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False Start: How the New Browns Were Set Up to Fail Hardcover – October 10, 2004


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False Start: How the New Browns Were Set Up to Fail + Things I've Learned from Watching the Browns + Tales from the Cleveland Browns Sideline: A Collection of the Greatest Browns Stories Ever Told (Tales from the Team)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 161 pages
  • Publisher: Gray & Company, Publishers; 1 edition (October 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886228884
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886228887
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

One of the best football books I’ve ever laid my eyes on . . . a terrific, easy read and extremely insightful, not only about the true heart of a Browns fan but also on the collapse of an expansion franchise. (Chris Mortensen ESPN.com 20041207)

[A book] NFL fans in general and Browns’ fans in particular will definitely want to read . . . a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how the new Browns were created and what’s kept them from making the progress everyone expected. (John McClain Houston Chronicle 20041122)

While many of [the Browns’] hurdles have been debated at length, Pluto tells the tale from the mouths of former coach Chris Palmer, former team president Carmen Policy and even [newly departed coach Butch Davis]. The result is an intriguing, if not at times, unbelievable, explanation of how and why the Browns have struggled since the team’s 1999 reincarnation. (Jim Vickers Cleveland Magazine 20041101)

About the Author

Terry Pluto is a sports columnist for The Plain Dealer. He has twice been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the nation’s top sports columnist for medium-sized newspapers. He is a nine-time winner of the Ohio Sports Writer of the Year award and has received more than 50 state and local writing awards. In 2005 he was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame. He is the author of 23 books, including The Curse of Rocky Colavito (selected by the New York Times as one of the five notable sports books of 1989), and Loose Balls, which was ranked number 13 on Sports Illustrated’s list of the top 100 sports books of all time. He was called “Perhaps the best American writer of sports books,” by the Chicago Tribune in 1997. He lives in Akron, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

The book is an absolute must read for all Brown's fans.
L. Blasiman
While Mr. Pluto does not sugar-coat the truth, he remains positive and upbeat throughout, showing just how important football and The Browns are to him.
Brian P. Higgins
Great addition to any literary collection on the Browns.
DSPisme

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By L. Blasiman on November 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terry Pluto has written a number of excellent books and this book on the Browns is one of his best. The book is an absolute must read for all Brown's fans. It gives an insight that can be found no where else. If you've wondered why the Browns are struggling in 2004 it is because of decisions made or not made in 1998 and 1999. It portrays a team that the NFL and the other owners milked to line their own pockets. It shows a team that struggled from day one because it never had a true general manager, didn't get the coach it wanted, and never had a master plan as to how to build a successful NFL team. Unfortunately it shows that things haven't changed much with current coach and de facto GM Butch Davis.

It also shows the passion of the fans that has been a hallmark of the franchise for almost 60 years. And despite the mis-management and incompetence of those who have run or are running the team,fans speak from their heart and show that the love affair with Browns is as strong today as it ever was.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brian P. Higgins on November 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Terry Pluto has put together a well-written documentation of how Brown's fans were short-changed by the NFL upon their return in 1999. I think all NFL fans will find this interesting, just to get an insight into just how powerful and greedy the NFL money machine has become.

While Mr. Pluto does not sugar-coat the truth, he remains positive and upbeat throughout, showing just how important football and The Browns are to him. Hindsight is 20/20, but there were so many things that Browns fans just accepted because of their undying loyalty to their team, and this will open the eyes of many, I know it did for me.

Great book, thank you Mr. Pluto!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Domenic Vitanza on November 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terry Pluto has out done himself here again. The Curse of Rocky Colavito is great but this book just hits home with our beloved Cleveland Browns. He goes into detail on how The NFL "Took care" of one of the most proud franchises and turned it into a laughing stock. Its a great read. Cleveland Browns fans take notice that pain and misery goes on...I pray for a Super Bowl win before I die
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on November 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Basically the Browns:

1) Weren't given enough time to prepare for their initial season;

2) The expansion draft rules were < favorable than 1995;

3) Carmen Policy had no frame of reference on running an expansion team and he was overrated because he fell into a good situation in SF where Walsh did all the heavy lifting;

4) Dwight Clark was over his head as GM;

5) Because of the short time before their initial season the candidate field for head coach was limited unless they wanted a college coach;

6) Brain Billick didn't want to coach an expansion team, nor did any other perhaps better qualified coaches. The Browns were desperate for a head coach and tried to pressure Billick into the job;

7) Because of the constraints placed on hiring other NFL assistant coaches, Chris Palmer's pool of NFL assistants was limited to coaches who had been fired from NFL jobs; and,

8) Did some lousy drafting.

That's just about it.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jack Eutaw on March 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A very light, superficial account of the new Browns. Terry Pluto is one of my favorite writers because he lacks any pretension, but I expected more from this book.

There was obviously little heavy research that went into the story, other than a few interviews with the major players. The page count was fleshed out by dozens of only slightly interesting anecdotes from Browns' fans. Pluto also quoted liberally from his past columns.

Pluto's done better, and I'm sure he knows it, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elaine on January 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
False Start: How The New Browns Were Set Up To Fail

Terry Pluto explained what all us loyal Browns fans have known - just needed someone with clout to expose the truth. What a costly mistake to Cleveland - a huge city with a reputation at stake! What a clear example of the heartlessness and greed Art Modell was really made of! Giving us underhanded crap to a town that had fans many other pro-teams were jealous of. The fans need to 'own' the Cleveland Browns as we're the ones who would find the heart and soul in administration and coaches - ones that we can trust. I feel for the guys who are playing for the Browns as they need winning leadership to rise out of the ashes that Modell left behind. Time to clean up and stop messin' around!
Elaine W, Ohio
Lifetime fan
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James L. Toth on January 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Terry Pluto has proven again why he is the top sports journalist in northeastern ohio..this book describes the ways Browns fan were ripped off and let down by the NFL for giving us an inferior team @ higher costs..it's not a total negative read,it's just an honest assessment from someone who truly cares about the Browns.a must read for "True" Browns fans...
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By MichaelAT on March 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A good read for any football fan. Terry Pluto lays out in detail how the expansion Browns were set up to fail.
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