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False Start
How the new Browns
were set up to fail
By Terry Pluto

This is a depressing book. Don't get me wrong. It's very readable and informative. It's the confirmation of things we expected were true about the Browns return that is depressing.

Terry Pluto is a great sports writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. His account of the events that led up to Art Modell "hijacking the franchise to Baltimore" and the events that follow are right on target.

He tells how the best fans in football got a terrible deal from Modell and the NFL and how Al Lerner, Carmen Policy, Dwight Clark, Chris Palmer and the terrible draft picks all were dumped on us.

I actually got angry all over again as Pluto tells the story - the backroom deals, the greed, the complete disregard for fans that gave their heart and soul (and money) to the team.

Pluto compares the deals and timelines that other expansion franchises got - and how the Browns were again shortchanged. He tells how ego and greed led to the terrible first years of the Browns return.

Interspersed with letters from Browns fans, the book outlines the obstacles that the new Browns faced and how the NFL and the greedy powers-that-be couldn't care less.

As a 20+ year season ticket holder I agree with what Pluto says after relating some of the greed-driven policies that hurt the new franchise - "And that makes me mad, because Browns fans deserve better."

Yes we do. And it's a shame.

Reviewed by Dan Hanson

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