The date is set. The showdown all of Northeast Ohio has waited for is finally near.
First, the tale of the tape:
The reigning champion
Position: Lake, of the Great variety
Height/weight: 9,910 square miles of surface area, 210 feet maximum depth, 115.2 cubic miles of water volume
Name: Hue Jackson
Position: Head coach, Cleveland Browns
Record: 1-31 (9-39 overall)
Jackson will make good on his promise to jump into Lake Erie on June 1, according to the team, which posted an article announcing the date of the coach's plunge on its official website Monday. The team's Twitter account followed suit with a video of Jackson clearly reading from cue cards while seated behind his desk at the team's Berea, Ohio, headquarters.
Jackson initially made the promise after going 1-15 in 2016, essentially guaranteeing the Browns wouldn't repeat such futility under his watch. They didn't, instead losing one more game to become the second team in history to finish 0-16.
"I don't like it," Jackson said in late December of the reason for his impending plunge. "I don't like to do it for the reason I am having to do it, but I have to make do on my word. I just think that is what you do. I do get that. I made a statement. I have to back it up. That is the type of person I am, so that is what we have to do."
In a sign of organizational unity, Jackson isn't going it alone. The coach will donate $100 to his foundation, which combats human trafficking across Northeast Ohio, for every Browns employee who joins him in jumping into the lake.
Cleveland has done a good job of taking a negative and spinning it into a positive, billing it as both a charitable event and a cleansing of the franchise. The Browns' football baptism -- to which the organization alluded in a sizzle video posted in mid-April -- won't happen in the River Jordan, but the lake named Erie. Sure, the river that feeds into Lake Erie once caught fire, but GM John Dorsey is doing his best to ensure the same doesn't happen to the franchise.
That process continues with Jackson's plunge, which avoids potential disaster by being put off until June, when the water won't be frigid and possibly threaten the coach's health. It's the latest of at least a handful of smart moves made by the organization in recent months.
After all, a dip in a lake and a shot at another season of possibilities beats the fate of terminated GM Sashi Brown.