The Cleveland Browns attempted to ban a fan for dousing Tennessee Titans players with beer, but there was one problem: it was the wrong fan.
As if things couldn’t go more wrong for the Cleveland Browns this week after their Week 1 beatdown at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, things just went from worse to, well, even more worse.
According to Vince Grzegorek of Cleveland Scene, the Browns organization failed at its attempt to ban a fan who was caught on video dousing Titans players with beer during a celebration on a pick-six by cornerback Malcolm Butler.
A man named Eric Smith was originally identified as the possible culprit, but there was just one problem: he wasn’t at the game.
In fact, Smith was DJing a wedding at the time and hadn’t even been to a game in close to a decade, per the Cleveland Scene article.
"This was shocking news to Smith, he says, for a couple of reasons. First, he wasn’t at the game. Second, he hadn’t been to a game in nearly a decade. Third, he was DJing a wedding at the Ariel International Center that afternoon."
When contacted by Bob Sivik, the Cleveland Browns’ Vice President of Ticket Sales & Service, to be notified of his impending ban, Smith told him this.
"“I was with my family until about 2 when I left for the wedding,” he says. (Update: Smith followed up with more details this evening — “I drove to First Watch in the morning with my family, took my son to the zoo for like an hour and a half and came home to get ready for work. According to my State Farm app, I actually left for work at 2:57 p.m.)"
Sivik wasn’t giving Smith the benefit of the doubt, apparently, because he still didn’t believe him.
"“I said please, please send me the footage,” Smith tells Scene. “And he was like, ‘You don’t have to get defensive if you’re innocent.'”"
Cue the face palm.
The Browns, who had released a statement on Tuesday night addressing the matter and claiming they believed they had found the alcohol offender, released yet another statement on Wednesday night.
Yikes. Even with the Browns trying to do the right thing, they still messed it up. And this comes on the heels of what has been a bad look overall for Browns fans and one of their former players, Joe Thomas.
Thomas and Browns fans have been defending this despicable action simply because Titans players jumped up on the railing of the wall beyond the end zone to celebrate with one of their own fans.
Gimme a break. Let’s see Thomas and those same fans have beer thrown in their face and see how they like it.
While this whole situation with the Browns striking out on their attempt to do the right thing is comical, the most important thing is the franchise eventually getting it right. As for Thomas and the fans, I have nothing good to say about them.