One of the most overblown stories of the week is Jim Brown’s return to the Cleveland Browns as a special adviser.
While we would agree that Brown is the greatest football player of all time, in the grand scheme of things, this is just a nice public relations move, that is all.
Brown will have little impact on the field, outside of talking to players about the importance of being a Brown, sharing the rich tradition of the franchise, even though that heritage seemingly ends with the decade of the 1980’s, the last time Cleveland’s franchise was relevant in the NFL.
Look, it is better to have the team’s greatest player on the side of the current ownership and administration than it is to have him on the outside, but let’s face it, Brown is somewhat of a loose canyon, and that’s what he wants to be.
However, it is hard to forget Brown showing up with Art Modell when the Ravens, at that time just recently moved to Baltimore, went to their first Super Bowl. He also counts Bill Belichick as a “friend”, and talked to the Patriots on the coach’s behalf during one of their visits to the Super Bowl.
Don’t forget, he also defended LeBron James’ departure when the superstar turned his back on the franchise and went to Miami.
Brown may say he respects and loves the fans of Cleveland, but he is certainly not one of us. He has turned his back on the Cleveland fan base time and again.
Brown will defend himself by saying he is his own man, always was and always will be. But his actions make it difficult for the fan base of the brown and orange to embrace him fully.
He even snubbed his nose at the fans when he decided to let his feelings toward former team president Mike Holmgren get in the way of attending the unveiling of the Browns’ “Ring of Honor”.
That’s right, the greatest Brown of them all decided to skip the event because he was mad at a front office guy.
The event was staged to allow the fans to honor and remember the rich heritage that is the Cleveland Browns’ franchise. At one point, a very long time ago (1950’s and 60’s), the Browns were the hallmark franchise of the NFL, winning league titles in 1950, 1954, 1955, and 1964, and making the playoffs 15 times from 1950 through 1972.
Brown didn’t care about that, he had his own personal agenda, which didn’t include the football fans in this city. He will say it is principle, we say it was a slap in the face to the fans.
#32 will no doubt be active in the community, and he has a great history of helping youths in gangs and in the inner city. That cannot be considered anything but a good thing.
Still, Brown will have minimal effect on the product on the field, and after decades of losing seasons, that is what is important to supporters of the Browns.
The legend, #32, the greatest running back in the history of the league, is back with the Cleveland Browns. Excuse us for not thinking it is a big deal.