Mike Holmgren has a vision for the Browns. It involves winning, of course. Loads of winning.
He also has dreams of Cleveland Browns Stadium becoming the kind of place where he can bring his grandchildren and wife; where he can roam through pregame tailgates for good-natured discussions with fans, as he did when coaching in Green Bay and Seattle.
In the Mike Holmgren Era, which officially began this weekend with the opening of Browns training camp, fans will be enthusiastic and supportive.
Not aggressive or obscene. Not spilling beers or vehemently taunting opposing fans. Not being obnoxious or offensive.
After hearing too many stories of longtime season-ticket holders not renewing seats because they were disgusted with the behavior of out-of-hand fans at Browns Stadium, Holmgren is taking his first steps in overhauling the culture of the Browns organization by making a simple request: Please behave, Browns fans.
Make Browns Stadium a difficult place for opponents to play, but don’t make it a place where some of Cleveland’s own fans won’t attend games because of disgust with your behavior.
For now, the plan is simply to send the message, starting from the top. Holmgren’s “Home-Field Advantage” campaign will kick off with visible reminders on signs throughout the stadium that fans need to maintain civil language and behavior while cheering on the Browns. In-game videos might follow.
“Right now what we want to do is really just spread the word, spread the message that we want to create an atmosphere where everyone can go to the game and feel good,” Holmgren said. “It’ll be a fun experience. It’ll be a safe experience. And you’re not going to have to worry about someone ruining the game for you.”
The rules for behavior — as specified in a Code of Conduct issued by the NFL in 2008 — aren’t changing. But the enforcement of those rules might alter this season with Holmgren in charge.
“Maybe we’re a little stricter in how we enforce some of the stuff and just take a little harder stance in controlling it,” Holmgren said.
That means aggressively pursuing any complaints from fans, who can send discreet texts to Browns security during games when anyone is interfering with enjoyment of the game. It might mean more arrests and more ejections from games. And, if need be, the revoking of season tickets.
For now, the Browns don’t plan on increasing their level of security.
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Article courtesy cleveland.com