False Start by Terry Pluto

Gray & Company, Publishers

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False Start by Terry Pluto
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False Start

How the New Browns Were Set Up to Fail

by Terry Pluto

  • Hardcover, 161 pages, 5.3 x 8 inches
  • ISBN: 978-1-886228-88-7
[A book] NFL fans in general and Browns' fans in particular will definitely want to read . . . a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how the new Browns were created and what's kept them from making the progress everyone expected. — Houston Chronicle

Browns fans: Your team never had a chance.

That's what Terry Pluto, one of Cleveland's top sportswriters, realized after taking a hard look at the unhappy beginnings of the new Cleveland Browns franchise. This book chronicles what he found: backroom deals, big-money power plays, poor decisions, and plain bad luck that have dogged the venerable team ever since Art Modell skipped town in 1995.

When the new Cleveland Browns took the field in 1999, it was supposed to be the dawn of a grand new era of football in Cleveland. Instead, it was a rude wakeup call.

Legions of loyal fans—once heartsick, abandoned, and disgusted at the loss of their team in 1995—were ready to forgive the past and embrace the future . . . a new owner, a new team, a new stadium. They just wanted their Browns back. But it soon became clear: Browns fans got a bum deal. The NFL had traded one of the most storied teams in football history for a franchise mired in mediocrity.

These fans, after owner Art Modell skipped town with their beloved Browns, became the only fans ever to take on the NFL, demand their team back—and win. Yet while they were celebrating the supposed victory that kept “our name, our colors, our team” in Cleveland, fans should have been looking over their shoulders and keeping a close watch on the NFL. There would be few reasons to celebrate in the years to come.

How much longer would they have to wait for a return to glory? Pluto sifts through the clues and looks for answers. This is a book the NFL does not want you to read.

Reviews
One of the best football books I've ever laid my eyes on . . . a terrific, easy read and extremely insightful, not only about the true heart of a Browns fan but also on the collapse of an expansion franchise. — ESPN.com
[A book] NFL fans in general and Browns' fans in particular will definitely want to read . . . a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how the new Browns were created and what's kept them from making the progress everyone expected. — Houston Chronicle
While many of [the Browns'] hurdles have been debated at length, Pluto tells the tale from the mouths of former coach Chris Palmer, former team president Carmen Policy and even [newly departed coach Butch Davis]. The result is an intriguing, if not at times, unbelievable, explanation of how and why the Browns have struggled since the team's 1999 reincarnation. — Cleveland Magazine
About Terry Pluto
Terry Pluto

Terry Pluto is a sports columnist for The Plain Dealer. He has twice been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the nation's top sports columnist for medium-sized newspapers. He is a nine-time winner of the Ohio Sports Writer of the Year award and has received more than 50 state and local writing awards. In 2005 he was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame. He is the author of 23 books, including The Curse of Rocky Colavito (selected by the New York Times as one of the five notable sports books of 1989), and Loose Balls, which was ranked number 13 on Sports Illustrated's list of the top 100 sports books of all time. He was called “Perhaps the best American writer of sports books,” by the Chicago Tribune in 1997. He lives in Akron, Ohio. More About Terry Pluto

Contains References to:

Akron Beacon Journal, Al Lerner, Art Model, Baltimore Ravens, Bernie Kosar, Bill Belichick, Butch Davis, Carmen Policy, Cleveland Browns, Dawg Pound, Dwight Clark, Ozzie Newsome, Paul Brown, Tim Couch

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