Friday, September 21, 2012

Talkin' Browns!

Talkin' Browns is another occasional feature where I will
discuss Browns issues from off the field and some thoughts about the team on various topics.

The hot topic of the day is Jimmy Haslam's meeting with Cleveland city officials to "find ways to maximize Browns Stadium".
These immediately got the Cleveland media buzzing about changing CBS and installing a retractable dome.
Folks,that is not going to happen,so I would not even give that a second thought.
Cleveland Browns Stadium is built on the remnants of the original Cleveland Municipal Stadium,which was built on a landfill.
To make this brief-the foundation would not able to support a roof as is and retrofitting a 13 year old stadium to add that feature would likely be cost prohibitive,so this is not a concern at all to me.
However,if it was a concern,I would clearly be against it.
The one advantage that cold weather teams such as Cleveland,Buffalo,Chicago,Green Bay etc, have is the winter weather and I would hate to see this advantage tossed away like Minnesota (Zero Super Bowls since moving indoors) and Detroit have done.

Jimmy Haslam has talked about the need for marketing the product and making changes on many levels.
I have no problem selling naming rights to the stadium,if some money can be made.
It is not like the Cleveland Browns Stadium name is iconic or anything,so I have little to object to with that idea.

However,I do have major issues with any prospective uniform changes that cover more than taking Al Lerner's initials off the sleeves and that includes any changes to the helmet.
Cleveland Browns fans fought so hard to keep those colors and heritage,which includes the uniforms and helmet and to change now seems silly to me.
I understand the temptation to try to sell more merchandise by the thinking of new stuff sells,but I think this will be a disappointment to Mr.Haslam.
In order to change anything radically,you have to either change the helmets or go to either orange jerseys or the two tone style,which usually are a dismal failure and get changed as soon they possibly can as Buffalo did when they made that error.
If you want to stay away from that,then you have to make a minor change and considering that,why even bother?
In the end,it would be a mistake to try it and if they do,they will quickly have to play out the string (When you change uniforms,there is a commitment to not change again for a specified period of time) and then return to the traditional Browns uniforms.

The Browns will have their best chance for an early season win this Sunday with the Buffalo Bills hitting Lake Erie.
This game is very important to the Browns as it means the difference between 1-4 and 0-5 as the Browns travel to Baltimore and New York after this game for games against the Ravens and Giants and neither of those look like winnable games for the Brownies.
Why does that sound like a big deal?
Well,it might be a damn big deal to Pat Shurmur,who could then take 0-5 into two winnable games against the Bengals at home and at Indianapolis before Baltimore going into the bye week.
So if one is 0-5,splits the two winnable games and then loses to Baltimore that equals 1-7 with the bye coming up,Dallas and Pittsburgh waiting on the other side,Jimmy Haslam being the official owner by then-that spells this scenario.
Pat Shurmur goes,Either Brad Childress or Dick Jauron in as interim coach,more likely Jauron as Haslam shows right away that losing is not acceptable.
That is why this game is important to Pat Shurmur and he knows it.

I have a soft spot for Buffalo,especially since they adopted their retro uniforms and dumped those horrific two tone togs (See,Mr Haslam what works?).
I had hoped that the Bills would have wound up in the AFC North when the divisions were realigned for two reasons.
First,Buffalo would have been a perfect fit geographically with both teams off Lake Erie along with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and it also would have taken away some of the sting of the Ravens as they would have not played as often.
It would never have taken it away as Baltimore fans know when they play the Colts,the pain is still there,but it would have died down a bit.

One more word on the on field product as corner Sheldon Brown's role will be downplayed and he will play fewer snaps with Buster Skrine and Dmitri Patterson earning more playing time.
Now,if the Browns would have listened to me and realized that Brown was not a full time corner before the season started and addressed this issue in the off season,perhaps the Joe Haden suspension would not have hit the team as hard as it has!

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