Chris Chase, USAToday:
While the Cleveland Browns’ helmet and logo redesign was met with a collective yawn earlier this year, the release of the team’s new uniforms on Tuesday night brought forth a different reaction: These are pretty great for a team with such a boring color palette.

My first impression is that with the block, capital-lettering of Cleveland atop the numbers, these look like something a traditional college team would wear. And that’s no insult. Classic is cool. The NFL has gone way too fashion forward in recent years with the Seattle Seahawks, in particular, wearing uniforms that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Back to the Future II. That’s been the direction of all uniforms for years. It makes sense in college because teenage recruits might be swayed by stuff like a sparkly helmet with Maryland’s flag on it.

The Cleveland Browns made "the move" following the 1995 NFL season to Baltimore becoming the Ravens. The Browns waited patiently for a new stadium, but were not taken seriously by civic leaders. Owner Art Modell had spent $72 million of his own fortune to rehabilitate Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. The mistake by the lake was in dire need of repair.

The city of Cleveland had spent $685 million on the new Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, a new baseball stadium for the Cleveland Indians, and a new basketball facility for the Cleveland Cavaliers. There was no remaining cash flow to accommodate the Cleveland Browns.

Three reasons prevented Browns' owner Art Modell from being taken care of. Cleveland head coach Bill Belichick had alienated the fan base by releasing star QB Bernie Kosar. His dealings with the media was also an extremely touchy subject.

Art Modell had run out of money. He could no longer reach into his pockets and keep helping the city of Cleveland. In essence, he was going broke.

Cleveland Mayor Mike Jones did not take serious the threat of the Browns moving to another NFL city. He felt Art Modell was bluffing.

With no possibility of a new stadium, Browns' owner Art Modell listened to a dream scenario from Baltimore's political leaders. The deal was brokered by Cleveland businessman Al Lerner, Chairman of the Board of credit card giant MBNA.

Following the move to Baltimore, Cleveland was without an NFL franchise until 1999. The new owner of the Cleveland Browns was Al Lerner.

While the team has struggled since the glory days of the early 60's, new uniforms for 2015 should make a huge difference.

1964 was the last title for the Cleveland Browns, and the last title for any team from Cleveland. I can't wait for the playoffs to begin. We may have to adjust our television sets to see the "new kids on the block."

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 4/16/2015 01:35:00 PM Edit

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