The Paw Print

Local restaurateur commences boycott of Browns

Jared Serre, Assistant Editor

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“Good Evening Haslams,” Darryl Margolis’ letter begins. “We have not met, but you know me. I am every Browns fan. I personally have been one for 42 years.”

The 292 word manifesto constructed by the operating partner of Play Arcade and Kitchen was constructed after the Browns’ 37 to 3 loss at the hands of the division rival Cincinnati Bengals. The loss dropped the Browns to 2-10 after a 7-9 campaign last season. The letter touches on Margolis’ feelings on the state of the franchise as well as a large decision for the company.

“I have decided to no longer broadcast any Browns game in my restaurant for the remainder of the season,” Margolis wrote in his letter. “In addition, as of today, I will be ending all of my ‘game day’ specials, and prohibit (rather than encourage) my staff to wear Browns related apparel.”

Although the decision may cost the restaurant money, Margolis feels like it was time someone stood up against the franchise.

This is the letter, in it's entirety, that Browns fan and restaurant owner Darryl Margolis posted onto his various social media accounts. Photo from the Facebook account of Darryl Margolis.

This is the letter, in its entirety, that Browns fan and restaurant owner Darryl Margolis posted onto his various social media accounts. Photo from the Facebook account of Darryl Margolis.

“I remember where I was in ‘95 when Art Modell had his press conference about moving the team to Baltimore—I remember crying that night,” Margolis told The Paw Print in an exclusive interview.

“To have the team back, that was incredible,” he said. “Now here we are, however many years later, and we still have a substandard product. Something in me just snapped after Sunday’s game. I was just like ‘I’ve been enduring this for so long, maybe it’s time to just not blindly be loyal anymore’.”

Like Margolis, hundreds of thousands of Browns fans across the globe have had to deal with a lackluster team since their return in 1999. As of Dec. 10, 2015, the team has enjoyed a winning percentage of .321, eight head coaches, and a mounting number of angry fans since then. The more angry fans there are, the more likely it is that those fans will not be attending a bar and restaurant like Margolis’ in order to watch the game.

“We do have a nice core of regulars on Sundays,” Margolis said about business on game days. “Some Sundays are better than others but I would definitely say that throughout the season, we’ve seen Sunday business dissipate a bit. Is that because of the Browns woes? I don’t know. It’ll be interesting to see what happens this Sunday.”

So, what exactly needs to change? According to the veteran Browns fan, there are “so many different things that are wrong.”

“Everything from the big color change to the uniforms, which look like Arena Football League uniforms, and the time management on the field,” Margolis said.

And unlike Mike Pettine on the sideline, Margolis feels he made the right decision. In his letter, he mentioned that the decision will “undoubtedly cost my staff and me business and money.” However, the “Cult Hero of the Hopelessly Optimistic” said the feedback has been almost unanimously positive.

“I think I’ve only had about three negative comments like that and the rest have been ‘Oh my god, you speak for all of us, this is great, it’s about time somebody said it’,” the Mayfield Heights proprietor said. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

However, Margolis has not received a certain crucial comment yet: one from the team.

“I was told by somebody at a local sports station that they had personal contacts in Berea who have said that they are aware of the letter,” Margolis said. “Will Jimmy Haslam show up on Sunday? Probably not.”

No matter what comes of the debacle, there is one thing Margolis wants people to know.

“This was not a publicity stunt.”

 

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