Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Media spotlight too hot to handle

So the Browns are limiting media access to the club’s rookie minicamp this weekend.

Local media are welcome, but there will be no live video. And national writers, with a few exceptions, are being told they are not welcome.

Someone needs a lesson in public relations.

The reason for the clampdown, of course, is quarterback Johnny Manziel. The media can’t get enough of the young man. 

And what do the Browns, a team hungering for any kind of media exposure, do? They shut it down.

Perhaps it’s the possibility of a circus atmosphere that scares them. If that is the case, then why did they draft the most polarizing figure in the college draft?

Rather than embracing the spotlight, the Browns are running from it as fast as they can. And there is no good reason to.

They could use the minicamp as a dress rehearsal for the media onslaught that certainly will be coming when training camp begins in late July. Make mistakes now and correct them by the time TC starts.

Do the Browns’ PR folks think Manziel can’t handle the media? Didn’t seem to cause him any problems at Texas A&M. What makes Cleveland any different?

The national exposure, whether the Browns like it or not, is there. No reason to turn a blind eye to it. By doing so this weekend, they expose themselves as amateurs to the national media.

Browns fans complain the team does get any national publicity. Now that Manziel is aboard, that will change in a hurry. Don’t run from it. Only problem is the Browns’ PR machine seems ill equipped to handle it.

The club needs someone other than Jimmy Haslam III, who has his own PR problems elsewhere, to call the shots on this one. Whether it's a consulting firm or just someone who specializes in handling  such problems, the Browns need help.

This is the club’s chance to make a big splash on a national level, the chance to put Cleveland back on the National Football League map once again, and they are blowing the opportunity.

Want to be like the big boys? Well, then, act like it.


  1. We seem to be disagreeing a lot lately...

    There are other rookies who will be present at their first NFL minicamp. and I think it's wise to cut the distractions and focus on the task at hand this one time.

    There will be plenty of opportunities for the tabloid sports media to find out what brand of underwear Johnny wears and where he buys his shoes.

    1. What better time to introduce them to the rigors of pro football than right now? As for the focus, the local media will be limited to just the first 15 minutes of practice when they'll see nothing more than warming up. So much for the distractions.

      And you make my point when you say there will be plenty of time to get to Johnny. It's got to start sometime. Why not now?

    2. Why not now?
      There's a lot of kids at this camp that don't need the distraction of the "observing" national media circus at this point.

      Also, I'd rather he became a part of the Brown's team before the Brown's become his team.

      Plus, I like the Browns sticking it to the national media just a bit. They've certainly done the team no favors in recent years.

    3. These kids thrive for any kind of attention they can get. That's one of the many reasons they play the game.

      As for sticking it to the national media, what purpose does that serve? It alienates them even more and makes it more difficult down the line.

      Think more of the repercussions than doing something petty. You want to make friends with the national media.

      You wouldn't make it far in the world of public relations, strummer, with that kind of thinking.

    4. It's THREE days, not forever. And the only ones crying about it are in the media. Poor babies.

  2. What's more important, having a truckload of national talking heads running all over your training facility, or the players having minimum distraction and actually getting their work done? I think your career in journalism has tainted your view on this one.

    1. What kind of distraction? In what way does the appearance of the media distract the players and prevent them from getting their job done? All they do is observe.

      And I have no idea what you mean by your last statement. Fans complain about the Browns not getting enough -- or any -- love from the national media. Now that little problem will be remedied with the arrival of Manziel and they complain the media is a distraction. I don't get it. Can't have it both ways.