An Open Letter to Jimmy Haslam…

Dear Jimmy Haslam,

How are you doing? I know it’s been cold here. It’s freezing. Then again, that’s the time of year. It’s depressing because it’s nearly the end of the football season, it’s after Christmas and it’s cold.

Speaking of cold and depressing, I’ve watched the team this season. I saw the ups and downs. I was there. Was it the prettiest season? No. But, see, I’m a Bengals fan. We’ve seen some pretty low seasons. We’ve been the butt of jokes and embarrassed plenty of times.

I get it. This wasn’t a fun time this year. It’s been downright painful. Besides that, everyone wants to give their two cents and tell you how to handle the situation. 3-13 for the season isn’t fun.

You’re under stress. I understand that. You’ve got to figure out who to cut and who to keep. Understandable. Really. But I wonder… who really had to go?

I liked Mike Pettine. I think the guy tried his hardest with what he had. I also think he had faith in those who didn’t deserve his faith. Did he have to go? I’m not convinced. I think another year might have been the clicking point. But then again, I also believe it takes more than two years to turn the boat around.

Who did need to go? Ray Farmer for one. If the guy can’t keep his texts to himself and can’t be professional, then he’s not meant for the team. His control over personnel was a little shaky, too. I’m sorry, but the draft picks weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

Speaking of draft picks… I wanted to like Johnny Football. I tried to like him. I did. I even gave him the benefit of the doubt when he had the traffic stop in Avon. But there’s only so much a fan can take. He wasn’t professional. He didn’t show up. He wasn’t committed. We need commitment to make the team move on cue.

I guess that’s my biggest question here. Are you committed? Are you willing to let the right people do their collective jobs to make the team great? Feels like you’re holding the reins too tightly in order to get a quick turnaround. In Cleveland, nothing is easy or quick.

That’s the thing about Cleveland. We need time to develop. We need the space to get a few things wrong before we right the ship. We need to fail before we can get up again. We also have faith. Cleveland, for all the bad jokes, awful nicknames and slurs, has one heck of a fan base. We’re rabid for our teams. Until you came along, it was pretty unshakable.

Making a hundred changes and griping…and letting the QB do whatever he seems to want will not attract hard workers to Cleveland. Scrapping the head honchos every couple of years doesn’t help. It makes it hard to keep the hard workers you’ve already got. Continuity and taking a breath here and there will help. Give the right people the chance to do their collective jobs and you just might see the change you want.

I like the team and love Cleveland. I want to see the team great again. I know it can be. Have a little faith and patience. Breathe. It will get better if you take some time to breathe and let the bugs work themselves out.

Just my two cents.

Sincerely,

a Loyal Browns Fan

 

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