I hope Jim Brown wasn't lying. I mean, just the thought of a "great football mind" talking to Browns owner Randy Lerner, as Brown claimed the other day, is almost too delicious to consider.
You hope that's the case, if you consider yourself a Browns fans. You keep all your fingers crossed that Lerner will, finally, put his beleaguered franchise in the hands of a "great" mind who won't mismanage it.
Yet you find yourself saying: Haven't we heard all of this before? Weren't Phil Savage, Romeo Crennell, George Kokinis and coach Eric Mangini supposed to be great football minds, too?
And look at what they wrought.
Nowhere in this process of resurrecting the storied franchise that Art Modell had spirited off to Baltimore has the Lerner family, which was complicit in the team's leaving town in the first place, done well in putting together a quality organization. The family might know banking and credit cards, but the Lerners have no clue how to build an NFL team.
If they did, we wouldn't be here again. Essentially, the Lerners have returned Browns fans to 1999, the season the reincarnation of the Browns returned to town.
The franchise came back with great promise, rekindling an affair with a city that loved them as much ever. There was no ill-will toward the franchise. No one bemoaned what the Ravens, the old Browns, had become.