Fan View: Mid-Season Report

Fan columnist Jeff Biletnikoff worries about the decision-making at the top of the Browns org chart.

The state of the Browns?  One of the worst teams they've ever had, if not the worst.  Not getting better anytime soon.

There is the report from the field.

Off the field, I can suffer through a bad season.  I haven't missed a game since the return and I've been through some horrifying Browns campaigns.  The first and second year (1999-2000) that they were back represented some bad football.  Anyone remember Spergon Wynn playing QB?


At least back then I felt they might be building something.  My mindset was "suffer a few years and then get many years of good football."

How has that worked out for me?

As Browns fans we're on the suffer rotation. 

A couple bad seasons are followed by a new management team followed by a little hope followed by more pathetic ineptitude.

And we have nowhere else to go.

As you've read in this space, I tried to like other teams for the first half of the first game of the 1996 season (the first season after the move) and none of them took.

To me, its Browns football or bust.

How was I to know that I could have both after the return?  Oh, happy days!  I get BOTH Browns football and bust!

We have a problem ladies and gentleman, and the problem is right at the top.

Randy Lerner, for whatever reason, has not done the job.  He has "tried" but it's not about "trying," its about results.

What are the Browns results?

Not good.

The thing that gets me is not taking advice from people that know better than you.  I didn't get why Randy Lerner ignored Ernie Accorsi's advice.

As you know, Randy Lerner enlisted the help of Ernie Accorsi.  The same guy that helped put together the last Giants Super Bowl team, the 80's Browns teams (the last time Cleveland was decent) and many other accomplishments.

Ernie Accorsi's top choice for GM last offseason?  Dave Gettleman, pro personnel director of the New York Giants.

Randy Lerner chooses?

George Kokinis.


Randy Lerner has stated over and over again in many different ways that he is not a football expert.  Why did he go against Accorsi, who is regarded as one of the best football minds in the history of the NFL?

Would Mr. Gettleman have made a difference?  No way to tell.

However, not hiring him is a symptom of something larger.  Unlike 1999-2000, I have zero faith that things can be turned around.  When I see an owner continue to follow his own counsel right over a cliff time and time again, I have a feeling that we are in for more and more terrible football in Cleveland.

Mr. Lerner, please take the advice of the Ernie Accorsi's of the world. 

Give us fans a reason to have faith again.

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