The Patriots play the Cleveland Browns today.
I mentioned this to my wife last night. She said, “The Browns? I’ve never heard of them. What a stupid name.”
I was surprised that she’d never heard of the Browns. She’s not a huge football fan, but she tends to know as much as the casual fan. Then again, the Browns haven’t won a meaningful game in decades, so they aren’t mentioned very often in casual circles.
Addressing the team’s name, I said, “Actually, the team is named after their first head coach, Paul Brown. And their greatest player of all time happens to be Jim Brown.”
“So what’s their mascot?” she asked. “A pantone chip?”
I’d never thought about it before, but she’s right. It’s a fairly stupid name for a football team. And it’s actually the team’s second choice of name. They were originally named The Cleveland Panthers, but another team in another football league claimed the rights to the name first, forcing the owners to choose a new name.
And Elysha is right. They chose poorly.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the greatness of their first head coach, Paul Brown, and the honor that the team’s name bestows upon him, but in the end, the team is named after a color. And an unpopular color, too. No one’s favorite color is brown. It’s the color that’s least often used in a box of crayons.
It’s the color of dirt.
Even worse, the Brown’s uniforms are more orange than brown.
As if to emphasize the stupidity of the name, it turns out that the Cleveland Brown’s on-again, off-again mascot is The Brownie Elf.
Brownies are elves from British folklore that are said to inhabit houses and aid in chores. They don’t like to be seen and will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for small gifts of food. Among food, they especially enjoy porridge and honey.
No wonder The Cleveland Browns have never made it to the Super Bowl. It turns out that a pantone chip might’ve been a better mascot after all.