Are you paying attention, Detroit Lions? As Drew Sharp reports in today’s Detroit Free Press, William Clay Ford, Sr. should take notice of an outstanding move made this week by Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner, who actually sat down with fans to talk about the team.
The mini-summit, involving two longtime and influential fans, including Dawg Pound Mike, served as a formal airing of grievances and disappointments for a team suffering through a dismal season (but is only two season removed from a 10-6 record).
In turn, Dawg Pound Mike Randall expressed his pleasure at being able to vent and interact with the team’s “Top Dog” to the venerable Associated Press: “How many owners would spend 2 hours…? He’s doing everything he can to improve the Browns.” By contrast, you’ll recall the recent move by the Washington Redskins (and Lions in a recent year) to ban fan signs from games.
Also on the other end of the spectrum, notes Sharp in his article, is the Lions’ 40-year tradition of owner/fan non-interaction. As we counsel our clients, in good times and in bad you can and should always say something. To flounder and remain mum sends a message of non-interest and apathy if not elitism where a multi-millionaire such as Ford is involved.
So, instead, Lions fans last week during their loss to the Rams expressed their festering frustrations with boos aimed at the players (and, I’m sure, the front office). Dominick Raiola, in turn, turned to the hometown crowd with whom he then “had words” for the second time in two years.
This week, the Browns communicated—really communicated—with a capital “C.” The Lions, meanwhile, are still rating at “F” in that department.