SBD/Issue 35/Franchises

Browns Fans Plan "MNF" Protest To Voice Displeasure Over Team

Two Browns Fans Organizing "MNF" Protest To
Voice Displeasure Over Current State Of Team
Two long-time Browns season-ticket holders, Mike Randall and Tony Schafer, want the team to kick off the November 16 Ravens-Browns "MNF" game "in an empty stadium," in an effort to "voice their displeasure over the state of a team that offers them no hope," according to Marla Ridenour of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. Randall and Schafer "hope to delay at least half the crowd from sitting down" before kickoff. Randall: "I'm a huge fan and I love the organization, but something needs to be done. We have to make a statement. It's nothing negative, just letting the organization know we support the team, but we do not support what's going on right now." He added, "I'm not saying boycott or wear paper bags. We'll have people around the gates to let people know. Go to the concourse, go to the restroom, just don't go to your seat." Randall and Schafer "both have met Browns owner Randy Lerner and do not question [his] commitment to the team." Schafer: "I've talked to Randy; Randy's a good guy, he wants to win bad. But if that was my company performing like that, I'd be a mean, nasty S.O.B." The Browns have started the season 1-6 and have lost 12 of their last 13 games (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 10/29). Lerner responded to the planned protest in an e-mail: "It's been way too long since the Browns have had anything to feel good about or invest in, and it's clear that the doubt and negativity are taking on a life of their own. What I can say is that we, and I, have remained open to new and fresh ideas and thinking and people with passion for the Browns and football experience getting involved and with hope and luck and support, making a difference. We won't become entrenched or stubborn and despite my allergy to be more conspicuous, I do remain eager to seek help and guidance from any and all corners" (AKRON BEACON-JOURNAL, 10/29).

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