Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

C'mon Cleveland, Leave the Vikings Browned Off

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

C'mon Cleveland, Leave the Vikings Browned Off

Article excerpt

Byline: Ken Elliott

IT JUST might be worth the Cleveland Browns giving Roy Hodgson a call before Sunday's NFL match-up with the Minnesota Vikings at Twickenham.

They will enter the home of rugby on the back of seven straight defeats, albeit having managed to score points when Crystal Palace could not score goals.

Hodgson's Palace faced Chelsea at home a couple of weeks ago on the back of a seven-defeat start to the Premier League season and south London held its breath, certain it was about to become eight.

But Roy and the boys conjured a 2-1 win against the reigning champions, and now the Browns must try to beat the Vikings, who sit top of the NFC Central Division with a 5-2 record. So Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson needs that chat with Roy.

It goes deeper for the Browns, as they won only one regular-season game in 16 last season.

It is an unhappy franchise. Not many sports teams can rock club colours of predominantly brown, with orange and white, and they are in a league containing Raiders, Chargers, Eagles, Vikings and Giants -- just a few of the more 'threatening' team names.

They are unique among the 32 teams in the NFL in that they do not have a logo on their helmets, and are the only team named after a specific person, original coach Paul Brown.

Cleveland have never even been to the Super Bowl, let alone won it, since they first played in 1946, but they were a championship-winning powerhouse in the 1940s and 1950s pre-Super Bowl era.

They even ceased to exist, as a competing team, at one point in their history. In 1995, owner Art Modell announced plans to move the team from Ohio to Baltimore, Maryland. With the city and the team's fans facing the loss of their beloved Browns, a compromise was reached in early 1996 that allowed Modell to establish the Baltimore Ravens as a new franchise while retaining the contracts of all Browns personnel.

The Browns' team name, logos, training facility and history were kept in trust and the franchise was regarded by the NFL as suspended.

The pledge was that a new team would be established by 1999, either by expansion or relocating an existing franchise, and the Browns were announced as an expansion team in 1998 and were back playing in the NFL in 1999 as the Browns, in their original club colours and in a new stadium in Cleveland. …

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