When Jimmy Haslam III took over the controlling interest in the Cleveland Browns, excitement, filled the air. Less than a year later the new team owner is under criminal investigation for what he describes as a rebate problem.
What do we know about Haslam III, besides the fact that he has a lot of money? The answer is not much. Many have never heard of the guy before he bought the Cleveland Browns and many were hoping this would be the guy that could turn things around in Cleveland, and at last place a winning football team on the field.
Once someone gets put under a microscope, such as a FBI, investigation, its unbelievable what kind of information comes out. We all know that Haslam III owns one of the largest truck stop chains in the United States. What we don't know is how he grew as large as he did.
Haslam's company, merged with Flying J. When he did, he promised the managers at the Flying J truck stops that they would keep their jobs and they were going to be a valuable part of the company. That didn't happen. He is a reply to a Haslam article we wrote earlier today;
as I said prior to Mr. Haslam's purchase of our beloved team and as a former General Manager of a Flying J, prior to the merger with Pilot, I strongly urged Randy Lerner to not sell our Browns to such a snake.
He and his cronies systematically got rid of virtually all of the Flying J managers, to save a dollar. When thinking of this, one should only realize that NOT paying a rebate to several trucking companies would be right up his alley!!!!
He promised all the managers that we were NEEDED attributes to HIS company and then proceeded to get rid of 99% of us. To think that the NFL approved this guy as an owner is incredible. It will probably only get worse!!!!!
As I said earlier in this article, Browns fans were feeling pretty good when Haslam came to town and made a lot of promises. When the team let Phil Dawson walk people started to realize, that Haslam may have been more about the money than he is about paying great players. Dawson was one of the teams most loyal people. He was dependable and his is wanted by a team that made a super bowl appearance last season too.
For the Browns to have an owner that is a penny pincher, may not be the answer to putting a winning team on the field. Lets not forget the fact, the first guy Haslam hired was Joe Banner. Banner has never really been about football.
He is a guy that is more concerned with the bottom line of the business side of things. He was all about making money for the owner of the Eagles and he did it by getting rid of players, that were the money makers. Guys who were approaching 30-years-old.
Now, it is too early to say what kind of owner Haslam is going to be for the Cleveland Browns and the people of Cleveland. But things aren't looking that great yet. He hired a guy to coach the team that has no head coaching experience, he brought in a guy with Banner that cares more about the bottom line and now he is under a criminal investigation for a rebate fiasco.
All a Cleveland fan can wonder is what is next. For years we have heard about a curse, I always felt it didn't exist. No I am beginning to wonder.
Filed under: Cleveland Browns