I haven't decided whether or not to wade into the mess that is the Brown vs. Browns situation. For the moment, here's the trailer from Jim Brown's role as Slaughter. Damn right.
WFNY posted a roundtable discussion amongst their writers on the topic of the Dawg Pound. Of course it wasn't just about the physical Dawg Pound itself; it was a debate about the identity of the Browns as the dawgs and whether the organization or fans should be holding onto that identity.
Hypothetically there are people who don't care about the Dawg Pound anymore, or at least who don't care to call it the Dawg Pound anymore, and there are hypothetically fans who aren't intricately attached to the dawg identity. Really. Apparently.
Here's just a snippet written by DP:
The truth is that once Muni fell, the real Dawg Pound fell with it. Some fans hold on to it for many different reasons, perhaps: 1) it reminds them of a time when they were younger and crazier, 2) it reminds them of a time when the team was good year in and year out, or maybe most specifically 3) it reminds them of a time when the stadium—specifically that end of it—was one of the best home field advantages in football and that they were part of the reason why. I don’t have to tell anyone that goes to CBS regularly how insignificant the home field advantage of the last decade has been. Go to a Steelers game now; the stadium is generally 20 percent y’inzers.
I don’t know why some cling to the Dawg Pound brand. But, I can speak with pretty solid certainty that most of the true “Dawg Pound” fans that still have their tickets down there would tell you that it isn’t the Dawg Pound anymore, and that it shouldn’t be called the Dawg Pound anymore because to do so is an insult and a disservice to what the original Dawg Pound actually was and stood for.
For me, I look at it in a couple of ways, since I’m technically a “newbie” down there in the grand scheme of things. To continue calling it the Dawg Pound is to imply that we have a preconceived belief that Browns football will never be as good as it was back then. That’s not only unfair, but it’s self-defeating. If, based on early returns, this new front office can build a winning team, how is it fair to that team to be implicitly compared to teams of twenty years ago? It also sets a strange standard for younger Browns fans, perhaps one that shouldn’t be emulated. After all, the Dawg Pound of old was like the Wild West.
Other WFNYers made it clear it was more than just about the Pound, that the whole brand, imagery, and the corporate Brownies pushing the aforementioned imagery on fans is a problem. These Browns need to create their own identity! These Browns and this generation of fans can't live in the past!
I call bullshit.
The night of The Decision, a couple hundred fans were gathered outside the Harry Buffalo watching the debacle on the big screen. When the words 'South Beach' left LeBron's mouth, do you know what the first audible reaction from the crowd was? It wasn't a chorus of boos. It wasn't silence. It was a ringing and loud collection of voices screaming, "Here we go Brownies, here we go, woof woof."
It's the same chant you hear in the Muni Lot, the same chant you hear walking from The Pit towards the gates, the same chant you hear in bars.
I love that chant now as much as I did when I first participated in it in the upper reaches of the open end of the old stadium during a mid-December game against the Oilers when I was a kid.
Advocating that fans and the team move away from the dawg direction is advocating the abolition of that chant, which is just about one of the most unifying and cool things about Browns fans.
That is all. Here's my favorite fan-made Cleveland Browns video ever in case you're feeling video-y this afternoon.
Update: Comment from the City of Cleveland's Kathleen Dorsey — "This was a city decision - we are merely bringing the opening of Muni Lot in line with other lots in the area. Patrons arriving prior to the opening of the lot will be allowed to stage their vehicles at the eastern section of Muni Lot near the tennis courts thus addressing traffic issues."
Those rumors you might have heard about the Muni Lot not opening until 7 a.m. on days of Browns home games this year? They're true.
The City of Cleveland Division of Parking Facilities just confirmed the later opening for the upcoming season.
I'm waiting on an explanation and comment from the parking director. I'll update when I hear back from him.
As for what drove the decision, what it means for traffic, and why in the world anyone would find it necessary to delay the opening of the grandest and most-populated tailgate parking lot in the city? Those are all good questions.
Scene classifieds director Joe Strailey happens to be a season ticket holder and a Muni Lot loyalist. Here's what he had to say about the change: "Traffic is already backed up getting into Muni Lot early on a Sunday morning. With limited entrance points, I fear I'm going to have to leave my house earlier than before, to then sit in traffic for an hour or longer. I may avoid tailgating Week 1 to see how it works. Such a shame."
Did the Browns have something to do with this? Mike Holmgren already laid down the law on the topic of fan behavior earlier this year, and if the organization is worried about cleaning up the fans' acts, then it wouldn't be a far jump to assume they might have placed a call to the city about trying to curtail the early, early morning activities at the Muni Lot.
Of course, that's foolish, both the belief that delaying the opening until 7 a.m. will do anything to stop fans from imbibing in the early morning hours and the belief that the Muni Lot is somehow part of a nonexistent problem. The Muni Lot is actually representative of the best that Browns fans can be and any notion to punish the majority for the sins of a small minority is misguided.
And we haven't even talked about the snarling traffic problems a later opening is bound to create.
Again, when I hear some answers, they'll be posted here.
Sad day, Browns fans. Sad day.
Twitter can be confusing. All technology can be confusing actually. And even it's not confusing, there's inevitably going to be unintended mistakes. Everyone's done the "reply all" by accident at least once. You've texted someone else instead of the desired recipient, and for humor's sake, hopefully you've sent something wildly inappropriate.
Which brings us to Paul Hoynes. More than once since Hoynsie has joined Twitter, he's sent out messages publicly that were seemingly private. The inclination here, at least for me, was to be snarky, post the messages, make some jokes about his mustache and old men and technology and move on.
I thought differently today, so I asked Paul what was up with the cryptic public private tweets. Secret messages to Albert Belle? Communiques to agents?
Nope. Just text messages to his wife that he sent to Twitter by mistake.
You can all go back to your lives now. Paul loves his wife, that's the end of the story.
Follow me on Twitter: @vincethepolack
When in Columbus...
President Obama visited with the Weithman family in Ohio yesterday. After tackling the tough issues — whether the Buckeyes will unleash Pryor's passing attack more this season, whether red or gray is a better color for Tressel's sweater vest, etc. —and talking about the nation, the President provided the O in O-H-I-O.
John Mayer played Blossom recently and wore a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey at some point. He didn't stop with the aesthetic backing of the Forest City, additionally claiming that in Miami, the last stop on his current tour, he will wear the Cavs jersey on stage.
You know, we still think John Mayer's a douchenozzle, but he's kind of growing on us.