Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ring of Honor - it's about time

The Browns are expected to officially announce on Thursday plans for a Ring of Honor to pay homage to the 15 former players and Coach Paul Brown, all of whom are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

My question is, why did it take so long? Cleveland Browns Stadium was built 12 years ago and tickets were sold on the rich history of the Browns when they were coached by Paul Brown. Sure, Brian Sipe and the Kardiac Kids of 1980 - who were exciting but did not win a playoff game - and Bernie Kosar and his group were part of the history, but of the 16 Hall of Famers only four played after Brown was fired in 1963.

Lou Groza, Otto Graham, Dante Lavelli and Gene Hickerson have passed away since the stadium opened in 1999. They deserved the chance to be acknowledged by fans with this prestigious recognition.

Some day Kosar and Sipe, Gary Collins, John Wooten, Don Cockroft, Coach Blanton Collier, the late Al Lerner and others should have their names added to the ring that will be displayed on the facing of the upper deck. Names should be added slowly. This is a step above the Cleveland Browns Legends, a program started in 2001 to honor former Browns greats.

I've been in many stadiums in which players are immortalized with a Ring of Honor. When sitting in Lambeau Field one can't help but stare at names like Bart Starr, Paul Hornung and Vince Lombardi and think about the great Packer teams.

This has been too long in the making for the Browns, but better late than never.


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