The Steelers are starting Charlie Batch at quarterback. They're playing without safety Troy Polamalu. They even re-signed Plaxico Burress because of the injuries at wide receiver.
Still, few are giving the Browns any chance of beating the Steelers on Sunday. That apparently includes the Browns marketing team. In a game-day promotion that seems like a cruel joke, fans will be given white flags to wave at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
I understand the need to take attention away from the Terrible Towels that will be seen. But the Browns' helmets are orange. Their team name is the Browns. Why would you want your fans to give the signal to surrender?
This hasn't gone over well in the Browns locker room.
“I try to focus on the Steelers but I’m not a fan of the white flags,” linebacker D'Qwell Jackson told ESPN Radio in Cleveland. “That’s the simplest way I can put it. I’m not a fan of it whatsoever knowing that we’ll see the terrible towels flying and it’s just not a message I like and I’m sure other guys don’t approve of.”
This is a bad idea made worse by the fact of the Browns' struggles. The Browns have lost 16 of their past 17 meetings to the Steelers, including their past four.
There's a lot of reasons for Browns fans to give up hope. But it's crazy that the team is asking its fans to collectively do so at a game. What's next week's promotion? Paper bags to put over the head?