BAY VILLAGE, Ohio – Hue Jackson took the step on Friday – for cleaning and for charity.
Jackson chose a 70 degree afternoon with water temperatures in the high 50s to jump to Lake Erie with about 140 other members of the Cleveland Browns organization, all wearing "The Cleanse" t-shirts.
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"It was refreshing," Jackson said standing in Huntington Beach, just out of the water. "It was refreshing, but it was cold, without a doubt."
While some got into the water, Jackson and his wife, Michelle, threw themselves on their heads and submerged. After it was over, the group, which included owner Dee Haslam, turned the event into a welcome party while NFL Films and a local television helicopter documented the event.
Before taking the dive, the coach spoke with members of the organization and the media.
"Honestly, I think we're going to turn the page in the last two years and move on," said Jackson, who had to wait until June because he has a stent and doctors told him to wait for the water to warm up before Take the dive.
He called it a cleanup because he said he would clean up the entire team from the misery of 2016 and 2017. Those two years have seen the Browns finish 1-15. and 0-16, the two worst seasons in team history.
After winning a game in 2016, Jackson said fans would find him swimming in the lake if they won a game in 2017. The Browns won none, and Jackson said he would live up to his vote. He turned the event into a fundraiser for The Hue Jackson Foundation, which fights against human trafficking. Jackson promised to donate $ 100 for every member of the organization that joined him, and owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam promised to match every dollar. Jackson later got up with a large check for $ 30,000 that will go to the foundation.
"I know our fans have been very disappointed," Jackson said. "I understand, but that page is closed, fortunately, they will give us the opportunity to earn their respect, their trust, their affection for our soccer team and the city, because we plan to do something special."
"We're not going to talk about that, we're just going to work. "
He joked that there would be" no more promises. "
" I will not do that anymore, "he said.