Rich's Rant: Camp Columbus?? No way!

Rich thinks a rumored training camp move to Columbus would show fans that money is what matters...

A story in the Akron Beacon Journal says Browns President and CEO John Collins has thought about moving summer training camp to the Columbus area after this year.

If the story is true, there's someone in charge out in Berea who shouldn't be.

Why in the world would Collins, or anyone else in Berea connected with the CLEVELAND Browns, even think of making such a move? It makes no sense.

Training camp is the one time of the year when the fans can get up close and very personal with the players. The relaxed atmosphere defines what training camp is all about.

Some fans even arrange their work vacations so they can drive out to Berea with their children and take in two-a-days.

I'd like to think Collins is not trying to alienate the fans, but I would have a tough time defending him. One of the greatest fan bases in professional football resides right here in the Cleveland area. Why alienate it?

If the Berea complex is too close, too homey, too distracting to host summer camp, there are options that don't include a two-hour drive down Interstate 71 to a place that doesn't appreciate the Browns nearly as much as Greater Cleveland.

Hiram College, Kent State University and Lakeland Community College, homes to previous Browns training camps, are not that far from Berea, yet are far enough where it would provide enough seclusion and fewer distractions if the Browns deem that necessary.

If the club wants to provide a home-away-from-home atmosphere, any of the aforementioned campuses will provide it.  

Columbus is a great city. For Ohio State football, not Browns football.

Perhaps the Browns want to establish a foothold in Columbus to head off any possible incursions by the Cincinnati Bengals. The two cities have waged a verbal tug-of-war in an effort to curry fan favor in the state capital. That's been going on since the Bengals entered the National Football League in 1970.

Why must Columbus be a Browns town or a Bengals town? Can't the two cities coexist peacefully?

Then again, it's possible an ancillary aspect of the business – off-the-field revenues – could be at stake. If that's the case – and we must not forget that Collins is a businessman first – then eyeing a training camp site in the Columbus area makes sense. The Browns want to beat the Bengals to that potentially lucrative market.

An argument can be made by the club in support of such a move that many other teams around the NFL hold training camp somewhere other than the home city.

Well, this isn't any other city. This is Cleveland, where fans take their football seriously and their team even more seriously. Taking the team out of town would send the wrong message to those fans.

That message? It's not about winning and losing football games. It's all about making even more money.

Selling out every home game apparently isn't enough. Television revenue evidently isn't enough. Nor are the monies generated by merchandise sold in team shops.

Try something different, guys. Like putting together a winning football team. Concern yourselves with what's really important.

Not taking the Browns to Columbus.

That would suggest that Collins and Randy Lerner do not really care about the fans.

It was Miss Peggy Lee who asked the musical question "Is That All There Is?" many football seasons ago.

With that in mind, I'm beginning to wonder, Phil Savage, "Is That All There Is?"

I know the college draft will be upon us in less than four weeks and that part of Savage's job is vital to the rejuvenation of the Browns.

He got off to such a nice start with a few free-agent signings, shoring up what had been perceived as weak areas.

Welcome Gary Baxter, Joe Andruzzi, Kyle Richardson, Cosey Coleman, Trent Dilfer, Jason Fisk and Matt Stewart. OK, who's next?

That was two weeks ago. Been awfully silent since then.

So is that all there is until the draft?

The well appears to have run dry. The Browns are stuck in neutral.

What gives? 

For those of you who didn't visit the Watercooler last week, you missed this exchange under the thread "Take Kyle Orton in the 4th Round" started by isueyou with his 36th post, suggesting that the Browns draft the Purdue quarterback in said round:

rxdawg (4,174th post): (In large, bold-faced letters) Why do farts make noise? (He proceeds to answer the question.)

brownie4life (1,351st post): rx, You feelin' OK today????

rxdawg: Na, got gas.

isueyou: Hey Rx – what's your point?

rxdawg: Just sharing some scientific info.

stellardawg (991st post): Does this mean you think Kyle Orton stinks?

rxdawg: Who's Kyle Orton?

I love this site.

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