Cleveland Browns: Right to honor Jim Brown with statue?
The Cleveland Browns may have chosen the wrong person after announcing the building of a Jim Brown statue outside FirstEnergy Stadium.
With the announcement made that the Browns will honor all-time great Jim Brown with a statue this fall outside of FirstEnergy Stadium, one can’t help but wonder if that should be the first statue erected on the banks of Lake Erie.
Or, did the team miss the boat on its first statue dedication in not building one to honor its namesake and founding father, the late Paul Brown.
Sure, an ongoing debate between what was the greatest player to ever grace the NFL gridiron and what may have been the greatest coach in the history of the game, the Browns have the pleasure of calling them both their own.
But, when honoring legacy and history, it’s tough to say whose likeness should be represented first outside of the gates of the stadium.
Paul Brown was a pioneer, a leader and quite possibly the greatest coach to grace the NFL sidelines. The first to ever hire a full-time, year-round coaching staff. The first to take the scouring of college players to a new level. Paul dominated the AAFC, winning championships in all four years, 1946-1949 before moving on to the NFL.
Paul and the Browns didn’t miss a beat.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
Paul led the Browns to seven championship appearances in their first eight years of play in the NFL after moving from the AAFC. Paul and the Browns won three NFL championships during that span in 1950, 1954 and 1955 and the Browns were regarded as one of the elite teams in the NFL under Paul’s direction.
Paul met his demise in Cleveland when the team was purchased by Art Modell in 1961. Modell would frequently bump heads with Paul over the level of power Paul had within the organization. Eventually, it all came to head in 1963 when Modell dismissed Paul as coach of the storied franchise he helped found and put on the map. During Paul’s tenure in Cleveland, the Browns finished under .500 only one time.
In 1967, Paul was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and recognized for all his accomplishments and contributions to the pro game during his tenure in Cleveland.
Many thought his storied career was finished, but Paul went on to become investor, coach and general manager of the new, upstart Cincinnati Bengals of the AFL. By their third season, Paul led the Bengals to their first playoff appearance.
Paul led the Bengals until the 1975 season came to a close then walked away from the game he helped popularize and innovate.
The question is why are the Browns reluctant to build the statue of its founding father? Is there still a disconnect between he and the franchise?
Does his involvement with the founding and developing of a rival franchise along with the fact that his family still owns the rivaled franchise play a role?
Whatever the reason, it seems absurd that the Browns have neglected the reason why generations of Browns fans have flocked to this team’s side. It’s absurd that they fail to recognize that the team would not be here, living off a legacy of the past, without Paul Brown. It’s absurd that regime after regime has neglected to get it right in honoring the man who is the namesake of one of the most storied franchises in the history of the game on any level.
Honoring Jim Brown is deserved and I am glad that they are honoring a legend, but doing so before paying tribute to the reason why Jim got to don the orange and brown in the first place seems a bit absurd to me.
It’s time for the NFL and the Browns to get it right and honor Paul Brown with an award in his honor, along with a statue in his likeness outside of the stadium of his fabled Cleveland Browns.