I thought it'd be a cold day in, well, Cleveland, before its professional football club sold out (and we're not talking about ticket sales). The Browns, in my mind, are the NFL's benchmark for tradition, old school toughness, retro cool, and most importantly, a respectable aversion to change. These are reasons to like them, despite their hapless performances year after year.
But with the news Cleveland Browns Stadium will adopt corporate sponsorship for the first time this year, some love was lost. The old arena has a shiny new name, FirstEnergy Stadium, and presumably those wonderful plain orange helmets are the next to go (though owner Jimmy Haslam assures us they won't be touched).
At least FirstEnergy is an Akron, Ohio-based company with previous dealings with the Browns. And, I can at least understand that the club might need more cash, because they certainly haven't been mailed any "winner's checks" lately.
Amazingly, the Brownies haven't capitalized on stadium-naming rights since occupying Cleveland Browns Stadium following their 1999 rebirth. Apparently this marks a new era in Cleveland football. "This deal is a great example of why we feel very good about the direction our organization is headed," said team CEO Joe Bannerand. "We believe it can serve as a catalyst for many other positive developments moving forward."
And yet, I can't help but feel club brass didn't explore all arena name possibilities for this much maligned, but widely loved NFL team.
So here are 10 alternative names for Browns Stadium:
- An-Orange-Bowl-For-A-Helmet Arena
- First In Energy, Last In The Standings Stadium
- The Brown Patch
- Fourth and Long Park
- Dog Day Afternoons Arena
- The Back Porch
- Throw The Fans A Bone Field
- Nothing Doing Since Bernie Bowl
- We Still Have Corned Beef Ground
- Paul Brown Not The Founder But Local Dry Cleaner Coliseum