“Joe Banner understands the business of football as well as anyone who has ever worked in the NFL”

by Cleveland Frowns on February 21, 2013

The more that theoretically legitimate journalistic outlets like Cleveland.com and ESPN Cleveland WKNR continue to treat the Browns’ in-house “reporter” Vic Carucci as anything other than a PR flack, the harder it is to ignore when Carucci says something especially ridiculous. So about the latest from Brownstown’s own Baghdad Bob:

The man who was hired by Mike Holmgren in 2011, to “provide insights [to Browns fans] on a regular basis” after having written two biographies and much more for Bob LaMonte clients like Holmgren himself, has unsurprisingly survived the latest NFL regime change in Cleveland. The same man who once wrote a whole column about Pat Shurmur’s “remarkable knack” for “doing everything possible to help a young team get better;” the one who told us after a 13-12 home loss to a bullet-riddled two-win Rams corpse in 2011 that Shurmur “clearly took advantage” of his special knowledge of the Rams (lucky for Browns fan, the loss wouldn’t have been so close if not for Shurmur’s insight into his former employer); who also knew that there was absolutely “nothing the Browns would have been able to do from a schematic or play-calling standpoint to change things” in a 30-12 stampede by the Texans that same season. Now wants to assure us that owner Jimmy Haslam’s recent decision to return to the helm of Pilot Flying J, the sixth largest business in the U.S., won’t impact the Cleveland Browns in any negative way at all. And anyone who suggests otherwise is just a silly willy.


Literally. Carucci’s headline at the Browns’ official website says, “Silly to assume Haslam will be less involved with Browns,” and the column begins with flair:

So Jimmy Haslam is returning to his role as chief executive officer of Pilot Flying J.

So what?

So what that a Tennessee truck stop prince would vigorously proclaim his commitment to Cleveland, Ohio and the Browns upon purchasing the franchise from Randy Lerner, cash in on so much goodwill for being so much more “passionate” than the “absentee” Lerner, and even more for stepping down from his position as CEO of the billion dollar family business and hiring one of the fanciest corporate execs in the country to take his place, only to go back on the whole arrangement a few months later because he realized that his “first love” was world domination, or at least just fracking the living daylights out of every tectonic plate in America that has a few pennies under it. This will not affect Browns fans in the slightest. Other than in good ways, of course. Because Vic Carucci says so, in a column that’s mainly noteworthy for the fact that anyone in the Browns front office thought it had to be written at all.

Though in his attempt to support the impossible conclusion that, “Haslam [will] remain every bit as involved and as engaged with the Browns as he vowed to be when he talked about being ‘all in’ last summer,” Carucci does squeeze out a few extra special gems worth admiring here.

Foremost about Joe Banner, who, according to Carucci, “understands the business of football as well as anyone who has ever worked in the NFL.”

Anyone. There is not a single person who has ever worked in the National Football League who understands the business of football better than Joe Banner, and anyone who wants to suggest otherwise is just whacked out on goofballs.

One reason we know this, according to Carucci, is that, “under Banner’s watch,” the Browns have undertaken the strategy of “hav[ing] assembled a business operation with people with extensive and varied backgrounds of considerable success in the NFL and other major-league sports.”

Extensive. Varied. Considerable. Nobody in football history has ever thought of putting these things together.

And if you needed any more proof of Banner’s preeminence among history’s football minds, “[t]hey have a naming rights deal for Cleveland Browns Stadium, and continue to work toward other enhancements to build the world-class organization Haslam and Banner promised the Browns would be.”

Stadium naming rights and “other enhancements.” The ghosts of Da Vinci and Edison are flush with embarrassment. And Carucci, his employers, and their enablers decidedly are not.

“Haslam needs to continue to take good care of [Pilot Flying J] because it has taken good care of him and his family,” Carucci says. Because god knows a billion dollars and a hundred thousand pounding land drills could never be enough. What would the Cleveland Browns be without these people? Where would humanity be without Vic Carucci around to explain it all?

911 DAWG

RELATED: “I don’t imagine anyone else can have more — maybe somebody could tie — have a sense of the appreciation of the history of the fans of this city.” — Joe Banner

  • rodofdisaster

    Carucci is a remarkable guy. I just wonder why such an accomplished sports writer would accept a position to be a biased mouthpiece for the Browns is beyond me. They now have Michael Lombardi to fill that role so perhaps Vic will go back to real news soon.

    I fully suspect that when he looks in the mirror, he must be red-faced with embarassment as he insults the intelligence of the Cleveland sports fan by the dissemination of propaganda. Vic, I’m sure the Flying J will be just fine whether Jimmy shows up for work tomorrow or not.

    • SeattleBrownsFan

      Undoubtedly he’s getting paid very well and he gets to walk to work!

      • NeedsFoodBadly

        That’s gotta be it. Better pay and/or less hours, and most likely increased job security. Powerful inducements. In the end, we all get co-opted anyways.

  • BIKI024

    i don’t know about you guys, but it seems to me Haslam should’ve hired the Cheddar Bay Executive Committee to run football ops, good grief is there anything they don’t seem to be able to do at an exceptional level??

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      no one denies this.

    • nj0

      thought this went without saying

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Sometimes the obvious things need to be said. Thank you, Biki.

  • p_forever

    It’s especially cripes-worthy that the one specific example of an “enhancement” procured by banner that will inure to the benefit of clevelanders is a stadium naming rights deal in which the city was completely screwed.

    • nj0

      Enhancement = new way to make money off what should be a public trust

  • bupalos

    You just don’t understand Frownie. Since Hiring Carucci the Browns have made a nonstop parade of incredibly brilliant decisions. But it’s just So Hard To Win in the NFL. You just have to thread this incredibly small needle to win even 1 game ever, because Competitors, National Football League, Competitors, Hard to Win, Sunday, Talent. No one understands this, but Vic takes the time to help explain this for the folks.

    • BIKI024

      yep cuz it’s one big conspiracy. as long as the Browns continue to put out biased pieces they will continue to have plenty of traffic to their website, listen to Vic’s daily radio show, and most of all come out to the games. i mean how dense do you guys think the average Cleveland fan is.. wait, maybe that wasn’t a good question. thank god for all the “unbiased” works by Frowns and all the other good writers out there to protect the layman from Vic and the big bad men of Berea…

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        Oh for heavens sake, Biki. I know we don’t see the world the same way in a lot of ways, which is a big reason why we are such good friends. And while I guess it’s one thing if you don’t think Brother Jimmy’s do-si-do with the Pilot CEO position is worthy of comment, and even another thing if you want to believe it was a good idea for Carucci to publish a column *specifically to say that the whole thing isn’t worthy of comment* (LOL). But if you don’t think it’s at least worth commenting on (if not completely ridiculous or actually outrageous and a significant indicator of myopic leadership) when a Cleveland Browns employee, and not just that but one who is employed precisely to foster good relations with the public, comes out and actually publishes the words, “[Joe Banner] understands the business of football as well as anyone who has ever worked in the NFL,” then I humbly suggest that you have a lot to gain personally in reconsidering your position. Then maybe we’ll finally be able to take this relationship to the next level. WORDS MATTER, BRUH. PEOPLE SHOULD BE CAREFUL WITH THEM.

        • BIKI024

          i guess j just don’t care enough. it’s freakin sports dude, just entertainment for me. sure Vic has his fluff pieces out there but overall i like the persoectives he brings to the table in a lot of his articles and radio spots. not that i listen or read his stuff regularly, but it is what it is. he’s just doing his job. what can i say, this is a nin-issue for me cuz i don’t really take what any sports journalist say seriously.

  • nj0

    “…understands the business of football as well as anyone who has ever worked in the NFL.”

    “There is not a single person who has ever worked in the National
    Football League who understands the business of football as well as Joe

    Technically he’s saying that there is not a single person who has ever worked in the National Football League who understands the business of football BETTER than Joe Banner.

  • http://twitter.com/DaveKolonich Dave Kolonich

    I totally missed Vic’s response to the 2011 Rams loss (along with all of his other shows). That particular game was the moment I realized how much of a hack Shurmur truly was. That was the game when Shurmur responded to criticism of his offense by pulling out some of the most juvenile trick plays ever run in the NFL – against a team that Shurmur coached for two years and basically knew the personnel – and the Browns still couldn’t score a TD. Speaking of hacks, it totally makes sense that Vic would cover for him.

  • alexb

    can I remarkable knack?

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Depends. Who’s your agent?

  • Dinger

    I do enjoy the way that you do call out these pricks

  • jamick6000

    After reading some of Carucci’s stuff, the funny thing to me is that I really don’t see a huge difference between his writing and, say, Mary Kay Cabot’s writing, or most of the mainstream Browns coverage. And on the rare occasion I hear him on KNR, he’s really not saying anything different than other panelists on the show like Michael Reghi.

    I’m curious if other people think the same thing.

    To me, the fact that I can’t see any difference between the coverage of someone who is literally paid to make pro-Browns propaganda and the people paid to provide “objective” coverage tells me everything I need to know about the sports media in this city.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      I think the same thing, yes. See, e.g., full page season ticket ads in the PD and at Cleveland.com and also Cleveland Browns Daily sponsored by Liberty Ford.

      • jamick6000

        Yeah, forgot about those ads. NOW ACCEPTING DEPOSITS.

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