part?
Now really boycott. Try staying away for the whole first quarter. I know it’s hard, we are willing to show up year after year, no weather, no record, no hope, still there. Just tailgate a little longer, spreading the word. The vast majority going to this game are the faithful, and they tailgate. That 20,000 can quickly grow when it’s one big party. I can see the blimp shot now, empty stadium, and lots full of tailgaters. That would make a mark. That would take notice by the NFL, their sponsors, and especially Mr. Lerner. We’d probably lose any chance at Prime time games for the foreseeable future, so no Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday nights, and definitely no London. Consistency finally, for our players and for the fans. We play Sunday afternoon, period. That’s a small piece of the boycott pie.
I’ve read a wonderful book by Terry Pluto-”False Start: How the New Browns Where Set to Fail”, that gave me great insight as to how this organization was reborn. The Cleveland Browns are a NFL ship with Lerner at the helm, destination unknown, course the same. If we all lean to one side, maybe we can do more than rock the boat.