February 11, 2014 10:04am. This is the exact date and time that my buddy Quinn sent me a text message. It said “Haslam is like Donald Trumping all over the place.” Yeah, I have some pretty funny friends. Not sure why we haven’t gotten our own sketch comedy show yet. Anyway… back to the news.
Just 44 days after firing Rob Chudzinski and his staff, Jimmy Haslam has fired his General Manager and his CEO is “stepping down.” Mike Lombardi has been relieved of his General Manager position effective immediately and has been replaced by Ray Farmer, the Assistant General Manager. Joe Banner has “stepped down” as the CEO apparently thanks to Peyton Manning.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not upset by this shake-up my any means. In fact, I don’t know anyone who is upset by it. From what I can recall, almost every Browns fan to a person was not happy about the hirings of Banner and Lombardi. No, I don’t have a problem with getting rid of these guys, but I do have a problem. That problem is a lack of trust. I don’t trust anyone being investigated by the FBI for fraud. These kinds of people tend to lie to you. They tend to have their employees lie to you. For some reason, I can’t help but think of Donnie Brosco and the Bonanno crime family.
Anytime there are firings like this, there are going to be skeptics. But these firings, being just a month and a half after the coaching staff was cleaned out, raise even more skepticism. Candidly Jimmy, you asked for it!
“Haslam is like Donald Trumping all over the place.” – Quinn
After pulling his name out of consideration for the Miami Dolphin’s vacant General Manager position, Ray Farmer told The Plain Dealer that he was not promised a promotion to stay with the Browns. He’s quoted as saying “No, and I would’ve balked at that… I will never hunt anyone’s job that I work with.” Sure, Mr. Farmer, but there’s a difference between “hunting” someone’s job and being told a GM position was going to be available if you just “stick it out” for a week or two.
Something else that’s fishy about his insisting that he was not promised the GM position in Cleveland is little blurb in a report in the Miami Herald. Adam H. Beasley wrote this in his article on January 24th: “Browns CEO Joe Banner told reporters Thursday night that Farmer, currently the Browns’ assistant GM, will remain in Cleveland. That’s a remarkable turnaround in the course of 24 hours, when many believed he would end up in Miami.”
Beasley also stated that Ray Farmer was “seen as the likely successor to Jeff Ireland by many both inside and outside of the search.” It was speculated by those in Miami that the reason for Farmer pulling his candidacy was due to the Dolphin’s internal power struggles.
In the press conference today, Jimmy Haslam was extremely quick to insist that Ray Farmer did not decline the Dolphin’s GM position because he knew he would be receiving a promotion in Cleveland… too quick if you ask me. But the promotion that Farmer did end up receiving just 19 days later is curiously convenient for him. Hey Ray, you should probably go down to the Horseshoe Casino tonight!
I think it’s interesting how, in almost every situation, either Jimmy Haslam or his employees are “ignorant” of the goings on in his organization. I don’t think you can run two billion-dollar organizations by being aloof, but what do I know?
Haslam made it a point to reiterate the fact that he thinks the perception of the Browns’ organization as being a “toxic” place to work has been created by the media and not Britney Spears. That’s like me saying that the reason I didn’t kiss a girl until I was an adult is because everyone around me told girls I liked that I had halitosis. But, in actuality, I was presenting myself in an unattractive manner.
Hey, Jimmy! Maybe the following things contribute to the perception that the Browns offices are a “toxic” place to work:
- Pilot/Flying J being investigated by the FBI
- The Browns are now on their 3rd coaching staff in 2 years under his watch
- The Browns are now on their 2nd GM in 2 years under his watch
- The Browns have had 2 consecutive 4 win seasons under his watch
The media just reports the facts… and sometimes rumors. But people can draw their own conclusions from the facts they see, experience, and read. If the above points are false or inaccurate, then blame the media. Otherwise know your role and shut your mouth! Understand that you’re presenting your organization as a “toxic” place to work. Quit blaming other people. What, are you 12? Grow up you ding-wad.
I’m too worked up. I can’t even wrap this post up nicely. This is my conclusion. Jimmy Haslam is basically a mobster with a southern charm. Don’t believe anything he says. He’s a liar… and so are his employees that wield power of any sort.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a load of boxers that need to be swapped from the washing machine into the dryer.
BONUS: Ray Farmer’s going to the Horseshoe Casino tonight with these guys. “You always double down on an 11 baby.”