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Re: Mission Accomplished!

  • mes78
  • Junkyard Terror
  • 2399 posts this site

Posted: 2/15/2013 11:19 AM

Re: Mission Accomplished! 


No question, and on that we don't disagree.

I think the reason Al drew up the 10 year stipulation was that he wanted his son to carry on the legacy and have his marine flag flying in the northeast corner of the stadium for decades to come.  Knowing that his son had made his fortune elsewhere and bought his own sports franchise, Al wanted him to give the Browns a fair shot, thinking that perhaps once he got in the saddle, he'd be converted.  And if it didn't work out, then he was free to sell after the stipulated time.


You're theory is as good as anyone else's. I don't care to speculate on Al's intentions. Moreso, how Al's Will dictated Randy Bonaparte's decade of ineptitude.

It struck me that Randy gave it an honest effort.  Had his father bought another franchise in '99, Randy would have been less inclined.  But this was the team for which he grew up rooting.  So he tried his best, observing successful franchises and trying to implement best practices.  Unfortunately, every avenue he took led to Nowheresville.


This is the beginning of the Randy Bonaparte love affair myth. Who the hell knows if owning your hometown team has any impact on the effort he gave. That's more of a stretch than my determination claim for which you have beef. You either want to do something intrinsically or you don't. Randy never wanted to own the Browns, otherwise he still would. He wanted to own a soccer team that stands a much more expensive path towards success, one which he did not grow up wearing their team's jammies.

The best practices argument is the holy grail point by Randy lovers as evidence that he tried. That's all well and good, but when you are locked into an obligation for 10+ years and under the Cleveland media microscope, what else is he to do? For all his "trying" to learn from the Kraft's and Roony's he seemed to miss one of their very BEST practices - ownership leadership.

Nope Randy was more focused on finding the structure that would allow him to step out of the picture.

Somewhere along the line, I think he figured that he just wasn't cut out for this line of work, and decided to opt out at the stipulated time.  As said before, WHERE along the line he came to that conclusion, I don't know.  But what we don't know is if Randy's intent ALL ALONG was just to be the caretaker and bide his time, or whether he tried to the best owner possible, and saw the handwriting on the wall so far into the trial period.


Not disagreeing, but when viewed through a non-Randy-loving lense a different picture forms. We do know some key elements of this proof - Given: Randy inherited the Browns after Al's Death. Answer: Randy sells team at the first opportunity he was legally allowed to do so (deal was consummated prior to this time).

Other factors of consideration:
Randy still owns the more expensive soccer team. So, either Randy still believes he's "cut out", as you would say to still own a professional franchise OR he WANTS to own a soccer team, while he didn't want to own a football team (hometown or not).

Randy at every opportunity tries to hand the keys of leadership to anyone else so he can vacate his responsibilities of ownership, starting with extending Davis and expanding his power, to the Savage-Collins power struggle, to Mangini's kingdom, to Czar Holmgren.

Then, you factor in these nuggets from a 2008 interview and it becomes apparent that he doesn't really care despite claiming the opposite. He talks about stepping out of the way to let others have the authority and not wanting to live in a delusional bubble when commenting about owning the Browns.

By the time of Holmgren's hire, Randy is no longer hiding the obvious truth, that always existed but finally chose not to conceal it, which is he didn't want to own the Browns. All along the way, his ACTIONS showed a pattern of running away from his responsibilities of leadership.

He can say he cared, he can say he wanted a winner, blah blah blah. Those words are as empty as those portraying Haslam as a sun tanned, southern twang, lier. What Randy left unsaid was way more important - he was obligated to own a team and that forced responsibility was a burden he didn't want.

OTOH Haslam wanted to be an NFL owner in the worst way, and he was in the market for the first team to come up for sale.  In a perfect world, he would have wanted the Titans.  Failing that, well, you can figure what are the most desirous, high profile franchises.  If he had to list every NFL franchise he would want to purchase in order of preference (and money being no object), I don't know that Cleveland would even make his top half. 
But he secured his franchise, and it was his moment in the sun to shine, to say all the right things, and for fans to eat it up like the hogs that go into packages of Tennessee Pride.

He again is unrelated fluff. Who the hell knows where the Browns ranked on Haslam's list to own and quite frankly who cares? The bigger point is the first sentence you wrote, " Haslam wanted to be an NFL owner in the worst way, and he was in the market for the first team to come up for sale". Intrinsic motivation is determination. Thank you for defining my whole point.

I'd speculate that the lower the Browns were on his list to own, the more proof that Haslam wants to own a team, is thus more proof of a highly competitive owner, and therefore more determined to achieve his goals (stated as winning). Again, that's my own opinion, and has no basis of fact.

But here's the deal on "determination vs. obligation."

It resulted in similar courses of action.

I'm not talking about cosmetic stuff, like naming rights or figuring how to get customers in their seats at kickoff.  I'm talking about an avowed course of action ("building through the draft" and going easy on free agency), hiring some questionable characters, and knowing that neither owner knows nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies, and hired midwives (Holmgren, Banner) to run the football side... while they go back to their first love (soccer, Flying J), and check in periodically.

When the events are inaccurate and presented as fact, that's when agenda pushing and bias become clear. Randy's course of action is not similar to Haslam's. Randy extended Butch, the coach he inherited. Haslam fired the coach he inherited. Randy kept Policy on until May, Haslam replaced Holmgren immediately and fired him when he became a distraction. Randy hiring of RAC was not perceived as questionable, Haslam's hiring of Chud was perceived as a 2nd choice. The process was much more encompassing than any Randy process. Randy bought a soccer team while presiding over the Browns, Haslam vacated his family started company leaving full attention to hiring the FO of the Browns. Randy really didn't know much about birthing babies, Haslam tactfully admits to not knowing, but the truth is he was a minority owner in the NFL, and underneath the Roony family to boot - not a complete novice.

In regards to the "avowed" build through the draft/easy on the draft course of action - it's media speak. I know Nas, and others are convinced it's a slow rebuild declaration, but I'm not so sure that it's nothing more then media-speak, fluff. Yes, it be nice to have some hard-a$$ definitive speech where Haslam states with manly conviction that he's going to exhaust every resource available to win now, but that's a huge media trap. It doesn't make winning any more of a reality to publically state anything. So the generic generalization of building through the draft is the cliche answer that most give when discussing philosophical team building. In other words, what else could he say that would answer that question sufficiently without creating problems? Much ado about nothing.

But one guy was shy and withdrawn, the other loved attention.  One looked like the guy with a laptop at the corner Starbuck's, the other looked like the commanding officer who would brief the Expendables on their next mission.  One talked the talk, the other hardly talked at all.

And given those images, and the fact that one turned out to be a losing owner while the other was without original sin,  everything was viewed through the honeymoon lenses.

That might be true for some, but really that's your imposed perception of reality to justify an opinion you've created where others disagree.

Going back to the Truman analogy, eventually even Hirohito had to step in and tell the Japanese people via radio announcement that the end was here. No more cover-ups.

So the fact that one spent a truckload of money on a franchise while the other had one handed to him makes no difference in terms of their ability to set the course for a contender.  The new guy gets some slack because he has yet to string double digit losses together.  But if they essentially do the same thing, what got panned before now gets rationalized.

The intrinsic motivation of one vs. the obligatory burden of another is the difference between the two. No slack given to either. Look no farther than your champion Randy, he's still owning the soccer team and fighting the good fight against longer odds in the EPL. I commend his determination. I wish he felt that way about owning the Browns.
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