While many people will bandy about whether Randy Lerner was a good or bad owner, take a moment to think about the mindset of a son who wanted to fulfill their father’s dream and maintain his legacy.
There’s only so long you can fight your parent’s battle. For the last 10 years Randy Lerner has been the owner of the Cleveland Browns and has done it to honor his father’s legacy and family’s wishes.
Although, there’s only so long you can do something that’s not your passion. So often in sports, we forget that athletes, front office people, and owners are real people. They have emotions and feelings and go through the same day to day problems we’re all subjected to. Randy Lerner’s plan was never to own the Browns, or if it was, it definitely wasn’t under these circumstances.
After Al Lerner passed away from brain cancer on October 23, 2002, Randy was catapulted to the ownership seat. However, it was never Randy’s dream to own the Browns, it was his dad’s. Though Randy had grown up around the team since he was a child with his father owning a minority stake, he never aspired to be in the business of football. He was merely a casual fan, who had the burden of carrying out his father’s dream after his passing.
Now that’s not to say Randy didn’t love the Browns, however it does leave to question if he didn’t have the responsibility of owning the Browns for the last 10 years he would’ve been much happier? The burden of doing something that you feel is an obligation can weigh on a person like 300lb barbells dropped on Steve Urkel.
Most of us have felt that same pressure of trying to live up to our parent’s expectations, and feeling a sense of accountability on delivering on it. Instead of celebrating the potential sale of the team, show sympathy for a guy who did his best and, gave all he could over his tenure to deliver what his dad had set out to do when he purchased the Browns and brought them back to Cleveland, which was a championship.
And he failed.
While we all experience failure in our life, not many of us have it talked about by millions of people and transcribed to be read forever in print and online. While the life of millionaires and billionaires is much different than the everyday common man who worries about paying his bills and lives check to check, they have to worry about public embarrassment, shame and ridicule. Although many will say they’ll take that over being broke, for some it’s enough to wear on one’s mind, especially a guy who is not keen to being in the public eye.
While its easy to say you’ll take another mans problems when at the time its not you who have to deal with them, no matter how fortunate another’s life may look, nothing is ever as good as it seems from the outside.