Cleveland Browns want to keep Jim Brown statue under wraps
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns are keeping the planned Jim Brown statue under wraps until it is unveiled in September.
The Cleveland Browns want to get their fans excited about the statue of Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown that is planned for outside of FirstEnergy Stadium.
Just don’t ask them what it will look like once it is completed.
Team officials met with the Cleveland’s planning commission on Friday to gain approval for the location of the statue’s square granite base, which will be at the southeast corner of the stadium at Alfred Lerner Way and Erieside Avenue. But when commission members asked to see a drawing of the actual statue itself, they were shutdown quicker than a Johnny Manziel-led offensive drive, according to cleveland.com.
Related: Are the Browns right to honor Jim Brown with a statue?
David Jenkins, the Browns vice president for finance and administration, would not allow the commission members to see a drawing of the proposed statue because to do so would make it part of the public record, meaning that anyone could see it – the horror! – and the Browns, as members in good standing of the ever-secretative NFL, do not want anyone getting a look until the club unveils the statue in September.
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It’s a small thing, certainly, but also an odd one. The Browns are finally starting to add some character around an otherwise sterile stadium, but rather than create some buzz around the project they are taking the “mind your own business” route.
“Everyone admires the incredible impact that Jim Brown has made for Cleveland, the Browns and the NFL throughout his lifetime, and we have had the special opportunity to know and learn from his contributions to our team on a personal level, as well,” owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam said in February when announcing the statue. “It is only fitting that one of the most iconic professional football players and members of Cleveland and the Browns is commemorated with this statue as he will always be such a permanent fixture in our city.”
The Browns commissioned nationally recognized sculptor David L. Demming for the statue. Demming has worked with the Browns before, as he created 11 of the 15 cast bronze relief plaque portraits of the Browns Hall of Fame players that are on display at the stadium, as well as a bust of former owner Al Lerner that is housed at team headquarters.