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The Browns’ conditioning hill in Berea is no more

Two players run up a hill during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility in 2012.
David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

A fun follow on Twitter is @BrownsGrounds, an account that is managed by Chris Powell, the head groundskeeper for the Cleveland Browns. On Tuesday, he revealed that the conditioning hill that has been in Berea since 1992 has been razed and is no more.

For those who have been to Berea and are familiar with the facility, here is a perspective shot from February, where you can see the hill way in the top right corner of the screen.

The revelation from Tuesday shows the conditioning purpose that the hill provided, and presumably how it was a chore for the groundskeepers to maintain. On the right, you can see that the hill has already been leveled.

The only background information I could find on the hill came from this article, who attributed its creation to former Browns head coach Bill Belichick:

In comes Belichick, who completely renovates the cafeteria. Most of the good-tasting stuff is replaced with healthy choices. At each station in the line was a drawing of a traffic light. Foods marked with a red designation were those that were bad for the players and they shouldn't be eating. A caution light meant the players could eat some of the food there, but not a whole lot. And green meant go ahead and have as much as you want. The players began being much pickier with their selections, especially since what was called "Belichick's Hill," a large and lengthy mound of earth that the coach had built at Browns Headquarters in Berea to test players' conditioning, was a constant reminder to behave in that it was located no more than 75 yards from the cafeteria.

Powell was asked on Twitter why the hill was removed, and here is what is said:

“[We] wanted to create a level playing field and determined the area was better served in other capacities. ... Back in the day, [the hill] was used for conditioning, punishment, and rehab. Now we have specific equipment/fines for each.”