Today I'm posting my letter to Randy Lerner. Tom Withers recently wrote a story about Randy Lerner and his restaurant in NY State. I'm printing this letter and mailing it to him tomorrow. I don't expect a response but he should know how restless the natives are getting....
Dear Mr. Lerner,
I never imagined that I would be writing you. But, finally, after last Sunday’s game I’ve seen enough.
I have been a Browns season ticketholder since 1999 and a Cleveland Browns fan my entire life. I grew up watching Brian Sipe and the Kardiac Kids and lived and died with the Browns each and every Sunday growing up.
I, like you, have suffered through it all. Red Right 88, The Drive, The Fumble, Bernie Kosar’s "diminishing skills," and of course the move to Baltimore. I heard about Art Modell moving the team first on the radio. I dashed home for lunch that day and got there just as Art Modell stepped up to the microphone and announced he was moving the Browns to Baltimore because, " he had no choice."
When I watched the press conference from the tarmac at the Baltimore Airport I cried. My beloved Browns would be no more. Then, when your father stepped up to the plate and was named the new owner for the franchise’s return to Cleveland I was jubilant. My brother, cousin and I even decided to pony up and purchase season tickets. But the honeymoon is long since over.
I’ve gotten to see a lot of bad, very bad, football at the stadium since the Browns came back in 1999. And after this season, I’m at the point of apathy toward my (and your) Browns. I just can’t take it anymore. I wrap myself up emotionally, in the team and how they play each week and I’m tired of being disappointed nearly each and every week.
And I don’t think I’m getting value for my season tickets that others around the NFL get. At least most see improvement and effort out on the field, especially at home. Honestly, I don’t see either. If this were a regular business, the Browns would be losing customers left and right. But people have an emotional stake in the Browns and that’s a tough thing to just walk away from.
All I know is I have never been more disillusioned or felt more detached from the team than I do right now. I feel cheated, taken for granted. I have to make sacrifices just go use my season tickets and go to Browns games on Sundays.
My season tickets cost $440 this season, please Mr. Lerner take no offense, but that doesn’t probably doesn’t sound like much money for a billionaire like yourself. For me, that $440 is a chunk of change and it takes me more than a week working at my job to make enough to pay for those season tickets. That doesn’t include the gas for the 235-mile round trip between Findlay and Cleveland, parking, concessions and the Browns clothing that I pick up in the team shop every time I go to the Stadium.
If any other business put a product on the field as disappointing as the Browns have for seven years, refunds would be in order or the business would probably go broke.
I want to hang on but I don’t know if I have any faith left in this organization. I am a die-hard Mr. Lerner, and if you lose me you’ve lost "The Fans." Help me, give me a reason to stick it out.
Tell me why I should stick it out as a Browns fan? What is the organization going to do other than give me the same old song and dance I’ve been hearing the past seven years.
Thanks for your time,
Browns Season Ticketholder