Browns owner apologizes for fraud investigation
This is probably not the most inauspicious way for the Cleveland Browns to begin the Jimmy Haslam era. Before his first full season as owner of Cleveland’s, uh, stories football franchise, Haslam’s truck stop company, Pilot Flying J, went under investigation by the F.B.I. for fraud.
Haslam has now apologized to Browns fans, saying he’s sorry for the distraction while promising to deliver Cleveland a long-awaited winning Browns team. Via USA Today:
“I apologize to the city of Cleveland, Northeastern Ohio and all Browns fans because the last thing we ever wanted to do as a new owner was detract from football and the Browns and just what a great football area this is, and so I apologize for that.”
Of course, actions speak louder than words. Browns fans will be more than willing to forget Haslam’s legal troubles if he can deliver the first playoff berth for Cleveland in over a decade, or (and this is quite a stretch) give them their first Super Bowl. Or heck, even a winning season, something they haven’t seen since 2007.
But until then, the city of Cleveland has to be issuing a collective “here we go again”, as the federal investigation of their new owner’s company is just the latest in a long line of embarrassments for the city of Cleveland and its football franchise, and not the positive change they needed coming off a 5-11 season. But hey, on the bright side….at least you’re not Detroit.