The Cleveland Browns. It’s safe to say that it’s not the organization people normally think of when they think iconic. Some would argue the only thing they’re iconic for is losing. So why on Earth are the Browns calling themselves exactly that in the hype video for their new jerseys?
For seasons upon seasons, the Browns have let down their supporters with disappointing results. Even with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. to the dynamic duo of Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry, the team only managed to rack up a measly 6-10 record last season.
At first glance, it’s easy to assume that the hype video, showcasing the Browns new threads, is just another marketing campaign aimed towards selling more jerseys and to get people excited for the upcoming season. Upon a deeper look however, it’s curious to see how much they mention the connectivity this team brings to the city and fans.
You may think to yourself, “How does a team that loses on a constant basis, bring connectivity to a city?” and you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that way. When most teams lose or even go on a losing streak the organization feels heat and pressure, the Browns are no stranger to that. But by some stretch of miracle the seats are always filled up no matter the situation to root for their team.
“The process of changing jerseys, if it is a complete change, starts two years prior to when the changes occur,” the Director of Equipment Operations, Brad Melland, said in an interview with the Browns Senior Manager of Digital Media, Andrew Gribble. Now if you take a slight journey back in time to two seasons ago, the Browns had just finished up a 1-15 season that followed an even worse 0-16 season. Does this imply the Browns knew they would have more underperforming seasons over the next two years and would need to rally this city underneath them?
Now, it’s interesting to wonder whether or not the Browns marketing team is actually that good, or if the organization really does have a positive impact on people despite recent failure. I believe the answer lies within a brotherhood. A silent but unifying force that lives deep inside the hearts of Browns fans everywhere. While the team may not be the most dazzling to watch, or even root for, the Dawg Pound is always there for the team. Giving Cleveland another thing to add to it’s beautiful history.
In the release video, accompanying such terms as iconic, pride, togetherness and classic was the term loyalty. It’s easy to miss as the video is only around two minutes in length, however, I imagine many football fans would have a slight problem with calling the Browns loyal.
With the fact that the franchise has gone through six head coaches and fourteen starting Quarterbacks since 2013, it’s easy to just completely disregard the Browns as a loyal team at all. So many changes at arguably the two most important positions within an organization doesn’t feel loyal in any sense. However, some Browns fans see this use of the term in a different light.
“It’s kind of a double edged sword. You can be quick to say ‘Where’s the loyalty to our coaches? Where’s the loyalty to our quarterbacks?’ but the loyalty between the fan base and the team is one that they need to keep strong, so I think it was a good touch by them,” Cleveland native Josh Neidus said.
These new jerseys aren’t just another way to try and make the team relevant. They have enough star power to do that on their own. They’re a reminder of the last echoing phrase of the video, “Once you’re a Brown, you’re always a Brown. Connected by a common thread.”