SportPulse: It’s the most wonderful time of year! No, not Christmas. That window of time just after Week 1 of the NFL preseason where we get to overreact about everything.
Cleveland Browns fans have been promised free beer by Bud Light after the team’s first regular-season victory this season — assuming there is a victory. But it’s the team that should be provided designated drivers and mandatory courses on responsible drinking considering their history.
Fridges stocked with beer will remain locked until the Browns win — something they haven’t done since Dec. 24, 2016 — and kept inside the stadium and Cleveland-area bars.
“The Bud Light Browns ‘Victory Fridge’ is a fun way to celebrate and reward a fanbase that has never wavered in enthusiasm or dedication for their team no matter what happens,” said Andy Goeler, Vice-President of Marketing, Bud Light in a statement. “We’re proud to show our support for Cleveland, and we’re always looking to bring NFL fans and friends together for memorable experiences. It’s going to be fun to be part of the celebration when the team earns their first victory of the season.”
Alcohol-related arrests have been a problem thoughout the NFL, and Goeler and Bud Light should have done some research before launching a promotion that, inadvertently or not, minimizes the Browns’ regrettable history:
Wide receiver Donte Stallworth was a member of the Browns in 2009 when he killed a man while driving drunk.
Bernie Kosar, the former Browns quarterback, was arrested in Cleveland on drunken driving charges in 2013.
Defensive end Armonty Bryant was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol a month after the Browns picked him in the 2013 NFL draft.
Wide receiver Josh Gordon was arrested and charged with driving while impaired in 2014. He admitted to having three drinks with vodka.
Right guard Alvin Bailey was arrested in 2016 for DUI and told police that he had been drinking on the team plane as the Browns flew back from a game in Miami.
And it’s worth noting Browns super fan John “Big Dawg” Thompson was arrested for driving under the influence in 2009.
The Browns did not immediately respond to questions, such as the team’s role in the promotion and how the beer will be distributed.
But a victory truly worth celebrating will not be one that unlocks those “Victory Fridges’’ and triggers the giveaway of free beer, but rather the decision to end a bad idea before the Browns even take the field.