Ticketmaster’s White Flag

The Cleveland Browns, in a rally of “never surrender,” beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-14 Nov. 25. That doesn’t mean they didn’t come close to waving the white flag, though. Literally.

The fans were expected to receive inflatable white flags with the Browns name and orange helmets on them, according to Cleveland’s Plain-Dealer. The flags were sponsored by Ticketmaster.

The Browns, 2-8 going into the home game, had been beaten by the Steelers 18 times in a row and  plenty of Pittsburgh fans were expected to make the drive to Cleveland and bring their notorious Terrible Towels in response.

The Browns announced the white flag promotion on their Facebook page three days before the event, and the Cleveland fans immediately took umbrage. By Thanksgiving Day, the flags were nixed.

“After further and careful consideration, we felt it was in the best interests of everyone involved that we not have a giveaway item at tomorrow’s game,” a Browns spokesman said. “It is something that was intended to be fun for our fans and that they could rally around, and we regret that some didn’t perceive it that way. We want to thank all of our fans for their tremendous support and we look forward to seeing them out in force at the stadium tomorrow.”

Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson had already objected to the giveaway.

“I try not to get caught up in what goes on outside, tend to focus on the Steelers, but I’m not a fan of the white flags,” Jackson told the paper. “That’s the simplest way I can put it. I’m not a fan of it whatsoever knowing that we’re going to see the Terrible Towels flying. It’s just not a message that I like and I’m sure a lot of other guys don’t approve of.”

The surprising Browns victory didn’t sit too well with some of the Steelers, who apparently avoided the customary handshakes with opposing players after the game.