Brown rejoins ‘Browns,’ sort of

A story caught my eye today about football great Jim Brown’s return to professional football.

It says the Cleveland Browns have brought Brown back to work for the team in an undisclosed capacity. Good news, yes? Absolutely. Anytime you land someone of Jim Brown’s caliber, you’ve scored a big-time coup.

However …

These aren’t the same Browns for which Brown played for nine seasons before retiring at the peak of his career in 1965. The old Browns franchise packed up and moved to, um, Baltimore. That was in 1996. The Browns wanted a new stadium to replace the Dog Pound, aka Municipal Stadium, which the team filled to capacity with some 90,000 fans on Sunday home games. The old Browns boasted one of the most loyal fan bases in the league, which didn’t seem to matter all that much to the team’s ownership.

Cleveland was without an NFL team for three seasons after that dastardly betrayal by Browns-Ravens owner Art Modell. Then the “Browns” returned in 1999 under new ownership. They built a brand new team from scratch.

The old Browns? Well, they’ve done well since being reincarnated as the Ravens. They’ve won a couple of Super Bowls.

As for Jim Brown, the great running back, he’s had a nice life, too, since football. He’s acted in some films and become a spokesman for civil rights causes. The news link attached to this blog said Brown had been estranged from the Browns – the new Browns, that is – since he was let go some years back. The team has a new owner and apparently Brown has buried the hatchet with the team.

I’m glad he’s back in the NFL, even if his so-called “return” to the “Browns” requires a bit of an explanation.