Per the PD:
Just weeks after installing new leadership at the Cleveland Browns, Jimmy Haslam -- envisioned by many as an active and hands-on NFL owner -- is returning to the helm of the family business in Knoxville, Tenn.
Haslam said he misses running the nation's largest chain of truck stops and travel centers more than he expected.
The Browns, meanwhile, emphasized that Haslam remains a rabid sports fan committed to producing a winner in Cleveland.
"This is about me realizing my first love is running Pilot Flying J and wanting to return to that job," [Haslam said].
Let's be honest - this really shouldn't upset us. So what if his first love is a truck stop and our football team is somewhere behind/below that? I mean, he's been Owner of the Browns a couple months now, more than enough time to have a firm understanding of the job.
So what if he's displaying wishy-washiness by first stating he will remain CEO, then resigning as CEO to spend more time with the Browns, then going back on that a little later to become CEO again (somewhat unfairly displacing the guy that he brought in to replace him)? We don't really want the Owner running the football show in Berea anyway, right?
Really, Jimmy, the only issue is the impression that you're leaving Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi the keys to the Maserati (well, Minivan in the Browns' case) without really knowing if they can drive.
Apparently, you're assuming they can drive since the NFL told you they can drive, and why would the NFL steer you wrong? But it seems that some fans are wary of a guy that drops the running of his billion dollar business into the hands of guys that you don't know that well. These fans think they'll just joyride that Minivan around town until they wreck it into a McDonald's drive thru somewhere near Independence.
Kind of like Mike Holmgren did when Randy Lerner gave him the keys.
Yes, most NFL Owners leave the running of matters to their football people and spend plenty of time on their other business affairs. But most NFL Owners have also been Owners a while and know their football people inside and out.
In the end, it really doesn't matter if you're around or not, Jimmy. You hired your "team" - you will sink or swim with them now. But blindly trusting these guys the way you blindly trusted the NFL when you hired Banner or when you blindly trusted Banner when he hired Lombardi... it's not what I'd expect a savvy businessman to do.
And we've done the bad-businessman-as-Owner-of-the-Browns thing a couple times already.
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