Browns fans wonder if quality players will now come to Cleveland

Browns fans offer reasons for not drawing players

CLEVELAND - While the Browns new ownership in Berea wasted little time calling a press conference Monday morning, cold Browns fans scurried about at the West Side Market in preparation for another new year without the Browns in the playoffs.

On the mind of many was if Cleveland had what it takes to draw quality sports talent to its teams in 2013. The Browns' announcement left some with hope, others with frustration.

Former Austin, Texas resident James Butler, now a rabid Browns fan, is one of those thinking positive.

"I'm thankful that we've got a solid, young nucleus and I'm hopeful for the future. I mean we've got an owner that really cares about the city and bringing a winner in, and I trust him. Don't really have much of a choice, but I like Haslam," said Butler.

Bridgit Bird Ketter is also an Austin transplant who found her way to the West Side Market Monday with her family and new baby. She understands that Cleveland has a bad reputation outside of Ohio, but since moving here says she now loves it.

"It just has a negative connotation to it, unfortunately," said Ketter.

For Cleveland's Sam Ramirez, the constant losing ways of all of Cleveland's teams are why he thinks drawing outside talent who will create instant winning teams are a hard sell. Ramirez says the Browns quick trigger is one of the problems.

"They don't stick with stuff long enough. They're more into the quick fix," said Ramirez. "The recent losing, I mean they've lost more games than anyone since 1999 and athletes are competitive and want to be on a winner. Obviously they like to get paid as well, and we have a good fan base, but I just think we have a tradition of losing." 

At the 4000 block of St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland, Ronald Campbell was repairing shoes at his business, R.E.J Shoe Repair and More, on New Years eve. Monday his usual day off. For Campbell, extra effort has always paved the road to success. 

A transplant from Birmingham, Alabama since he was a child, he's grown to love Cleveland and is sure any player who would move here would discover it to be the same. He's been a Browns fan his entire life, and was just happy to see a bit of progress this year. Progress that Jimmy Haslam felt wasn't going to get his new investment moving in the right direction soon enough.

"I think for a team that has been down for so long, that had now place to go but up, we have a new owner, a no nonsense owner, as far as the football team goes I think it's just a matter of getting the right players and the right ownership, and another good coach, who knows?," said Campbell. "Sometimes when you're stepping up, you might misstep just a little bit, but at the same time you still have the enthusiasm of the thrill of getting back up and keep on going. I think that's where our fan base is too."

For long-suffering Browns fans even a step up may be enough, but in Jimmy Haslam, who appears to have the look in his eyes during cutaways at Browns game broadcasts of wanting the entire flight of stairs, not one step, Browns fans may have just found the winner needed to draw the talent for which Cleveland has been starving.

 

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