Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown discussed a variety of topics this morning on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio channel with hosts Steve Phillips and Andrew Bogusch. Here are some of the highlights from the interview:
On his relationship with the Browns -- "I’m a Cleveland Brown for life but, man, I’ll tell you, I live in a positive world and I like to be able to help and I’ll never like to get in anybody’s way. And when I think of my experience with the Browns it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth because my intentions were good, and I was asked to participate, and I worked in that city very hard to represent the Browns. And I even got awards for working with organizations in the name of the Browns. And, of course, I wanted them to win but it’s like because they didn’t win then everybody is to blame. And when you get a new regime that comes in and they say, 'Ok, everybody’s gone.' And you say, 'Well, I’m gone, too?' 'Yeah, you’re gone, too.' It’s not a great feeling and it’s all about feeling. It’s like what am I to this organization? On one hand you want to give me a Ring of Honor. On the other hand you want to deal in dishonor. So I wish the organization well but I’m happy just to go my way and to live my life because I’m going to try to help people and help situations with Amer-I-Can, my organization, and that’s going well. And I don’t wish any bad luck, I don’t have any ill feelings, only how I feel, it’s about my feelings and just how I feel. And that’s the way it is, you know? But there’s no blame, there’s no finger-pointing, none of that in my repertoire. So that’s an honest analysis of just my feelings."
On the NFL work stoppage -- "I think it is something that should not have happened. I think that the money is there, the popularity is there, the league is doing great. I think that the entities have to prove their particular points. The union has to let the players know that they have a value, when they might not have a value. The agents of players are interested only, pretty much, in their own players. The owners are split in their position because you have the little owners, the small[-market] owners, you have the big owners. And basically you have a mess because a lot of people don’t know that these two entities really are in this whole thing together because the owners collect the dues for the union. And then the union says that players are united but there’s no way for players to be united. When this whole thing is over what you’re gonna have are a lot of victims that are borderline players or players that are finishing their careers that need this season to really round out their economic situation. ... So there are no positives that can truly come out of it because they should have dealt with the health-care plan, they should have dealt with the pension plan. They should have taken care of the old players and that should have been a priority. They know they have to have a rookie salary cap, that’s a no-brainer. And if the players don’t feel that physically they can play 18 games they should just take that off the table. So it’s an unfortunate set of circumstances because when you talk about the split, who out there in the general public knows where that money goes? A split of what revenues and where does the money go and how does it affect the players that truly need it to affect them? Or is it just something that makes the union bigger?"
On if owners and players will be smart enough to avoid missing games -- "I think that they would have to be smart enough. Anyone that would allow the season to be a messed up situation, as you say, doesn’t have the best interests of football in their mind. There has to be a selfishness there and an ignorance because there are no benefits that anyone can truly gain by having no football this year. It would make no sense at all and whatever you would gain, some people would gain in revenue, other people would lose and the people that would lose really need it."
On NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell -- "Roger is realistic. He’s in a very difficult position and he’s doing really a heck of a job in my opinion in trying to deal with the elements that he has to deal with. He has to deal with a group of owners that are all different and a lot of them are somewhat eccentric and have their own ways. You have the big owners, you have the small owners and they don’t agree. And then you’re dealing with a players union which is almost amateur time in Dixie when it comes to the power of those who are leading the union and also the knowledge."