Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Does Patrick McManamon Owe the Browns an Apology?

AKRON LEAKING URINAL - Even though we constantly poke fun at some of the local beat writers, we'll admit that Northeast Ohio is home to some of the very best (does anyone cover the Mid-American Conference like Elton Alexander, or Cleveland State athletics like Joe Maxse?). But we're a little concerned that a former Cleveland Browns employee has an axe to grind with the organization - and no, it's not former PR director Ken Mather. Ok yes it is, but we'll get to that next week.

Instead, we're talking about ABJ browns beat writer/columnist Patrick McManamon. Earlier this week, he eviscerated the Browns over the alleged removal of a mural commemorating past Hall of Famers and for the announcement of layoffs within the organization. The fine people at the Ohio and Brown Report have debunked the whole mural mess.

"sources inside Berea tell us the mural is not actually getting painted over as it is getting moved. This appears to have been the plan from the beginning rather than a last-minute scramble to overcome negative public reaction. "

As for the layoffs, it's sad to see many good people out of a job. But the often vilified Lerner isn't alone. The Colts, Redskins, Patriots and NFL have all done the exact same thing - using the economy has a justification. Going back in history, McManamon wrote a little more glowingly about the organization when Savage was hired, although to be fair, that was when he worked for the organization.

We'd hate to see what he writes about the ABJ when its he's gone in a few years.


Christian said...

There goes your chance with McManamon for your next podcast.

Barry McBride said...

Thanks for the linkage, compadres. In answer to your question: "No". Pat's report that it was being removed from outside the locker room is still correct, but we just added the info that it will show up elsewhere. As to whether "whitewash" turned into "move" after Pat's report, we don't have a definitive answer, but the language used by our sources gave the impression that it was always the plan.

Pat McManamon said...

First ... Of course I apologize for writing it was painted over. I was wrong. That's what I was told, and it came from several people who reasonably assumed that's what happened. That's no excuse for me; I was wrong. And I apologize. I checked into it, talked to Bill Bonsiewicz and posted something on the ABJ blog immediately. There will also be something in Sunday's paper.

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Second ... The mural was placed where it was so players could see it on their way in the building. It had been there for a while, and took a lot of work to make and put up. It was meant as an inspiring thing to present day players, who as former Browns guard Joe DeLamielleure said, have what they have because of the Hall of Famers. Instead of painting around it, the team removed it. Bonsiewicz said they may put it back up, but I'm told that it is on very thin onion-skin type material, and once it's removed it's near impossible to put the same thing back up. Too, the man who did the mural was laid off, and it was made special for the indentations on the cinder block. So it's going to be tough to put the same thing up.

Third ... the criticism about a personal agenda is a fair point to make, and I take it seriously. But I bend over backward to be fair. My job now is provide opinion. My opinion may be wrong. It may be right. But it's always based on reporting and the best facts I can get. I really have nothing to be bitter about. I had a great experience there, got my old job back and now have another great job. There's nothing to be angry about. At this point, though, I have to write what I feel is my most honest opinion. It hurts sometimes, but I have to do it.

Fourth ... as Barry says in a previous comment, it's been made pretty clear to me that the team would say the plan all along was to move the mural. But I was told from the get-go it can't be taken down and moved. It can be re-done or replicated, but not moved. Like Barry, I don't have a definitive answer because it's a he-said, she-said thing.

Fifth ... I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but I appreciate the debate. And I hope this helps clear some things up.

Webmaster said...

Pat, you're a standup guy, which completely inhibits are ability to bust balls in the future. A followup will be posted at some point this weekend.

Thanks for your response. We've never gotten a personalized response from Elton Alexander. So you've just jumped him the beat writing hierarchy.

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