The DEFEND Cleveland Show

The White Flag Waves for Thee


This should be a very comfortable time of the year for Browns fans.  The team is totally out of it, as usual.  There are still some otherwise meaningless games coming up they could conceivably win and lower their draft order.  Those with money on the Vegas over/under of 4.5 will be sweating it on those Oakland and KC games.  The coach is a lame duck.  Holmgren is finally gone, although I think most people that followed the organization closely would argue he may never have even arrived.  It’s business as usual in Berea.  However, even I wasn’t ready for that white flag fiasco last week.

For those that somehow missed it, the Browns sold a promotion to Ticketmaster where they would have their logo on souvenir flags that would be handed out at the gates of the stadium.  Clients like buying this sort of promotion not only because 40,000+ people are walking around what is in effect a highly rated TV show with their logo, but all the chatter in promotional announcements that is generated beforehand.  “Hey Browns fans!  Make sure to come to the Oct 25th game vs. the Rams where the first 40,000 fans through the door will be handed Kardiac Kids one-hitters courtesy of Progressive Insurance!”  It’s all part of the “added value” clients expect when they grossly overpay for stadium signage and unread program advertisements.

The amazing thing is that the “white flag” promotional item got to production.  The bureaucracy in an NFL franchise has to be choking.  The NFL doesn’t let you do anything.  There are no wild ass ideas that get hatched on Monday and put on the field during game presentation on Sunday.  Teams of lawyers go over everything, and as we all know, lawyers will take the fun and creative spirit out of anything they can in an effort to justify their own existence.  The NFL is entertainment.  If the Browns want to have their guys come out riding elephants as Motorhead blasts “Ace of Spades” while being dropped in via parachute, they shouldn’t have to get the OK from anyone.  But they do.  Gotta protect the shield Baby!  How much did that stupid franchise cost?  Haslam couldn’t get shit like that written in?

Here’s the way that white flag promotion deal probably went down.  Some sales guy sold Ticketmaster a package of signs at the stadium, radio commercials, program ads, garbage cans and whatever else they can make a buck on.  Ticketmaster probably came back to them and said, “We’ll need added value.”  In the advertising world “added value” means “free shit”, as in “we would like to have a giveaway item on one of the gamedays as added value”.  If they spoke English, they would say, “If you put our name on some giveaway crap, we will do the deal.”

The sales rep probably then met with a promotions person internally at the Browns.  They probably looked for an item in a promotional catalogue they could print up a shitload of that wouldn’t cost so much as to take the profit out of their sale.  How these people came to the idea of a white flag, I haven’t a clue.  One would imagine that they grew up familiar with the English language term of “waving the white flag”.  It is not as if we are talking about some bizarre underground term you would only understand if you read obscure Beat Poetry.  Wave the white flag.  It’s part of our culture for Christ’s sake.  White flag equals surrender.  Who the hell doesn’t know that?

Let’s say that these two people are complete dumbfucks and can’t put that together.  It happens.  Look around you at your job.  Most of the people are “C” students at best and probably spend their time watching reality TV and eating at Burger King.  Why would an NFL franchise be any different?  At some point they would have had to get this promotion green lit from legal, team marketing, Head of Operations, and probably the Team President (i.e. Mr. Workaholic On The Ball Executive Mike Holmgren) among others.  How did not one of them say “Giving away a white flag of surrender at the Steelers game is a bad idea.”?  It’s really incomprehensible.

There would have been samples that needed to be approved.  These samples would have been sitting around people’s desks for anyone to notice that walked by.  Dates would have to be cleared for the giveaway.  They would have discussed how to staff the giveaway.  At least a dozen people would have had their hands on that promotion by the time it became public last week.  Amazingly, the Browns would have done the giveaway anyway, even after normal people saw the item and started laughing.  They must have figured, “Fuck it.  We already paid to print these up and we don’t want to have to do another promo for Ticketmaster, so let’s just slide this thing through.”  If the players wouldn’t have freaked after they got wind of it, it would have gone off as scheduled.

So as a Browns fan you are really wondering why they can’t put a winning team on the field?  If they can’t manage a simple client giveaway, how are they going to outsmart 31 other organizations and get the best players in here at budget?  How are they going to hire the best coaches and talent?  How can they even identify who is any good in the first place?  And if you are any good, why would you go work there?  I’ve said it before, and I will keep saying it until I see evidence to prove otherwise.  The Cleveland Browns will never win.  Ever.


-Greg Miller


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Posted by on Nov 28 2012. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “The White Flag Waves for Thee”

  1. kenny powers

    are you sure it didn’t get leaked anyways? i saw some people waving white towels on sunday and thought wtf?

  2. AZ

    Must have drank way too much Folgers.

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