Joe Banner deletes “moron” tweet, goes into damage control mode

AP

Former Eagles and Browns executive and current ESPN analyst Joe Banner had a little Twitter slipup Monday, tweeting to his more than 27,000 followers something that was almost certainly intended to be a private direct message.

Banner was calling somebody “a moron,” apparently in response to a question about this particular moron’s advisors. The full tweet, which Banner deleted but not before it was screenshotted, read: “True, but he is a moron on his own. He has many advisors, but Alec is his top advisor by a lot. Don’t agree with the no advisors outside…”

Considering Banner was CEO of the Browns before he was fired by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam in early 2014, the context of the accidental tweet suggests Banner was calling Haslam a moron. A still relatively new owner, as Haslam is, would have plenty of advisors, and someone did apparently did once tell Haslam it would be OK to let Banner run his football operation.

But someone “close” to Banner immediately went into damage control mode and apparently expects people to believe Banner was actually referring to the team’s analytics group. If Banner wasn’t talking about Haslam, he was talking about someone who’s been picking the players and/or making key decisions within the Browns.

In the original tweet, “Alec” is presumably Alec Scheiner, the Browns president who was hired during Banner’s time with the Browns and is the man behind the team’s bold logo change. Offseason stories from inside the Browns’ building indicate Scheiner is close with both Haslam and Ray Farmer, who became general manager when Banner and Mike Lombardi were fired.

Banner went back to Twitter later Monday morning to claim he was “absolutely” not talking about Haslam and asking followers to “stop trying to create something where there is nothing.” Even funnier than that tweet are the responses below it.

Like the Browns, Banner is an easy target. But he’s stirred up folks in Twitterland before, and given how Browns fans must have been feeling Monday morning, the responses are understandable. Banner loves to tweet about how he left the Browns in tremendous shape and insinuate that he’s not responsible for the current state of the team, and he apparently sees at least one “moron” still in the building as being at fault.