The perception that the Cleveland Browns are not perceived well is not just perception.
At least it is based on one poll by ESPN’s Sports Nation that attracted more than 95,000 voters for one question. The poll can’t be called scientific, but it is a huge sample size.
Seven questions were asked, six that could be judged with a positive or negative answer. Every one of the results was resoundingly negative (For the poll, go here, then click on the link on the left that asks about the Browns coach and all the questions will appear on the page).
The first question was whether the hire of Mike Pettine was a good move or bad move. Sixty percent said it was a bad move (95,851 voters as of this writing).
It goes on.
Fifty-three percent said the Browns would be better off with Rob Chudzinski, 37 percent said the team would be the same without a change. Only 10 percent said the Browns would have been worse off to keep Chudzinski as coach (8,210 voters).
Eighty-six percent said the “struggles” (a word the Browns would disagree with) in finding a coach indicate the Browns are a mismanaged organization (8,040 voters).
Sixty-three percent said the Browns would not make the playoffs until 2018 or later (7,841 voters).
Seventy-eight percent said the Browns would not win a Super Bowl in their lifetime (49,553 voters).
And 68 percent said Kevin Costner’s upcoming movie “Draft Day” will be more entertaining than the Browns' 2014 season (7,131 voters).
Polls are what they are, but when poll questions have results that are in the 60th percentiles and above, the results are overwhelming.
Another way to look at it is to break the vote down by states.
In four of the votes, the states were unanimous. All 50 states said Pettine’s hire was a bad move, the Browns are mismanaged, there will be no Browns Super Bowl in the voters’ lifetimes and “Draft Day” will be more entertaining than the season.
Even George McGovern won one state.
In the other two votes, 49 states said the Browns' next playoff appearance will be in 2018 or later. The only state not to vote that way was Alaska, which split its votes between 2017 and 2018 or beyond. And 41 states said the Browns would be the same or better off with Chudzinski as coach. Eight said the team would be worse, and one -- Hawaii -- was tied between the same or better.
These are overwhelming results that indicate something about the national perception of the Browns. Jimmy Haslam said the perception was created by the media; if so, it did a whale of a job. Because the opinions expressed were decisively one way (The only non-judgmental question dealt with what to do at quarterback; we’ll deal with that one later in the week).
Three things can be said about these results:
Pettine doesn’t deserve this baggage. He merely took a job and deserves a fair shot.
The Browns have a long way to go to restore their image and good name.
It will be a lot of fun if the day ever comes when these polls deal with playoff games.
For the last time: Ouch.