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On 1/21/2018 at 12:34 PM, Gothamite said:

 

Why on earth should they do that?    Because they’ve lost a lot in recent decades?

 

Should the Cubs have retired theirs?

 

the difference being the Cubs won 2 titles way back when, and the Browns were a dynasty; 7 championships in 10 years or so? and only really stalling out in the 90s, but thats a hard stall. i could get behind the franchise starting anew and preserving what is left of the Browns. coming off a winless season seems the perfect time to do it. then theres always the throwback option for unis, apparel, etc

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22 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

Yes, and the objective fact of history is that the franchise itself stayed in Cleveland. Modell intended to take it with him but didn’t.  The new Browns are the old Browns franchise just as surely as the Rams were founded in 1936. 

 

i don’t disagree that it has led to distasteful shenanigans elsewhere.  But that does not change the objective facts of this particular case. 

 

Exactly. I've brought this up before, but I think the important distinction is that everyone knew the deal and agreed to it when the Ravens took the field in 1996. The Ravens never played a single snap while under the Browns name or records. There was no "that breaks the Browns/Ravens record for most blah blah blah in a blah blah blah." That didn't happen because it was actually handled quite tidily, all things considered. It was known all along that they were the beginning of a new franchise and that the Cleveland franchise was on pause. If they had moved to Baltimore and played as a continuation of the Browns franchise and then records were altered after the fact, ala Hornets-Pelicans, then that would be a problem, but that's not what happened. No revisionism ever took place. 

 

Just because history didn't unfold the exact way some people think it should've does not mean it's invalid. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

Just because history didn't unfold the exact way some people think it should've does not mean it's invalid. 

Well the problem I have with the Browns-Ravens situation is that history did unfold a certain way. And the NFL refuses to recognise that. 

 

The Browns’ ownership, management, and players all picked up and moved to Baltimore. The same team that played that last season in Cleveland took the field during the first season in Baltimore (give or take a few new or departing players you see with every team during every off-season). 

 

So that’s how history unfolded. The team that was the Browns picked up and moved. The problem is the NFL’s record books don’t reflect how history unfolded. 

 

I’ll grant you that it was handled far cleaner than the Hornets/Pelicans/Bobcats mess, but it was still a case of the NFL trying to rewrite the historical record. 

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13 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:
19 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

Just because history didn't unfold the exact way some people think it should've does not mean it's invalid. 

Well the problem I have with the Browns-Ravens situation is that history did unfold a certain way. 

The Browns’ ownership, management, and players all picked up and moved to Baltimore. The same team that played that last season in Cleveland took the field during the first season in Baltimore (give or take a few new or departing players you see with every team during every off-season). 

 

So that’s how history unfolded. The team that was the Browns picked up and moved. The problem is the NFL’s record books don’t reflect how history unfolded. 

 

I’ll grant you that it was handled far cleaner than the Hornets/Pelicans/Bobcats mess, but it was still a case of the NFL trying to rewrite the historical record. 

 

Exactly. 

 

The team moved.  There is nothing different about this move than about every single other move in the entire history of professional sports leagues.  (And it has nothing to do with the Rams' one-year hiatus during World War II.)  When anyone begins to recite the NFL's fantasy story regarding the "franchise certificate" as thought it actually means something, I just want to put my hand up and say "ep... ep... ep... ep. THE. TEAM. MOVED."  That's really the entire story.

 

The Hornets/Pelicans/Bobcats situation is a lot worse; but that never would have been possible if the NFL hadn't lowered the bar regarding what is considered acceptable.

Just wait until some NBA team moves to Seattle or some Major League Baseball team to Montreal.  We'll then see more of the ugly consequences of the assault on history that the NFL committed with the Browns.

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On 1/21/2018 at 2:34 PM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

The NFL gets to count its statistics any way it likes. But it does not get to alter the objective facts of history.

 

On the contrary, it does! It's a work, folks!

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mod edit 

Edited by Ice_Cap
geeze...let’s not go down that road :P

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1 hour ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Exactly. 

 

The team moved.  There is nothing different about this move than about every single other move in the entire history of professional sports leagues.  (And it has nothing to do with the Rams' one-year hiatus during World War II.)  When anyone begins to recite the NFL's fantasy story regarding the "franchise certificate" as thought it actually means something, I just want to put my hand up and say "ep... ep... ep... ep. THE. TEAM. MOVED."  That's really the entire story.

 

The Hornets/Pelicans/Bobcats situation is a lot worse; but that never would have been possible if the NFL hadn't lowered the bar regarding what is considered acceptable.

Just wait until some NBA team moves to Seattle or some Major League Baseball team to Montreal.  We'll then see more of the ugly consequences of the assault on history that the NFL committed with the Browns.

 

Honestly, if an MLB team moves back to Montreal, count me as ambivalent about the Nationals franchise ceding their history before moving to Washington in 2005. That team was basically an expansion team in terms of talent, and we already choose to honor/remember players and teams not part of the Expos/Nationals franchise rather than pre-2005 Expos players and teams. All the statues are to old Washington Nationals and Washington Senators, the flags, etc. 

 

I really couldn't care less.

 

EDIT: I was wrong that there's no mention of the Expos in the Nationals current apparatus. There is some!

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1 hour ago, Ice_Cap said:

Well the problem I have with the Browns-Ravens situation is that history did unfold a certain way. 

The Browns’ ownership, management, and players all picked up and moved to Baltimore. The same team that played that last season in Cleveland took the field during the first season in Baltimore (give or take a few new or departing players you see with every team during every off-season). 


How a team is staffed has absolutely nothing to do with franchise lineage because players, coaches, and front office personnel change teams all the time. Just like a trade, draft pick, free agent signing, it was a transaction. The contracts were just moved from one franchise to another. Whether that's one player changing teams or all of them changing teams it's all immaterial. Would people have less of a problem if the league had done a dispersal draft of the Browns players and then held an expansion draft for the Ravens? Either way, it doesn't affect franchise lineage.

 

Quote

So that’s how history unfolded. The team that was the Browns picked up and moved. The problem is the NFL’s record books don’t reflect how history unfolded. 

 

I’ll grant you that it was handled far cleaner than the Hornets/Pelicans/Bobcats mess, but it was still a case of the NFL trying to rewrite the historical record. 

 

We know the Browns franchise didn't play in 96-98 and we know the Ravens franchise started in play in 1996. That's hardly irreflective of how history unfolded when that's exactly how history unfolded. 

 

To the second point here, I still don't see any re-writing of the NFL's historical record. It does matter that the Ravens kicked off in 1996 all knowing they were starting fresh and it does matter that everyone involved agreed to the franchise splits as it was all happening in real time. The NBA records, on the other hand, were literally rewritten years after the fact. You can blame the NFL for setting the precedent for the NBA, but I think that's silly. It's not 1996's NFL's fault that 2014's (or whenever it was) NBA was stupid.

 

1 hour ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Exactly. 

 

The team moved.  There is nothing different about this move than about every single other move in the entire history of professional sports leagues.  

 

 

There's a huge difference. Never before had an owner and a league signed an agreement that he'd be leaving his current franchise behind to take over a new franchise in his new city. The Ravens have never played a single snap as part of the Browns franchise. That's an unignorable distinction. 

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1 hour ago, DeFrank said:

 

Honestly, if an MLB team moves back to Montreal, count me as ambivalent about the Nationals franchise ceding their history before moving to Washington in 2005. That team was basically an expansion team in terms of talent, and we already choose to honor/remember players and teams not part of the Expos/Nationals franchise rather than pre-2005 Expos players and teams. All the statues are to old Washington Nationals and Washington Senators, the flags, etc. 

 

I really couldn't care less.

 

The Nationals' Ring of Honor has three Expos. Carter, Dawson, and Raines. The Nats' media guide has everything about the Expos history.

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14 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

How a team is staffed has absolutely nothing to do with franchise lineage because players, coaches, and front office personnel change teams all the time. 

It absolutely matters, and player movement is a huge reason why. 

Let’s take a look at the greates Cleveland Brown of all time, Jim Brown. If you trace the “lineage” of who played alongside who long enough? Jim Brown connects with the Baltimore Ravens. Not the est. 1999 Browns. 

Jim Brown never played for the team that’s now in Cleveland. He did play for the organization that’s now in Baltimore, however. 

 

14 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

Would people have less of a problem if the league had done a dispersal draft of the Browns players and then held an expansion draft for the Ravens? Either way, it doesn't affect franchise lineage.

Well I would disagree on that last point. It certainly affects the lineage. 

As for the dispersal draft? Yeah, it would be far more in-line with the official story the NFL wants to present as truth. If you blow up the 1995 Browns roster? Then you can absolutely make the argument that the Ravens that began play in 1996 were a different team. 

That didn’t happen though. They kept the same roster, more or less. They were the Browns. 

 

14 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

We know the Browns franchise didn't play in 96-98 and we know the Ravens franchise started in play in 1996. That's hardly irreflective of how history unfolded when that's exactly how history unfolded. 

History unfolded that way because the Browns team packed up their bags and started playing in a different city with a different name and different uniforms. 

 

That’s what happened, historically speaking. 

 

14 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

To the second point here, I still don't see any re-writing of the NFL's historical record. 

Again, I concede that the NFL handled the Browns/Ravens circus far better than the NBA handled the Pelicans/Hornets/Bobcats fiasco. That’s not what’s being discussed. 

 

No, the NFL’s records weren’t re-written because the fiction that was the idea the Ravens weren’t the Browns was agreed to ahead of the 1996 season. That’s not rewriting the record books. What it is, however, is a rewriting of history via record book shenanigans.

The NFL can insist that their records state that the Ravens weren’t the historical Browns and that the dumpsterfire 90s expansion team in Cleveland is all day long. That doesn’t change the actual events that happened, however. Where the actual team that was the Browns picked up and moved to Baltimore. 

 

You seem hung up on the “well Modell left the Browns franchise certificate in Cleveland!” point, but I’m with @Ferdinand Cesarano on that. It was a bit of theatre used to avoid a baseless but potentially drawn-out lawsuit from the city of Cleveland. 

 

Modell may have left a piece of paper behind, but the Browns’ roster, management, and ownership was moved to Baltimore.

I hold all of that and the legacy of “who played with who” is more indicative of franchise continuity than a piece of paper is. 

 

 

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Wasn't the front office significantly overhauled between Cleveland and Baltimore? I know Belichick got fired, I assume many of his toadies followed him?

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Further, what did “preserving” the Browns’ history and lineage in Cleveland accomplish? What was gained? 

 

If the point was to preserve the legacy of the original Browns in their traditional home? Well good job, idiots. The new Browns are the worst-run expansion team in any league I’ve ever seen.

Nothing about the Browns’ legacy was saved by granting this new group of idiots the keys to the Browns’ franchise. If anything? Constant losing and mismanagement since 1999 has tarnished the original Browns’ legacy. 

 

Had the Baltimore Browns been allowed to exist as originally intended? The Browns’ lineage would include two Super Bowls. Now Jim Brown and co. are unfortunately tied to a suck-ass 90s expansion team. 

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23 minutes ago, McCarthy said:
1 hour ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

The team moved.  There is nothing different about this move than about every single other move in the entire history of professional sports leagues.  

There's a huge difference. Never before had an owner and a league signed an agreement that he'd be leaving his current franchise behind to take over a new franchise in his new city. The Ravens have never played a single snap as part of the Browns franchise. That's an unignorable distinction. 

 

Never before had that happened because that's not a thing.  It's fiction.  It's a fairy story that the league made up because the league was facing litigation and the risk of an injunction.

 

You can't move the team and "leave the current franchise behind".  The team is the franchise; there is no distinction. 

What's more, we all knew this intuitively before the Browns' move.  But once the NFL broke with this obvious bit of reality, then nothing was off-limits.

 

 

23 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

You can blame the NFL for setting the precedent for the NBA, but I think that's silly. It's not 1996's NFL's fault that 2014's (or whenever it was) NBA was stupid.

 

It sure is the NFL's fault  If the NFL hadn't broken with a century-plus of practice, not to mention common sense and basic bloody honesty, then the New Orleans Hornets dropping the name "Hornets" and the Charlotte Bobcats taking it up might still have happened; but no one would be claiming that the new Hornets are the same franchise as the old Hornets; and the records the New Orleans Hornets would certainly not have been shorn from the original Hornets' history.

 

 

14 minutes ago, WSU151 said:

The Nationals' Ring of Honor has three Expos. Carter, Dawson, and Raines. The Nats' media guide has everything about the Expos history.

 

Let's just hope that it stays that way when Montreal gets either an expansion team or a relocated team.  I actually hope that it's a relocated team, so that the incentive will be less to mess around with the franchise lineages (though that didn't stop the goofballs in the NBA).

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4 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Wasn't the front office significantly overhauled between Cleveland and Baltimore? I know Belichick got fired, I assume many of his toadies followed him?

Which is why I didn’t mention coaching. Ownership and players certainly remained more or less intact between Cleveland and Baltimore. 

I assume some of Modell’s own toadies remained in place though. Which is why I kept it vague about “mangamemt.”

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2 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

Further, what did “preserving” the Browns’ history and lineage in Cleveland accomplish? What was gained?

 

1) A more appropriate name for a Baltimore team and imagined moral high ground for Baltimore fans who are still upset about the Colts carrying on as such in Indianoplace

2) The businesses made money

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12 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

Had the Baltimore Browns been allowed to exist as originally intended?

 

8 minutes ago, the admiral said:
12 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

Further, what did “preserving” the Browns’ history and lineage in Cleveland accomplish? What was gained?

1) A more appropriate name for a Baltimore team

 

It should be mentioned again that the nickname issue is entirely separate from the altering of the record books. 

 

The original Browns could have taken a new nickname more appropriate for their new location, and the expansion team could have been called the Browns, all without the silliness of "leaving the history" and all this "franchise certificate" hooey -- just as the original Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins and the expansion Washington Senators came into existence, without disrupting franchise lineages.

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1 minute ago, the admiral said:

1) A more appropriate name for a Baltimore team and imagined moral high ground for Baltimore fans who are still upset about the Colts carrying on as such in Indianoplace

I’d dispute that point. The Ravens have the makings for a good identity, but they’ve never really put all the pieces together the right way.

 

As far as the Colts go? I would say that’s the reason why “Baltimore Browns” would have been fine. The Colts established Baltimore as an “old school” NFL town. The Ravens, with their very 90s identity, always seemed a bit out of place. 

The Browns’ traditional identity, however, would have fit just fine. 

 

5 minutes ago, the admiral said:

2) The businesses made money

Sure, but it was the mid-90s and this was the NFL. It was going to make money regardless. I have no doubt that “Baltimore Browns” and “Cleveland Bulldogs” stuff would have sold just as well in a better timeline :P

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2 minutes ago, the admiral said:

 

1) A more appropriate name for a Baltimore team and imagined moral high ground for Baltimore fans who are still upset about the Colts carrying on as such in Indianoplace

 

I'd rather have the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland (insert name here, like "Bulldogs") than the expansion Browns or Baltimore Browns. I've never liked the name, as I can't get over the fact that they're named after a guy who would go on to found a team that became a divisional rival. I could understand "grandfathering" the name in after the AFL-NFL merger, but relocation should have made sure that the Baltimore team had to change its name and that the new Cleveland team couldn't use it either. The Brown family should have made a stink about it.

 

I love the Ravens' identity, and it gave Baltimore a fresher take on football (rather than being curmudgeons in the past, like in Cleveland). This renewal should have happened in Cleveland, with the "Browns" name retired for good.

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No, Cleveland loves the Browns, they've certainly proven as much, give the people what they want.

 

No teams should have even been allowed to relocate after the merger (though if the St. Louis Cardinals had been the only ones to do it, I could deal).

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