On Tuesday, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam stood in front of his fellow NFL owners and apologized for the mess and distraction that the ongoing investigation into his company, Pilot Flying J, has caused.
From the looks of it, many of the league’s owners were impressed with Haslam’s remarks and appreciated that he took the time to address the matter.
At the same time, though, the damage has already been done. The Browns’ stigma of being the beaten-down, little brother of the NFL continues.
“There go the Browns, doing nothing right as usual,” a fellow owner might have probably said at some point.
There is still the slight possibility that Haslam knew nothing about the illegal activities that took place at his company, but realism often sets in when one considers that notion.
The most the Browns owner can do right now is apologize profusely. He doesn’t look to be losing the team at this time, but his legal troubles are far from over. Unfortunately, it’s just another chapter in this team’s ineptitude. It often feels as if every other team has been given a handbook for success and the Browns were simply absent on the day it was handed out.
Does that handbook exist? Is Haslam a victim of mystical, success-crushing powers that reside over Berea?
No matter what happens, Haslam fits in more and more with each embarrassing apology session.