The view from the inside

Posted by Vic Carucci on June 29, 2011 – 10:00 am

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

I’m a lucky guy. Here I am, sitting in my office at the Berea, Ohio, headquarters of one of the best-known franchises in all of sports, writing this column.

To my right is a radio studio. Beginning late next month, I’ll be spending plenty of time there.

Two floors down is a television set. Going to be hanging out quite a bit in that area as well in the coming weeks, months, and hopefully years.

Everywhere else in the building is all that makes a pro football team tick. Well, not all, but that will change as soon the players get here.

And I’m right in the middle of it. As I said, lucky guy.

After more than a decade of covering the NFL from a figurative altitude of 30,000 feet — where I kept a daily watch on all 32 teams — I’m now at ground level concentrating primarily on one team. This team. Your team.

The Browns.

What I discovered during 12 seasons at NFL.com is that all football, like all politics, is local. By far, the question I heard most often was, “How do you think my team is going to do?”

When it came to loyalty, few, if any, of the millions of regular visitors to the site were generic. You didn’t encounter a whole lot of people who called themselves “league” fans. They rooted for specific colors.

And whenever I said anything about any one of their teams, especially if it was the slightest bit negative, I would hear about it. Or if I complimented a rival of a fan’s favorite club, I’d hear about that, too. You love those guys, you hate us. The fact was, I didn’t love or hate any team. My comments never had anything to do with personal bias, but fans often perceived them as such regardless of the rooting interest in question.

Which is what makes this new gig — my second with the Browns after working with the team in 2005 — such a great fit. As long as every interaction is going to strike a chord with a particular fan base, I decided I might as well interact with some of the most passionate fans on the planet.

Beginning later this summer, I’ll be doing that for an hour a day, five days a week, while hosting a new show called “Cleveland Browns Daily.” It will air on 850 ESPN WKNR, and be streamed live on this site as well as on ESPNCleveland.com.

The aforementioned radio studio is only steps away from everyone who is anyone at the team’s training facility, and it will be hopping all year long. You’ll regularly hear from Browns president Mike Holmgren, general manager Tom Heckert, and coach Pat Shurmur. You’ll hear from other members of the front-office and coaching staffs. You’ll hear from the players, from the Browns radio team of Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken, and from national media types.

And when I’m not behind a microphone, I’ll be blogging and writing columns and feature stories for this site. Staff writer Matt Florjancic and I will keep you up to speed with the latest news and notes about the Browns as well as the rest of the NFL.

Team-produced video pieces and pre- and post-game radio shows are also going to be a part of this latest chapter in a pro football journalism career that began in the late1970s. So, too, will my weekly appearances as a host and co-host on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

I consider this incredible journey to be a blessing. It has placed me on the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills beats, at playoff and conference-championship games, Super Bowls and Pro Bowls. It has given me the chance to witness record-breaking moments and cover numerous players and coaches who would wind up in — or are destined for — the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

My travels also allowed me to be on hand for some of the more triumphant and agonizing moments at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Whenever I see that orange helmet, I think of the tradition and rich history that put the Browns in a very special place on the nation’s sporting landscape.

Now, I am back in that place. And I’m a lucky guy.

Follow me on Twitter @viccarucci


Posted in Carucci's Call | 13 Comments »


13 Responses to “The view from the inside”

  1. By Shelly on Jun 29, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome back, Vic!

  2. By Anthony on Jun 29, 2011 | Reply

    Great move Browns! I think that the Browns are definitely headed in the right direction. Since hiring Mike H. this franchise has taken major steps to returning to a place where all Browns fans imagine. Nothing short of #1 is acceptable. Good luck Vic, Mike H. & Browns!

  3. By Michael on Jun 30, 2011 | Reply

    All the Brownie haters out there are still killing us for the blunders of days gone by.
    Soon than later that is going to be harder to do. Nice going Mike, this is a process and it is coming together. CANNOT WAIT TILL THIS SEASON!!! Go Browns.

  4. By Dale on Jun 30, 2011 | Reply

    Congrats Vic!

    Welcome back! I have always enjoyed your insights, even when you were up the lake in Bills country! (I remember hanging out with some of the boys at Coughlan’s and BJs Downwind Cafe in Fredonia back in the 90s!! Fun times with Thurman, Jim, Andre’, Bruce, and the rest..when I had business trips up there)

    Looking forward to the radio show, so let’s get a labor deal done and start playing some football!

  5. By wuznotsobad on Jun 30, 2011 | Reply

    Indeed, very few days left for Pennsylvanians and Marylanders to pile on the Browns before that tide turns. Everything the Browns do now is first-rate, including bringing on an All-Pro writer like Vic! I think the success of the Browns in the 80′s that went around in the 90′s is finally on it’s way coming back around – great time to be a Browns fan!!

  6. By KevinOB on Jul 2, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome back Vic. It’s great to have someone of your skill and experience part of our Brownies.

  7. By Shawn on Jul 2, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Vic – it’s great to have you back! I cannot wait for the radio show to start and of course to read your columns. It’s great to have a true pro on this site (along with the others, of course)–

  8. By Todd on Jul 5, 2011 | Reply

    Glad to have you back Vic! Looking forward to the radio show. Go Luck and Goooooooooooooooooooooo Browns!

  9. By TheMostModest on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome back, Vic. Looking forward to the show. Be sure to getcha a Slyman’s.

  10. By Glennstu on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome back and a word of advice, don’t say anything positive about Pukesburgh and definately don’t say anything remotely good about Belchsomemore (but you probably already knew that). You’ve got a great job and I’m sure you appreciate it. I’ll look forward to reading your blogs.

  11. By Brad on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Good luck in Cleveland Vic. We’re going to miss you here in Buffalo. I was always very interested in what you had to say about the Bills’ match-ups and the team in general each week. Your opinions were unbiased and well thought out. Browns fans are a lucky bunch to have you back on their team! Best of luck and much love!!

  12. By eddie on Jul 17, 2011 | Reply

    Glad to have you in Cleveland, Vic…….You andTony G in the same town..sweet…Browns fans will be well informed……Good Luck!

  13. By Adam G on Jul 18, 2011 | Reply

    I’m a diehard browns fan from philadelphia, PA. I’ve been following your work for some time now vic, and I’d like to say how great it is to have you be in touch with our fan base and part of cleveland’s organization. I am a bit concerned on how a guy from philly is going to be able to hear your radio broadcasts, is there somewhere you will be posting this on the internet? EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes. It will be streamed live on ClevelandBrowns.com and ESPNCleveland.com, and you can also find archives of the show on the site.

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