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Browns decide not to have white flag giveaway on Sunday

By Pat McManamon

The Browns have waved the white flag on the white flag.

A promotion sponsored by TicketMaster in which fans were going to be given inflatable flags prior to Sunday’s game against the Steelers has been canceled. The reason: The flags were white.

That the Browns were asking fans to waive white flags against their alleged rivals (Pittsburgh has won 16 of 17 games) led to a lot of giggles locally and nationally, and also drew the ire of players, who didn’t appreciate the sentiment. White flags have long been known as a flag of surrender, or truce, a thought that didn’t cross people’s minds until after the promotion was announced.

Neal Gulkis, the Browns Vice President of Communications, released the following statement late Saturday afternoon:

“After further and careful consideration, we felt it was in the best interests of everyone involved that we not have a giveaway item at tomorrow’s game. It is something that was intended to be fun for our fans and that they could rally around, and we regret that some didn’t perceive it that way.  We want to thank all of our fans for their tremendous support and we look forward to seeing them out in force at the stadium tomorrow.”

How anyone would rally around an inflatable flag with the Ticketmaster logo emblazoned on the “flagstaff” is debatable, but evidently that was the idea. And just as evidently the idea of the flag being white trumped the rally.

It’s the second time this season the Browns canceled an in-game event because of fan frustration.

Following the death of Art Modell, the team had planned to recognize his death, but decided against it at the request of the Modell family after many local fans said they did not appreciate the idea.

Now the white flags have been deep-sixed.

Yes … only in Cleveland.

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