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Unhappy legend

August 31, 2010 - Mike McLain

Jim Brown is making news these days for snubbing the unveiling of the Cleveland Browns' initial class in their Ring of Honor.

The ceremonies will take place during the first home game, Sept. 19 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Brown informed team president Mike Holmgren that he won't attend because of a difference of opinion he has with Holmgren concerning how each thinks he should be utilized in the organization.

Brown had been a consultant to team president and owner Randy Lerner, a job that paid him a six-figure salary. Holmgrem is now president, and he apparently doesn't need Brown's advice.

The two had a meeting during which Holmgren reportedly wanted Brown to remain in another capacity. Brown apparently feels unwanted and insulted by the proposal.

Brown is coming off bad on this one. Obviously his consultations with Lerner didn't help much, which is why Holmgren was brought in and given the keys to the mansion.

Others in the organization were let go by former team president Mike Keenan to cut costs, many of whom were more valuable than Brown. Why can't Brown accept the reality that his input wasn't worth the financial cost to the organization.

To some the ring of honor ceremony won't seem like much without Brown, arguably the greatest player in franchise history, but life will go on. Paul Warfield will be there, as will Joe DeLamielleure. Family members of the Hall of Fame players that are deceased will also attend the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Jim will sit at home and complain to anyone willing to listen. He seems to think that he's entitled to a cushy job and a handsome salary simply because of is name value.

I remember when my mom took me to watch the Browns practice at Hiram College in the 1960s. Most of the players were willing to sign autographs as they walked off thhe field. The exception was Brown, who walked through a tunnel straight to the locker room without signing for those of us that reached over a barrier with pen and paper in hand.

Shortly after that snub I stood on the field with several other kids while receiver Clifton "Sticks' McNeil signed autographs until all of us left. Needless to say, my opinion of McNeil was higher than it was of Brown.

My criticism of Brown might be harsh, but it's deserved. You'd think he put aside his differences with Holmgren for the good of a group that will receive honors long overdue.

Apparently he hasn't changed much since the time I tried to get his autograph.



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