The Cleveland Browns have had a grand total of two winning seasons since returning to the NFL in 1999 after the franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens. During that span, the team is 73 and 151 (for a dismal a .325 winning percentage), with one playoff appearance and no playoff wins.
Though there is once again cautious optimism in Cleveland now that a new regime has taken over the team (general manager Michael Lombardi and head coach Rob Chudzinski were both hired earlier this year), chances are that the new men running the team will fail just like the many who came before them. If sports curses are real, there’s no question that Cleveland angered more than a few witches and warlocks.
Perhaps what the Browns really need in the front office if the franchise is to start winning is some star power — some names to really get the city excited. How about Oscar-winning actor and director Kevin Costner and stand-up comedian-turned-television star Denis Leary.
In the world of fiction, those are the men charged with turning around the Browns’ fortunes. Leary was just added to the cast of the upcoming film Draft Day, which is set around an NFL team as it prepares for the draft.
Leary will play Vince Penn, the Browns’ head coach and Costner will play the team’s general manager. Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Space Jam, Up in the Air) is directing.
Much of the film will center around the tension between Leary and Costner’s characters as they attempt to find the right college football players to add to their roster via the draft.
For added realism, the film plans to shoot sequences at this year’s NFL Draft, which takes place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on the weekend of April 25th.
Draft Day was originally set to feature the Buffalo Bills, a team that’s not quite as hapless as the Browns (though not far off), but the state of Ohio stepped in with better financial incentives and the film’s setting was moved to Cleveland.