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Re: Haslam returns to Pilot the Truck Stops

Posted: 2/11/2013 3:47 PM

Re: Haslam returns to Pilot the Truck Stops 


Not that I'd expect people to care but he never did anything other than take steps to allow him a temporary hiatus.  He replaced himself as acting CEO with someone he trusted while appointing himself Emeritus status.  The breathless media reports at the time were laughably inaccurate when they portrayed him handing over his family company's reigns and focusing solely on the Browns.

He bought a house and people think that means he was becoming a Clevelander.  I wish I had a giant eyeroll icon. 

He needed to take enough time to set up his new billion dollar enterprise.  He's done that.  He's happy with where it is.  Now he's going to get back to his real family legacy.

Honestly what the hell does an owner do for a football team in the offseason?    Meanwhile Flying-J has no offseason and is where Haslem has to go to get his CEO'ness on.  As far as what happens to PepsiCo guy he's not only going to be involved with Flying J but apparantly the Browns as well. 

So obviously (to me) Jimmy promised him CEO role to entice him to leave PepsiCo.  Now that he wanted it back he had to give him at least a little something in order to get it done w/o a fight.

So he gave him a piece of consulting with the Browns.

Welcome to being a fan of one man's toy.

Last edited 2/11/2013 3:50 PM by 0tter

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Posted: 2/11/2013 4:49 PM

Re: Haslam returns to Pilot the Truck Stops 


OTTER:

The breathless media reports at the time were laughably inaccurate when they portrayed him handing over his family company's reigns and focusing solely on the Browns.

AA:

Do these seem like unreasonable interpretations of events?

For Browns fans, this could be considered a positive development, as Haslam should now have significantly more time to run his new football franchise. That could be a stark contrast from the team's previous ownership headed by Randy Lerner, who never had a reputation for being deeply committed to running the organization.

http://cleveland.sbnation.com/cleveland-browns/201 2/9/12/3321380/jimmy-haslam-browns-owner-pilot-fly ing-j

The news broke late last night and most Cleveland outlets have picked it up already by now, but it is still important to note. What this means for the future is unknown, but it at least indicates the Browns could have a much more watchful steward than Randy Lerner going forward, something that became evident when Jimmy Haslam was in Pat Shurmur’s press conference following the opening week loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/2012/09/jimmy-ha slam-hires-his-replacement-at-pilot-flying-j/

At Haslam’s introductory press conference as Browns future owner on Aug. 3, he was asked how much time he intended to spend in Cleveland on football business.

“We’ll split our time between Knoxville and Cleveland,” Haslam said. “I’m still going to be CEO of Pilot Flying J. It’s a big company and I’ll spend a pretty good amount of time running that, but we’ll take, as I said earlier, whatever time necessary in Cleveland really to do two things: one, to bring a winner back here, but number two, to become a part of the Cleveland community.”

The only reasonable conclusion you can reach is that Haslam has spent enough time walking the halls of Berea, examining the books, and, yes, sitting in on personnel meetings, to realize there is a lot of work to be done immediately with the Browns.


http://espncleveland.com/common/more.php?m=49& post_id=4851

Lot of COULD's and cautious optimism from the media.  If there were breathless assumptions, they were coming from fans.  Still, a bit of bloviating with the "whatever time necessary in Cleveland... to bring a winner."  Guess he meant a winning front office.


And while I'm no fan of Mike Florio, he does hit the nail with this...

Former Browns owner Randy Lerner was criticized for being an absentee landlord.  New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam suddenly is, well, an absentee landlord.

Six months after stepping down as CEO of Pilot Flying J, Haslam has returned, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.  Haslam replaces former PepsiCo president John Compton, who will remain as a strategic adviser.  (Which could mean he’ll eventually fade away quietly in lieu of being publicly poop-canned now.)

Still, Haslam is saying, “It’s not him, it’s me.”  Sort of.


“This is about me realizing my first love is running Pilot Flying J and wanting to return to that job,” Haslam said.

In a statement released to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, spokesman Neal Gulkis said of Haslam’s move, “It’s not going to affect his involvement with the team nor is it going to have any impact on the operations of the Browns.”

As a practical matter, however, the move nudges CEO Joe Banner into the Mike Holmgren role.  With Haslam out of the picture on a day-to-day basis and ensconced in the family business that helped him earn the money to buy the Browns, Banner is now the lead dog in the Dawg Pound.


http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/02/11/ne w-browns-owner-returns-to-his-former-job/

So if people want to say Lerner gave up and gave the keys to Walrus, how is this any different with Haslam and Banner? 

Mind you, it's not necessarily a bad tact.  Haslam is not claiming to be an NFL expert, so he's letting the football people handle the football stuff. 

But same tact in the front office, different reaction from fans.

OTTER:

He bought a house and people think that means he was becoming a Clevelander.  I wish I had a giant eyeroll icon. 

AA:

Agree.  It just meant he didn't want to stay in a hotel on on home game weekends. 
Far more palatable than landing at Burke Sunday morning and flying out 12 hours later.

OTTER:

He needed to take enough time to set up his new billion dollar enterprise.  He's done that.  He's happy with where it is.  Now he's going to get back to his real family legacy.

AA:

Well, we don't quite know for he had enought time to set it all up and be happy with it. 
We DO know that whatever he's done is enough for him to declare now is time to return to the family business.

OTTER:

Honestly what the hell does an owner do for a football team in the offseason? 

AA:

Strangely, never heard that asked of any owner from Modell on down. 

Indeed, what does an owner do DURING the season... beyond showing up for games and an obligatory walk around Berea within the first few days of tc?

How much time do owners spend on team business... versus the business that made them all the money in the first place?

How many owners eventually divested themselves from their businesses to make their team a full time devotion?

How hands on/off will Haslam be compared to other NFL owners?

And does it really matter as long as he hired the right people to run the football side?

Lots of questions for the beat writers to research in the coming weeks.

Personally, I would have been more comfortable with this move had at least another year gone by, the team was obviously improving, and the proof was there that a good management team was in place... and that Haslam could say, "Mission Accomplished."
with a little more conviction than if he was wearing a flight suit.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 10:51 AM

Re: Haslam returns to Pilot the Truck Stops 



0tter wrote: Not that I'd expect people to care but he never did anything other than take steps to allow him a temporary hiatus.  He replaced himself as acting CEO with someone he trusted while appointing himself Emeritus status.  The breathless media reports at the time were laughably inaccurate when they portrayed him handing over his family company's reigns and focusing solely on the Browns.

He bought a house and people think that means he was becoming a Clevelander.  I wish I had a giant eyeroll icon. 

He needed to take enough time to set up his new billion dollar enterprise.  He's done that.  He's happy with where it is.  Now he's going to get back to his real family legacy.

Honestly what the hell does an owner do for a football team in the offseason?    Meanwhile Flying-J has no offseason and is where Haslem has to go to get his CEO'ness on.  As far as what happens to PepsiCo guy he's not only going to be involved with Flying J but apparantly the Browns as well. 

So obviously (to me) Jimmy promised him CEO role to entice him to leave PepsiCo.  Now that he wanted it back he had to give him at least a little something in order to get it done w/o a fight.

So he gave him a piece of consulting with the Browns.

Welcome to being a fan of one man's toy.
Pol, from an operational standpoint we all know you are correct. Like dude can't mix in a 30 minute skype call from anywhere to stay in touch. Unless you believe strongly in MBWA, like, oh, I dunnno, a CEO rumored to make  pop in visits to his truck stops for QC, nothing is really lost.

Butt.... From the standpoint of connection between what he said he'd do and what he is doing, there is yet another chasm. Another data point of BS from this new management group. May not manefest itself in anyway, and yet again it may.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 3:43 PM

Re: Haslam returns to Pilot the Truck Stops 


"Welcome to being a fan of one man's toy."

-- Well, other than possibly the Packers, that's pretty much true of any team. For better or worse.

It might be more logical if communities owned and controlled teams, but I doubt if the rich owners and the rich union officials would approve. Those fans have some money and they want it. A different take on wealth distribution in a way.

Much has and is happening and evolving. People tending towards optimism or towards pessimism have plenty of "facts" to conveniently point in the direction they want.

Welcome to being a victim of one man's agenda...?

I don't have too much problem with Haslam taking a backseat at this point. At least he's done something in his time and perhaps the Browns will get some useful experience from that. 

I like the coaches, but I do wonder at the Banner/Lombardi structure. We'll see what they produce. Hopefully it's a winning toy.

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Posted: 2/12/2013 4:30 PM

Re: Haslam returns to Pilot the Truck Stops 


HOLE:

It might be more logical if communities owned and controlled teams, but I doubt if the rich owners and the rich union officials would approve.

AA:

Owners I can see... but "rich union officials?"  Did you just stumble out of a time capsule from 1960?
Why would unions-- or what's left of them-- care who owns a major pro sports team?  Iz got ta know.

HOLE:

Those fans have some money and they want it. A different take on wealth distribution in a way.

AA:

No kidding about a different take.  Green Bay is woefully behind the rest of the state in terms of medium income.  This isn't exactly Lake Conemaugh and Carnegie, Mellon, Frick and their South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club cronies. 

HOLE:

Much has and is happening and evolving. People tending towards optimism or towards pessimism have plenty of "facts" to conveniently point in the direction they want.

AA:

And plenty of rationalizations, like-- what the hell DOES an owner do in the off season anyway?  Never heard that one until this week.  Talk about any port in a storm!

HOLE:

I don't have too much problem with Haslam taking a backseat at this point. At least he's done something in his time and perhaps the Browns will get some useful experience from that. 

AA:

What... that is... THAT?

He came.

He saw.

And with steely determination, he...

hired Banner and Lombardi.

sold stadium naming rights.

pondered stadium improvements, namely a dome.

petitioned the league for friggin' uniform changes.

And lo, on the seventh day, He rested.

I forgot to include paving the way for their being the subject of a travel channel documentary. 

HOLE:

I like the coaches, but I do wonder at the Banner/Lombardi structure. We'll see what they produce. Hopefully it's a winning toy.


AA:

Agree, and what you've articulated is the same old, same old:  doubt about the existing structure and hoping for the best... because we're fans.

But hey, as they used to say at Three Mile Island, that's fuel into the reactor system now.

He's gone back to his professed first love.  At least we know where we stand. 

One for the beat writers to track next fall:  what percentage of the 12 Vols games will Haslam attend versus the 16 Browns games?  Will he jet out to the coast Saturday for the Vols-Ducks, get Flying J work done on the flight back, then after a catnap and two Bloody Marys, muster up the steel determination to take in a Sunday game?

Then surely we're ahead of the game!
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Posted: 2/12/2013 8:40 PM

Re: Haslam returns to Pilot the Truck Stops 


"AA:

Agree, and what you've articulated is the same old, same old:  doubt about the existing structure and hoping for the best... because we're fans."

-- Let me start with the bottom line we fans end up paying attention to. We come, we see, we hope.

"Why would unions-- or what's left of them-- care who owns a major pro sports team?  Iz got ta know."

-- Player unions would want a team owned by rich owners who can keep paying high player salaries. If that indirectly is propped up by corporate influence in a sport or by higher food and drink prices or by higher ticket prices or by higher whatever, so be it. How fans are emptied of their funds isn't really important as long as players can be paid as well as possible. 

"AA:

No kidding about a different take.  Green Bay is woefully behind the rest of the state in terms of medium income.  This isn't exactly Lake Conemaugh and Carnegie, Mellon, Frick and their South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club cronies."

-- It's too bad if Packer fans end up paying a larger percentage of discretionary funds they may have than other fans from, say, New York. It might be a good thing if fans via community ownership had more real power and influence in how things were done and how funds were handled. 

Not going to happen any time soon, but imagine there's no heaven. Or outside interests that override local influence.

"HOLE:

I don't have too much problem with Haslam taking a backseat at this point. At least he's done something in his time and perhaps the Browns will get some useful experience from that. 

AA:

What... that is... THAT?"

-- Hope. That's what I'm reduced to.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:34 AM

Laying the Solid Foundation 


HOLE:

Player unions would want a team owned by rich owners who can keep paying high player salaries.

AA:

And so if a community owned franchise would not be able to pay top dollar in players salaries, then Green Bay must rank pretty low on payroll.  Bottom quarter of the league seem about right?

According to an ESPN article on all professional sports franchises last year (hint:  LeBron, you should have taken up soccer at St. V's), Green Bay finished 10th among NFL teams with highest payroll. 

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7850531/espn-ma gazine-sportingintelligence-global-salary-survey-e spn-magazine

The working class Packers are paying out more in players salaries than notorious free spender Dan Snyder.

HOLE:

 It's too bad if Packer fans end up paying a larger percentage of discretionary funds they may have than other fans from, say, New York.

AA:

They don't.  Green Bay ticket prices are in the middle of the pack among NFL teams.  No surprise that NY and NE are at the top.

From last September...

Besides the Jets and Patriots, three other teams have non-suite tickets that are selling for more than $100: New York Giants ($111.69), Chicago Bears ($110.91) and Dallas Cowboys ($110.20).

The teams with the cheapest average tickets: Cleveland Browns ($54.20), Buffalo Bills ($58.36) and Jacksonville Jaguars ($59.54).


http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8345872/new-york -jets-new-england-patriots-highest-ticket-prices-s urvey-shows

We'll see if Haslam keeps the Browns ticket prices down.  And if prices do go up,we'll see which comes first, increased payroll expenditures to justify the increase, or a price increase in order to cover the cost of building a winner.

HOLE:

I don't have too much problem with Haslam taking a backseat at this point. At least he's done something in his time and perhaps the Browns will get some useful experience from that. 

AA:

What... that is... THAT?"

HOLE:
-- Hope. That's what I'm reduced to.

AA:

But what I'm asking is this:  what is the "something" Haslam has done in his short tenure to give you hope?  

If it's just a feeling that he's a winner because he LOOKS and SOUNDS the part, and he took his daddy's company and made it into a far bigger concern, then we run on that hope. 

If it's because he took time from his day job to immerse himself in the Browns, establish the "Solid Foundation," before wiping his hands, declaring "my work's done here.  I'm needed back home,"  then I'd get a building inspector to examine that foundation.   


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Posted: 2/13/2013 2:03 PM

Re: Laying the Solid Foundation 


"HOLE:
-- Hope. That's what I'm reduced to.

AA:

But what I'm asking is this:  what is the "something" Haslam has done in his short tenure to give you hope? "

--  He comes from money, but he has done perhaps more than others who come from money. If so, I hope that will inform his ownership judgment. That's all. The evidence is at best imperfect at this point. The "foundation" isn't set at this point- even though we can opine on the team's current status if we want to. Haslam may be the worst owner the Browns ever had. If so, some people may take a weird satisfaction in that. Hopefully, he isn't. At this point and in light of past Browns' ownership, I bitterly cling to hope.

Teams and unions- Any discussion of a team's salary or ticket prices or anything else has to be made in the framework we have. So be it. Currently the NFL and the players' union put money first. No matter what  persona they want to project.

My point was that maybe it would be much better from a fan pov to have communities take charge of the sport. They could charge a sensible amount to fans and pay players a sensible salary. Then salaries might reflect economic realities rather than the motivations of rich but disconnected owners, corporate interests and union protected players who may be more motivated by their contracts than the community they supposedly represent. 

In addition, medical factors should always take account of the preservation of the real sport and the assumed liability that players enter into when they choose to play professional football. If the NFL and the unions go too far in protecting players, fans may at some point decide the product on the field isn't worth the money they now spend. Just part of the equation in the current situation. 

In light of lawsuits, it may be sensible to require players to enter into a medical contract that defines their status before they ever make contact in an NFL environment. I'm sure their agents would be competent to understand the contract and advise their clients appropriately.

But for now this is all theoretical. It probably couldn't happen unless the NFL becomes a bubble that eventually bursts. What's the chance of that? 
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