There’s always hope … even for losers

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (especially if you were walking), called Detroit, it was a period of market share war, and the Ford Motor Company wanted to inflict pain upon the evil empire (at least, that’s how Ford saw them), known as General Motors.

It was the late 1950s, and the deep thinkers at Ford decided to name a new car model they were introducing the “Edsel.” Edsel Ford was the only son of Henry Ford, and succeeded his father as president of Ford Motors until his death in 1943. It was fortunate for Edsel that he didn’t live long enough to see his vehicular namesake introduced, because the Edsel bombed – big time.

And seriously, while we’re on the subject, with a name like “Edsel” did the car ever stand a chance? I mean, who in their right mind names their kid “Edsel,” anyway ... and then goes and names a car the same awful name? Maybe Henry inhaled too many internal combustion fumes along the way to fame and fortune. Just the same, I’ll bet the old-timers at Chevy are still a-hootin’ and a-hollerin’ over that faux pas.

So why, you ask, am I taking you down this silly automotive history path, rather than the normal silly sports path I usually take you down? 

Ah, I thought you’d never ask. (Actually, I was hoping you wouldn’t ask, and we could end the column here and call it a day). But no, since you demanded an answer, I’ll soldier on and explain myself.

You see, better than half a century later, the Edsel is a valued collector’s item; some models are worth more than 50 grand today. That’s a lot of coin for a vehicle considered an ugly eyesore back in the day, no?

Speaking of ugly (and seriously, is there a better-suited segue for introducing the Cleveland Browns into the conversation than “ugly”? I think not), let’s talk football. Albeit reluctantly.

What I’m getting at here is simply this: One of the most hideous vehicles in automotive history (with all due respect to the Yugo) is now viewed affectionately by car aficionados everywhere. Ergo, doesn’t it follow that in a half-century or so we will all look back on the Browns of the “early Jimmy Haslam years” – the same Browns that have led many of us to self-inflicted electro-shock therapy in an effort to forget – with love and affection? Fifty years from now, people will be getting into fights in Amazon distribution centers (because all of the malls will be long gone) over commemorative 0-16 gear. It will be sentimental chaos, I tell you. 

Seriously, if it worked for the Edsel, why not for the Browns? I am positive I’m right on this one. In fact, if I’m wrong in 50 years, look me up. (Actually, to be 100 percent accurate, I should probably say “dig” me up). You can dust me off, spray me with Febreze, and we’ll share a few laughs and try to guess just which century the Browns actually will appear in a Super Bowl.

You have to admit, the Browns could use my marketing skills, couldn’t they?

Then again, I’m thinking they probably couldn’t – ahem – “af-Ford” me.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 9:24 AM, 06.19.2018