Why The Browns New Uniforms Matter
Last night, the Browns unveiled their new cutting-edge, Nike uniforms to mixed reviews. They have CLEVELAND stitched across the front and BROWNS, down the leg.
It's the first use of stitching of its kind. They are modern, yet still pay homage to the team's rich history.
Nike says of the look:
"The result is a fresh, holistic look that honors tradition, celebrates the fans and represents Cleveland’s industrial and architectural evolution."
Personally, I like them. But, I want to put aside my personal opinions for a minute and just talk about why the Browns new makeover matters -- more importantly, why the Browns matter.
On February 24, the sports world laughed as the Cleveland Browns unveiled their much-anticipated (and hyped-up) new logo.
According to the Browns, "The orange is brighter and richer and matches the passion of our fans and city. The brown is unchanged." They also changed to a stronger and more simplistic font.
Look, if this is article doesn't have you on the edge of your seat or ready to run through a wall, you're not alone. Fans were, let's say, underwhelmed by the unveiling, and it led to some pretty hilarious mocking throughout the sports world.
Hey, guess what? We're used to it. Luckily, Clevelanders have a thick skin. And, honestly, the mocking could have been warranted.
The logo change was underwhelming in relation to the PR campaign and the build up. Without the hype, and strictly in terms of the logo, it is pretty cool.
Still, the thing to do in the sports world (the four-letter network loves it) is to poke fun at the city of Cleveland and its misfortunes over sports history.
With our lack of titles, it's easy to pick the losses when doing a quick promo about an event involving a Cleveland sports team, and in recent history, we have been as easy target.
I don't want to add to that trend by talking about our misfortunes.
But, I would be remiss if I didn't mention sitting in old Municipal Stadium with my aunt, uncle and cousins on December 17, 1995, while fans repeatedly chanted, "F*ck Modell" and "Modell sucks" while they ripped out their seats.
I was 9, and I was excited to swear.
I remember people wearing tool belts to the stadium to get an early start on the demolition of the Cleveland landmark. Imagine trying to walk into a stadium today, 20 years later, with a hammer and a hack saw. Enjoy prison.
I thought I understood the magnitude of the situation then, but looking back, I did not. How could I?
The city of Cleveland LOVES its Browns with a passion I believe is unmatched in sports, and rooted in a history as rich as any.
Cleveland lies just 60 miles north of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the birthplace of American pro football, Canton, OH. The Browns were founded in 1946 by Arthur B. McBride and Pro Football Hall of Famer and coaching legend Paul Brown.
The Browns went on to win eight league titles from 1946 to 1964 (four in the AAFL and four in the NFL). The Browns drafted Jim Brown, Hall of Famer and arguably the best running back of all time, in 1957.
And, we have the Dawg Pound, which was founded by Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield in 1985. Hey, Seattle's 12th man is great when their teams wins. But, imagine a rowdy Dawg Pound when the Brownies are winning. It will be the toughest place to play in sports — period.
In 2007, the Browns went 10-6, a decent season by most standards. The problem is they didn't make the playoffs.
Here's the thing: In a lot of towns, that would be a failure. In C-town, we called that the Season of Dreams (even if it was sarcastic).
The point is, we are itching for a winner.
For the last 20 years since the Browns' return, their uniforms have been "meh" at best; they were basic. Browns fans cringed every time they ran out the white on white, "But we're the BROWNS."
Look, if we won, maybe it wouldn't matter. But we didn't, so the fans voiced their requests for a new look. Luckily, new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam listened, and with help from Nike, made it happen.
Things are looking up in Cleveland right now. Sports Illustrated projected the Indians to win the World Series and LeBron is back to lead the Cavaliers into the playoffs. It's time for our beloved Browns to get on board.
Browns Safety Donte Whitner reiterated what Deion Sanders once said last night:
If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, the pay good.
It's true, especially in this modern era of sports where fashion is just as important as the standings. Look at Oregon; kids from all over the country throw them on their list of possible schools by default, in large part because of the uniforms. They want that swag.
Simply put, we need this. And, I, for one think the new uniforms are pretty badass. Now, let's please add some wins to the mix.