Browns fans plan protest for next home game
BEREA, Ohio -- One of the most loyal Dawg Pounders is done barking about the sad state of his beloved Cleveland Browns. It's time to bite.
Lifelong Browns fan and season-ticket holder Mike Randall, aka "Dawg Pound Mike," is encouraging other Cleveland fans to stay away from their seats for the opening kickoff of the Browns' Nov. 16 home game against Baltimore.
Sickened by the nearly constant losing since the NFL team's return in 1999, Randall hopes the sight of empty seats for the start of the nationally televised Monday night game will send a loud message to owner Randy Lerner and club officials that fans have had enough.
"We're tired of losing," the 39-year-old Randall said. "We're tired of the booing, of seeing fans leave in the fourth quarter. There are fans who have had tickets for 30 years who are turning their seats in because they can't take it anymore. So many fans are fed up."
Randall and his friend, Tony Schafer, decided to go ahead with plans for the protest following last Sunday's 31-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. As they walked out of the stadium, they heard fans grumbling about how they're wasting their Sundays and money.
Their hope is that fans stay outside the stadium, on concourses or in the restrooms for the start of the game.
The Akron Beacon-Journal first reported the protest, which Randall and Schafer announced on the Web site www.mobiledawg.com .
"We don't want to see fans with bags on their heads or booing," Randall said. "We love the Browns and will do anything to support them. But we're not being heard. Our goal is to say to the Browns' organization, 'Hey, listen to your fans.'"
Under first-year coach Eric Mangini, the Browns are 1-6 this season and have scored four offensive touchdowns in 81 possessions. Cleveland's defense is the league's worst.
Since coming back as an expansion team 10 years ago, the Browns are 55-113 with one playoff appearance and appear to be on their way to their eighth season of double-digit losses since '99.
Lerner is aware of the response and said in an e-mail that he understand the fans' frustration.
"On the grounds of frustration and irritation with performance, then that's the medicine I (we) are going to take, and I accept that," he said. "The goal this year was to rebuild the culture at the Browns. We felt at the end of last year that we lacked any overall philosophy, approach or direction regarding recruiting, drafting, coaching, preparation or training. As a result, each season was feeling like starting over and 4-12 following 10-6 felt painfully not all that surprising."
Randall, who sits in the front row of the Dawg Pound, the notoriously rowdy bleacher section, doesn't know where to assess blame for the Browns' misery. He has met Lerner and appreciates the ultra-private owner's attempts to turn the franchise around. He knows Mangini needs time, and Randall wishes general manager George Kokinis would let fans in on the team's intentions.
"We have no one who talks to the fans," he said. "Randy isn't out front. The GM is invisible and Mangini has said this was going to be a process and that things would improve. Well, nothing has improved."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Big names become available this week via free agency; will Steelers be tempted?
- Steelers’ decision for NFL Draft: Pass rusher or cornerback?
- Steelers restructure Gilbert, Mitchell contracts; Pouncey close
- Steelers’ Harrison announces desire to play one more year
- Steelers GM Colbert prepared to look at all options before draft
- Gorman: Steelers botch Big Ben’s negotiation
- Depth a concern for Steelers’ Colbert
- Time running out for Steelers’ third-string quarterback Jones?