Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson said that he would take a voluntary plunge into Lake Erie if his team went 1-15 for the second straight season. That 1-15 finish didn’t materialize in 2017—the Browns went winless—but the promise needed to be kept. After all, Jackson’s pledge was based on the team improving under his tenure and it didn’t.
In late December, after the Browns’ winless season concluded, Jackson confirmed the dip in the lake would be coming. “Heck yeah,” he said, “I have to,” adding, “I don’t like it. 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.”
But it’s clear that Jackson was waiting for slightly better weather for promise-keeping. And on Monday, the Browns announced the date was set: June 1st.
In a statement, the Browns noted that, “The jump will be held in a private location and is reserved for club employees only. To make the event worth a good cause, Jackson will donate $100 for every Browns employee who jumps in with him toward the Hue Jackson Foundation, which combats human trafficking across Northeast Ohio.
But while also for charity, it is clear that Jackson has another goal in mind, “It’s going to be a cleansing of the Cleveland Browns. That’s what it will be,” the statement read, quoting Jackson while speaking of the impending jump earlier this year at the Scouting Combine.
There’s no doubt Jackson wanted to wait for warmer weather to fulfill his obligations. According to weather.gov, the average temperature of the waters of Lake Erie off of Cleveland are in the 30s in January; on June 1, however, they average 57 degrees—not exactly balmy, but not cold enough to instantly induce hypothermia.