Vote Bronson for Browns mascot.
UPDATE 7/31: BRONSON WAS ADOPTED LAST WEEKEND!
Looks like the Browns are getting a mascot.
Browns VP of Marketing Kevin Griffin telling me that the Browns will unveil a LIVE bulldog mascot named “Swagger” this season. — Chris Fillar (@ItsFillar) July 13, 2014
I have two thoughts on this.
- Shouldn’t the mascot for the Dawg Pound actually be from a dog pound?
- I know just the dog.
I’m not a judgey type but when it comes to getting a dog and paying over $1000 for a pure breed when there are thousands of shelter dogs who need homes… I can’t help it. I think it’s wrong and a vanity.1 But ok, that’s my issue and admittedly I felt differently before my “conversion.” I.e., I had pure bred Border Collies straight from the breeder back in the 90s. (And they were great.)
So there’s a right/wrong component to this that you may or may not be on board with. But when you layer on that this dog is going to represent the DAWG POUND. Well for heaven’s sake, get a dog from a dog pound.
That’s my main point.
Secondary point is that I have the right dog for the job. Bronson is currently one of our residents at the NHSPCA. I believe he was a local stray or a surrender, not sure on that. (Or he may have been a transfer from St. Mary’s, WV, down by Marietta… which makes him something of a Browns fan by birth. Need to double-check.)2 When I first saw him I thought: Oh my. That’s a lot of dog. We get a lot of pitties at the shelter but Bronson’s head.. well we think it’s a Mastiff head on a pittie body. Interesting (and intimidating) mix.
But he had a calm temperament, lying quietly waiting for his turn to go out. He’s been with us over a month now, and has learned the drill: PEOPLE ARE MY FRIENDS AND THEY’RE HERE TO TAKE ME OUTSIDE OR FEED ME! Look at how he greets you when you move toward his luxury apartment.
He’s smart and friendly and athletic and catches better than many recent Browns WRs. This boy gets release at the line of scrimmage. Or plays an aggressive press man coverage. Either one. Or both.
As a volunteer, there’s always a dog that becomes your ‘favorite’ resident. Bronson is currently my favorite out of our ~40 dogs. I vouch for him.
If you agree that the Browns should get a shelter dog, share this post.
If you agree that Bronson would be a terrific mascot, welp we’re on the same page.
Update #1 (7/14): Browns have released a picture of the mascot. No word on his origins.
No offense Swagger, but you look like Mike Homgrum’s dog. No wait: you look like Mike Homgrum.3
Bronson is Pettine’s dog.
Addendum (7/16): The Cleveland City Kennel
While I remain steadfast that Bronson is the perfect Browns mascot: the primary problem with “Swagger”4 is the branding — exploitation even, if you like — of the term Dawg Pound while real pounds are in need.
But it’s particularly offensive when you learn that the City of Cleveland itself could use some help with their own dog pound as well as their overall animal control program.
Badges for Bullies was started in 2012 by Cleveland Police Officers with the assistance of Friends of the Cleveland Kennels. A volunteer organization dedicated to ridding the community of animal cruelty and underground dog fighting operations.[Badges is an] … organization of dedicated volunteers from your local police departments working side by side with devoted animal rescue agencies to help seek funding, educate the public, create awareness, and ensure that all animals are protected and treated humanely.
BFB’s About Us page describes the genesis of the organization when a couple Cleveland cops serving a search warrant discovered 27 ‘bait dogs’ being used in a dog-fighting ring. Pretty excruciating and led to the group’s organization.
I didn’t even know there was a problem like this in Cleveland. I contacted BFB and we’re on the same page regarding “Swagger” and that this is a terrific opportunity for the Browns to do a public good just by some simple awareness-building.
But what I hadn’t considered, and what BFB shared, was that the Cleveland City Kennel would be a top candidate for the goodwill the Browns should be looking to provide. Here’s what BFB said to me:
Here in Cleveland we have a very run down sad city kennel, a real dog pound. All of our Badges for Bullies board members have rescue dogs from this facility as family members and it is an important place to us. So we agree, it is very unfortunate that the Browns did not consider rescuing a dog from an actual pound right in their own backyard where there are dogs in need of help that face euthanasia for time and space.
Start digging into the Cleveland Kennel and you find:
It is the most overlooked animal facility in the Cleveland area. It is often confused with the APL & Cuyahoga County Kennel, but it is an entirely separate facility. The Cleveland Kennel gets in over 75 dogs a week from the city of Cleveland alone. All of the dogs that end up at the Cleveland Kennel have been found as strays on the streets of Cleveland. Most of them have a history of abuse & neglect.
I would consider my NHSPCA a happy place. Bright, clean, filled with love, always in need of support but generally well-funded at least in comparison to some. I am not so sure Cleveland City Kennel is the same kind of place.
The City of Cleveland itself issued a press release in April:
The kennel has a maximum capacity of 140 animal cages and currently over 100 of those cages are occupied. The Division of Animal Control takes in approximately 20 dogs per day; therefore, adoptions are crucial to kennel operations.
Bottom line is you have dogs at the real Cleveland pound who are at risk of euthanasia, now.
I hate to look on this from the cynical marketing perspective but — from that perspective — the Browns would gain infinitely more and more favorable publicity by creating an affiliation with the Cleveland City Kennel than they will get with a live pure-bred mascot named Swagger.
I prefer to view this more simply: the Browns have a chance to do good by promoting the cause of animal abuse/neglect and doing so is it’s own reward.
So if you’re reading this, do me a favor help bring this to the attention of Alec Scheiner and Kevin Griffin and what the hell, if someone has Jimmy Haslam’s ear or email, please pass it on.