The Cleveland Browns fan base has been enamored with free agent Jadeveon Clowney, even speculating about his potential home in Cleveland.
Despite what you’ve seen on Twitter Monday, Clowney’s realtor has not been sniffing out properties in Strongsville, Ohio. Actually, the Cleveland suburb has never been a hotspot for prospective athletes, coaches, or executives.
It’s all a joke. A meme before memes, if you will.
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Before the days of Twitter, and the onslaught of “Fans with Sources,” the way to get juicy sports rumors percolating was through Cleveland’s rich sports-talk radio shows. Fans would call into shows and deliver the news to hosts that they have a friend, barber, or other made-up acquaintance that had an inside scoop.
For the most part, these calls were extremely cheesy and vanilla in nature. Anybody with a pulse knew the caller was making up stories for fifteen seconds of radio fame. Rarely did any anonymous radio caller ever have a legitimate realty tip that amounted to anything.
Thus is the birth of Bill Cowher’s Strongsville home.
After Romeo Crennel’s forgettable 2009 season, the Cleveland Browns were in the market to make a new head coaching hire. As always, several names began to circle and fans began to weigh in on who would make the best hire. A majority of fans landed on former Browns player and Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, who coached the black and yellow until his resignation in 2006.
Several rumors circled around the city that Cowher was moving to Cleveland to coach the Browns. Specifically, Strongsville.
The rumor appeared to be deep-rooted and even Mike Florio couldn’t resist the urge to write about it, going as far as mentioning Strongsville as his new possible residency. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette wrote about the rumor in a question and answer mailbag.
Earlier this year in an interview with the Canton Repository, Cowher admitted that Browns owner Randy Lerner reached out to him about the coaching vacancy. Cowher declined to be interviewed.
Ever since the Cowher rumors that never materialized, Strongsville has become the go-to city that fans use to joke about players and coaches looking for properties. In 2017, this joke fooled plenty more people when Peyton Manning was allegedly looking for properties to be the next general manager of the Browns.
Maybe the joke ends here. Maybe Clowney purchases a house in Strongsville approximately 25 minutes away from Cleveland. Perhaps the No. 1 overall pick’s career can blossom here, and he can buy Cowher and Manning homes in a neighboring development to become Mustangs as well.
But I wouldn’t hold my breath.