In November of 2012, I sat down with Cleveland Browns vice president Bryan Wiedmeier to talk about a struggle that had just been thrust, shockingly, into his life.
That challenge was a Grade 4 brain tumor caused by an aggressive form of cancer, a tumor Wiedmeier learned of when he had a seizure at the team's facility.
In the story that followed, Wiedmeier talked about attacking the challenges, prioritizing, taking things one day at a time. He spoke in ways that touched anyone who read or heard the words. The normally reserved gentleman in the Browns front office shared his story so that others could gain something positive from it. It was impossible not to be inspired by his attitude and approach.
Wednesday, the Browns made an announcement that brought a smile to the face of anyone who knows Wiedmeier, as fine, honest and true a man as the NFL has known.
The Browns announced that Wiedmeier had signed a contract extension. The length was not disclosed, but the good news was that the Browns would continue to have him in the administration, and he was still a vital part of the team.
"There are a select number of people who are successful enough in this league to establish 30-year careers, and even fewer who do it with the amount of class, respect and kindness Bryan does each day," Browns president Alec Scheiner said in the statement released by the team.
Wiedmeier has never asked for sympathy, never done anything but smile as he fought his way through surgery and chemotherapy. He has conducted himself with the same grace and class he shows every day, and probably would prefer he not be any focus of attention.
Most front office contract extensions are not announced, especially with those on the business end. They happen quietly, behind the scenes.
In this case, the Browns announcing the news had to bring a smile to many in and out of the NFL, all grateful that the Browns still have the services of this fine man.