Cheerful Thoughts

Seriously, Randy, Is A Little Entertainment Too Much To Ask?

Dear Mr. Lerner:

Listen, I realize you've been a busy man lately. New coach, new GM, some hirings, lots of firings and all the primping you do for being out in front of the camera. I understand. After crapping the bed last season, you have a veritable miracle to perform in returning this great franchise to its once-storied place among the NFL elite. Ten years of complete and utter ineptitude is a lot to erase, but I trust that you're doing whatever it is you do to ensure that the Browns soon leave the list of teams never to have appeared in the Super Bowl - the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints and the Detroit Lions.

Any time you share a distinction with the Lions, you know you're doing something wrong.

The Browns also share space with our lowly football brethren to the north on another ignominious list: teams that don't have cheerleaders.

Surely, it's a paltry concern. Why worry or complain about entertainment at the game when the game is the entertainment? To you, sir, I would say, If that was the case, everyone would show up downtown just prior to kickoff and quietly take their seats sober.

While you do your very best to rectify the football wrongs done to the great city of Cleveland and finally, finally! construct a team that will lead a drunken and frozen mob into the NFL's promised land, the least you could do would be to give us something nice to look at. Forgive me, but when you allow the likes of Tim Couch and Courtney Brown to suit up in the orange-and-brown uniforms, the least you could do for that grave injustice to our retinas is to also provide cheerleaders in Halloween or Santa outfits to parade down the sidelines in a heroic effort to boost our morale.

You don't even have to say it, Randy - I know what you're thinking. Tradition. It's all about tradition. The Browns and the other teams that forego such titillating and lowbrow entertainment - the Lions, Steelers, Packers, Bears and Giants - represent what is good, right and decent about the NFL. Never would we forget where we came from, never would we bend to the will of those that seek to fundamentally change the heart and soul of what we believe in, and never would we paint over a mural of the legendary Browns players that paved the way for … what? OK, sorry, Randy, just got around to reading about Eric Mangini painting over that mural of legendary Browns players. My bad. Where was I?

Right, tradition. Wait. Hold on one sec, Randy. I'm just getting word that this column has to take a break for a few words brought to you by Charmin, the official toilet paper of the Cleveland Browns.

OK, we're back. I spent that 30 seconds trying to call your media-relations department. Couple of good people over there, I hear. Amy Palcic, Ken Mather. Good people. Never really talked to them much, and the couple of times I did, I can't blame them for shaking their heads ("Hey Amy, if Kellen Winslow's quotes in Penthouse about redesigning the uniforms are accurate, did he by chance show you any drawings he might have done himself? Do any of them involve adding a motorcycle as a logo?"). But they're bound to be helpful in a situation like this.

It's ringing, one second. Oh, they're not there anymore. Laid off. So, if the economy's this bad and you're cutting jobs around the building, wouldn't it be silly to go out and hire a bunch of cheerleaders? I mean, that's just fiscially irrespon -

Wait, while I was on hold, I just came across this 2003 article from Forbes that says cheerleaders generally bring in about $1 million in revenue. A million dollars for you, and I have something to watch while your team craps the bed (don't forget, Charmin, baby!). Pretty brilliant, if you ask me.

Usually you'll get no complaints from the rowdiest and most diehard Browns fans when a DD-cup bust is involved. But when it's Shaun Rogers, there's a problem.