By Danny Cox
The Cleveland Browns are not looking toward the playoffs right now as they sit in the cellar of the AFC North with a 2-8 record. All they can play for at this point is some dignity and pride and to finish the season off as strong as possible. Giving up and surrendering is never an option.
Well, they almost didn’t realize that matter of opinion and were about to have all of their “Dawg Pound” call off the hounds.
Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers has no real significance for the Browns except that they can hinder a division rival’s chances of getting into the playoffs. That’s enough to make any team want to fight harder and play the role of spoiler.
In order to get fans pumped up for the game, the Browns’ organization decided to do a giveaway that would allow the crowd to show their support. Anyone that knows anything about the NFL knows about the “Terrible Towels” that Steeler fans wave madly in the air during home games. Sometimes, those towels even travel with the Steelers and are known to drive other team’s fans nuts.
Cleveland wanted to do something similar, but their methods of execution were poor.
The franchise was going to give out white flags to Browns fans as they entered Cleveland Browns Stadium, and have them wave them wildly during the game. Someone just forgot to tell the organization that white flags symbolize one thing and one thing only: surrender.
That right there implies that the Browns were giving up before the Steelers even hit town.
Sure, the Steelers have won 16 of the last 17 games versus their AFC North rivals, but that’s no reason to just lie down and get run over. Maybe the Browns are 2-8, but the Steelers are only 6-4. Pittsburgh is also coming into town as the walking wounded and playing Charlie Batch at quarterback and Plaxico Burress at wide receiver.
It’s not like either player has been burning up the field in the last few weeks. Actually, it’s not like either player has even seen a football field in the last year. The Browns have no reason to just give up before it even begins, and the players know that.
The giveaway was very poorly received by numerous people including fans, Browns staff, and even some of the players.
Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis released a statement on Saturday that the team was giving up on the idea of handing out the white flags to fans.
“…in the best interests of everyone. It is something that was intended to be fun for our fans and that they could rally around, and we regret that some didn’t perceive it that way.”
Maybe this was meant to be a giveaway that was all in fun, but why “white” flags? They couldn’t have chosen brown or even orange flags to hand out to fans? Can you imagine the scene with even a half-filled stadium waving bright orange flags over their heads? That would be incredible and one hell of an intimidator.
Making things even that much stranger is that no-one in the Browns organization seemed to know that a white flag signifies “surrender.” I mean, how does that even happen? How does not even one person in a room full of executives realize this is a bad idea?
You’d think that even the person designing the flags or making the flags or receiving the flags or opening the flags would have had the light bulb go off and say, “Wait a minute.”
Perhaps that’s why the Cleveland Browns are never really winning or even rebuilding, but just consistently losing.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.