Let’s face it: The Browns do a lot of dumb stuff.
The current franchise has pretty much been a disaster since returning pro football to Cleveland in 1999.
But at least these Browns didn’t fire Bill Belichick, the Patriots’ five-time Super Bowl-winning coach.
That dubious deed was done by the team that currently plays in Baltimore, as noted in the story by the Associated Press published 21 years ago:
(Art) Modell, owner of the Baltimore NFL franchise formerly known as the Cleveland Browns, fired coach Bill Belichick on Wednesday. He did not name a replacement, but former Baltimore Colt coach Ted Marchibroda is a possible choice for the job.
This is apparently unclear to many, however, including ESPN’s NFL Twitter feed.
Don’t you hate it when the facts in the way of a good narrative?
For further context, the Baltimore Sun reported Feb. 9, 1996, about the agreement forged between the NFL and the city of Cleveland allowing Modell to take his team east – with the stipulation it wouldn’t be the Browns anymore.
Modell’s team eventually became the Ravens and won the Super Bowl following the 2000 season.
Belichick landed on his feet as a Patriots assistant and after a stint with the Jets has led New England to championships.
In retrospect, this all worked out pretty well for everyone... except the new Browns of course.