In the end, the long tease built up to just another tease.
After a lot of hype, the Browns' new logo is ... pretty much the same as their old one. In other words, it's their helmet, which now has a brighter shade of orange and a brown face mask, both of which seem fine, if not particularly momentous. If you want to get a sense of how this will look on the field, check out some photos of Bowling Green's football team.
Meanwhile, the Browns have also updated their Dawg Pound secondary logo. This one feels like an upgrade. The new dawg has an appealing cartoon-like quality that strikes just the right balance between snarling and lovable, and it should work well in merchandising and mascot applications. But it remains to be seen how or where this logo will be deployed.
Ultimately, these marks highlight the central challenge that the Browns have always faced: How do you come up with a memorable, brand-defining logo for a team that stubbornly refuses to wear a logo? The Browns have tried various solutions to that problem over the years, but none of the designs has ever felt quite right. The new Dawg Pound logo feels like the closest they have come yet.
If anything, though, today's events raise more questions than they answer. For example:
The helmet and face mask colors have been tweaked, but what about the helmet stripe? Will it stay the same width?
I put that question to Browns team president Alec Scheiner a few minutes after the logos were unveiled. He played it coy: "That's what people will see when we unveil the new uniforms, whether any other elements of the actual helmet have changed."
And when will that uniform unveiling take place?
On April 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Will the revamped Dawg Pound logo appear on the new uniforms, maybe on the jersey sleeve or the hip of the pants?
Again, Scheiner declined to answer that question.
Did he say anything else about the uniforms?
Yes. He said: "We took a fairly conservative route with the changes we unveiled today, and then we think our uniforms will be more of a radical change, and we think our fans want that, too." So for those of you who were either hoping for or dreading something more dramatic involving the logos, think of today's events as the calm before the storm.
What about all those other designs and rumors that were floating around prior to today's announcement?
If you haven't learned it yet, let this be the latest example of why you shouldn't trust everything you see or hear on the Internet. Keep that in mind as we approach the uniform unveiling date.
Paul Lukas looks forward to speaking with Scheiner again on April 14. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch membership program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.