Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rebuilding the Cleveland Way

Cleveland Browns Front Office Org Chart
Here is the normal process for cleaning out a front office and hiring a coach in the NFL:

  1. Fire everyone in the front office. If there are people in place you want to keep, don't fire them.
  2. Hire the people you want for the available spots.
  3. Once your front office is in place and set up to go forward, proceed with hiring a coach. This ensures that the coach you eventually hire is the guy your GM wants to be coaching the team, and whom presumably he can work with.
  4. Do football-type things.

Here is the Cleveland Browns' process for cleaning out a front office and hiring a coach:

  1. Fire well-regarded coach after one year in which he's been handed a gallon of cat piss and two moldy tangerines and told to make filet mignon with it.
  2. Spent roughly the amount of time it takes George RR Martin to write a new Game of Thrones novel looking for your next coach.
  3. Get turned down by your first choice.
  4. Get turned down by your second choice.
  5. Get turned down by your third choice.
  6. Get turned down by a guy you friended on Facebook.
  7. Get turned down by the nice orthodontist who coaches your kid's Pop Warner team.
  8. Hire coach who was on nobody's radar, who seems like a decent guy and a good coach, and who seems utterly unaware that he's just done a Triple Lindy into a giant pit filled with arthritic cobras.
  9. Reassure everyone this was your guy all along, and that he and your front office are going to work together like nitro and glycerin.
  10. Wait for confused news coverage and despairing blog posts to calm down.
  11. Fire everyone in your front office right before the draft, meaning your new coach will now be working with a new GM who didn't hire him and who presumably would rather have his own guy in there.
  12. Pile everyone you can find into one of those specially built circus cars and drive around while "Yakkety Sax" blares in the background.

At this point, Cleveland's gone from tire fire to toxic to radioactive. From the owner who's being investigated for ripping off his customers to the front office shenanigans to, well, this, it's as if they're actually playing a game of "what does this button do?" Another year of this and they're not going to be putting a football team on the field; it'll be two cricketers, a very lost rugby player, a couple of bored guys from the Indians' bullpen and a confused llama, and they'll still put up better offensive numbers than the team they ran out there this year.

Cleveland fans: I'm sorry. I'd like to think that there's a chance that conventional wisdom is wrong here, and that this sort of shotgun wedding/PCP-laced square dance might result in something wonderful. But I don't like the odds, and neither should you.
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