On the first day of training camp, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam had a mostly unexpected press conference. He took a decent amount of questions. Here are just a few of the most important (in my humble opinion, of course).
Of course, Haslam can’t have a press conference without answering a few questions about his company, Pilot Flying J, and their issues with the FBI among other people. Obviously, he wasn’t shocked when someone asked about it, but he gave a very straightforward and positive answer saying that he would work to correct the issues within Pilot Flying J. Also, he said that the company issues wouldn’t have any impact on the Browns. He said he is being very “open and transparent” about the issue and I think that is just swell. Better to own up to your mistakes (or the mistakes within your company) than to hide it and try to fix it in not so legit, under the table ways. He was very optimistic and positive about the outcome and resolution of the issues with the company. Good. One less piece of drama in Cleveland will be nice for a change.
Then, he did something SUPER awesome; he APOLOGIZED for all the negative attention. Huh. Someone who owns up to his mistakes, AND apologizes for them. What a novel idea. He said that the issues with Pilot Flying J would not b a distraction for him or his staff with the Cleveland Browns. I’m sure the issue is going to be in the back of his mind, but his first obligation is to the Cleveland Browns.
He said that he is committed to helping the Browns win games, but also to proving an excellent experience for the fans that come out each week to support the Browns. This was already made apparent earlier this summer when the Browns organization released a list of fun things they are adding before and during home games, including wiener dog races.
Finally, despite all the issues with Pilot Flying J and the history the Browns have with front office changes, and the Browns sad history since 1999, Haslam said that he is committed to bringing a winning season to Cleveland and that his company and family are committed to owning the Browns for a long time.
So it seems like Haslam plans to stick around for a while. That makes me happy because once things settle down, maybe that stability will show on the field. Overall, I was very impressed with Haslam’s over attitude and demeanor. He seemed very relaxed when talking about the Browns and his future in Cleveland, which is good. I actually like Haslam, even with his Pilot Flying J issues, which are being settled as we speak. After he was done answering questions, I honestly felt like whipping out the champagne and toasting to a better season. Haslam gave me hope that there would be less heartbreak in Cleveland soon. That would be good.