Shortly after the FBI and the IRS raided Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s Pilot Flying J headquarters over allegations of unpaid rebates to trucking companies on Tuesday, the Flying J himself sent emails to his corporate office employees and staff in truck stops across the land containing an apology for the inconvenience, denial of wrong doing and a message to stay strong and ignore the gossip about their employer.
In a KSK exclusive, we’ve obtained a version of Haslam’s letter to Browns season ticket holders about the situation that ultimately was not sent out in deference to the unspoken NFL policy of not apologizing for anything.
Letter to Browns Season Ticket Holders
First, let me apologize to you for the unexpected disruption of your fandom on Monday. Please be assured that you will be credited for the full day of being a Browns fan, even if you briefly thought of breaking ranks and finally getting behind our neighbors the Detroit Lions.
You know by now that my company Pilot/Flying J is the subject of a federal investigation. We are cooperating appropriately with any and all external investigations and conducting our own, including making sure all Pilot/Flying J’s were adequately supplied with Trent Richardson jerseys and that all Colt McCoy gear has been repurposed as oil changing rags.
We believe and trust there has been no wrongdoing, including the controversial suggestion from Barb in accounts payable that the team carry two punters who have never seen NFL action into the 2013 season to help keep our costs down. It’s smart business thinking like Barb’s that helps keep Pilot/Flying J sailing down the road and the Browns nearly $30 million under the cap. This money will help ensure the Browns are in a strong position to sign the best of the best in the 2013 draft next week.
We will keep you informed, and I encourage you to rely on that information rather than random news reports and gossip that is surely to follow, especially the Tweets of one Darren Rovell. The man as not once pumped his own gas, much less played a game of football. I know here at Pilot/Flying J we share the same standards of good people of Cleveland, and a man who doesn’t get his hands dirty during the course of a hard day’s work is not worth the Armani suit on his back.
Our most important response now is to stay focused on our job supporting our Cleveland Browns. I appreciate every one of you for your hard work, your professionalism fandom — including a strong commitment to the dog masks sold at our travel centers, and for being part of the Pilot/Flying J/Browns family.
Jimmy “Flying J” Haslam
PS All season tickets rebates that have not yet been applied will be processed as soon as possible. Our IT department is investigating why the discount code BROWNSSUPERBOWL2014 didn’t not work on ClevelandBrowns.com earlier this year.
Letter to Cleveland Browns Players
You may know by now that my company Pilot/ Flying is the subject of a federal investigation, or you may not. Not sure if the headlines make it into “Call of Duty” news reports. Regardless, this is federal investigation and not a league investigation, so there is nothing to worry about on your end. Roger Goodell doesn’t have power of the state. Yet.
We are cooperating fully with any and all external investigations and conducting our own. We believe and trust there has been no wrongdoing, and yes, both of you punters are still on the team despite them obvious snafu of letting Barb from Pilot/Flying J accounts payable in on a team personell call.
In the meantime, as always, the fans comes first. You are our front line to protect us from rabid guys in dog masks, and it is important that you continue business as usual stay focused and do your job. We expect you to continue to shake their hands at draft events in the coming weeks, even if they are a few kernels short of a bag of Corn Nuts. (For those of you interested in the business side of Pilot/Flying J, “picante” is the best selling of the Corn Nuts category of SKUs.)
We will keep you informed. I would encourage you to rely on that information rather than random news reports and gossip that is surely to follow. Please don’t answer any speculative texts from Bernie Kosar as you will only be encouraging his mania.
Jimmy “Flying J” Haslam
PS My deepest apologies if the Pilot/Flying J gas cards given to players and their families as part of the Christmas bonus have not been working at our travel stations. Our IT department is looking into why the cards were invalided in the system.