It came with little pomp or precedence, but the Cleveland Browns are close to switching ownership hands. Per ESPN, longtime owner Randy Lerner is on the verge of selling the team to Tennessee-born, billionaire truck-stop mogul (seriously) Jimmy Haslam. The move – which hinges on the promise the Browns remain in Cleveland – is sure to catch the majority of NFL fans off guard, simply because Lerner’s reserved nature would never indicate such a desire.
Regardless, this can only be seen as an upgrade. An insult to both the terms “professional” and “sports,” the Browns embody everything that can go wrong when an owner is not truly invested. Consistently good teams feature stable front offices, and since he took over as owner in 1999, Lerner has failed in that arena time and again; many blame his preoccupation with EPL soccer club Aston Villa – whom Lerner also owns – as a primary reason why the Browns can’t seem to find the right executive combination. Haslam’s résumé doesn’t matter at this point; it’d be a task in itself to do worse than Lerner.
Bonus: We’ve featured this video in the past, but it’s our civic duty to include it whenever the Browns actually make a headline.