Take the Browns ... please!

Where’s Art Modell when you really, really need him? Yes, it’s obviously a rhetorical question since we all know Art has gone from that luxury box up in Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium to the more basic pine version considerably lower (and undoubtedly much quieter).

Remember how upset everyone was when Uncle Artie skedaddled with the franchise back in ’95 and shuffled off to Baltimore? All things considered, how big of an outcry would there be if Jimmy Haslam moved the franchise to oh, say, Tennessee after the season? Relatively minuscule, I’m guessing.

You know the old question, “If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” That mentality applies to Haslam’s Browns, because I’m thinking that this time around, there’s a good chance there’d be a boatload of fans who might actually might help the Browns pack! And once that was accomplished, it would be followed by the resounding screams of former Browns fans, to the tune of “And don’t let the door hit you in the (you-know-what), Jimmy!” 

So before Jimmy blows up his latest NFL front office equivalent of the Three Stooges – let’s examine where Jimmy’s Plan for Greatness fell short: 

1. The fans object, Your Honor. Okay, it’s a given that you have to be smart (or alternatively, very rich) to become a successful lawyer. And indeed, Sashi Brown is smart. Unfortunately, Sashi has discovered that there is much more to evaluating football talent than explaining to a draft choice his Miranda Rights (although, given the overall character of some of the Browns acquisitions, the Miranda thing probably came in handy on several occasions). Just the same, the Browns repeated the same sin they have been guilty of countless times since 1999: putting an unqualified guy in charge. The prosecution rests its case. 

2. Cirque du Paul DePodesta. Honestly, if I hear one more thing about “analytics” or “draft capital” from the Browns front office, I swear I’ll burn my Kosar jersey (right after I go buy one). Paul DePodesta – a baseball guy – was brought in to apply his vast knowledge (which apparently isn’t as vast as we had hoped, unless used in conjunction with “wasteland”) to the roster and applying to draft picks of the Cleveland Browns. I’m sure Mr. DePodesta has crunched many a number in his day, and I’m sure his intentions are honorable but – yo, Paulie – the numbers simply don’t add up. And “draft capital” doesn’t mean squat if it doesn’t translate into NFL-caliber talent. In language you can appreciate Paul, your number is up with the Browns. 

3. Andrew Berry, quite contrary, how does your draft capital grow? I must confess, I forgot we even had this guy (which probably makes him the “lucky” one). See, he’s the VP of Player Personnel, and any qualified NFL scout will tell you the Browns have very little true NFL-quality personnel, so Andy is probably just sitting there waiting … and waiting … and waiting for something to work with! His patience will undoubtedly be rewarded with a nifty severance package.

The Three Stooges made their talents last a lifetime. And while the current Browns front office will not have nearly the same degree of success in terms of durability, rest assured the laughs they provided shall resonate in Cleveland for decades as well. 

Well done, guys.  

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 9, Issue 21, Posted 9:54 AM, 11.07.2017