By Nate Ulrich
Beacon Journal sports writer
Beacon Journal sports writer
The Browns sent two representatives Tuesday to the memorial service of a die-hard fan and season-ticket holder whose witty obituary has garnered national attention for poking fun at his favorite football team.
Scott E. Entsminger, 55, of Mansfield, died July 4. His obituary in the Columbus Dispatch stated that, “he respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pallbearers so the Browns can let him down one last time.”
Browns director of communications Zak Gilbert said the team responded to the obituary by reaching out to Entsminger’s widow, Pat, who identified Hall of Famer Lou Groza as her late husband’s favorite player. The organization then sent Browns Backers manager Michele DeScioli and guest-relations manager of season tickets Rico Rivera to present the family with a customized jersey featuring Groza’s number, 76, and Entsminger’s name on the back, Gilbert said.
“We thought it would be a good thing to do just to let him know that we really appreciate all the support he gave us over the years,” Gilbert said.
Entsminger’s obituary described him as “a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan and season ticket holder” who “wrote a song each year and sent it to the Cleveland Browns as well as offering other advice on how to run the team.”
One of the primary goals of the Browns’ new regime is to enhance the game-day experience of fans at FirstEnergy Stadium. President Alec Scheiner and Kevin Griffin, the team’s new vice president of fan experience and marketing, have even joined Twitter to interact with fans and gather ideas from them.
On its website, ESPN Cleveland WKNR (850-AM) reported Tuesday that the Browns will make several changes related to the game-day experience for the upcoming season. According to the report, the plans include clearing out BrownsTown and replacing it with a new tailgate area in the stadium, staging wiener dog races on the field with real dachshunds, hiring an all-female drum line and revamping player introductions with flames, pyrotechnics and smoke.
Six players are eligible for the NFL’s supplemental draft, which will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday.
CBSSports.com first reported that the pool is comprised of UNLV defensive end James Boyd, UNLV defensive tackle Nate Holloway, Central Florida defensive end Toby Jackson, Houston wide receiver DeWayne Peace, Purdue wide receiver O.J. Ross and South Alabama defensive back Damond Smith.
None of them is considered to be a guaranteed selection like Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was last summer. The Browns forfeited a second-round pick in the 2013 standard draft by selecting Gordon in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft. It was the first time the Browns had picked a player in the supplemental draft since 1985, when they nabbed quarterback Bernie Kosar.
Heckert in trouble
A second Denver Broncos executive is facing drunken driving charges, the Associated Press has learned.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, Tom Heckert, the Broncos’ recently hired director of pro personnel and former Browns general manager, was arrested in Parker, Colo., on the night of June 11 and charged with driving under the influence and careless driving.
The news comes one day after Broncos director of player personnel Matt Russell apologized for his arrest over the weekend on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth said the Broncos are aware of this other matter involving Heckert and would provide comment shortly.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for Aug. 30 for Heckert. His lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, wasn’t available for comment.
— Associated Press
ProFootballTalk.com listed the Browns 31st out of 32 teams in its annual preseason power rankings. ... The Browns will hold their first full-squad practice of training camp July 25 at their headquarters in Berea. Rookies and select veterans, including quarterback Brandon Weeden, are scheduled to report to camp July 19. All veterans are due to report by July 24.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/browns.abj.