Wednesday, November 04, 2009

No Exit

One of the most fascinating things about the reaction to the Browns' latest off-the-field antics is the seemingly limitless capacity for self-delusion among the team's fan base. An erratic and impetuous owner throws his GM in the dust bin less than a year into the new regime? Not a problem! Ernie Accorsi will race to the rescue, transform Eric Mangini into a mensch, resurrect Brady Quinn's career, get rid of the brown pants, and then gracefully turn the reigns over to Bernie Kosar, who will lead the Browns to the Super Bowl and bring unemployment down to 3.0%.

Okay, so Ernie's not interested. Again, not a problem! We'll get Marty to do it, and Bill Cowher too, and Bernie will be in there somewhere. Here we go Brownies, Here We GO! WOOF! WOOF!

I've got just one question for anybody who believes any of these scenarios.

Are you stoned?

Cleveland is not a situation that anybody with any options is going to want to get himself into. The organization is a complete disaster, and the prospects for any kind of a turnaround are not good. I mean, my God, does anybody in his right mind want to work for Randy Lerner at this point?

Let's remember how Lerner got himself into this mess, because anybody considering taking the GM or head coaching job here sure will. After getting rid of Savage and Crennel, Lerner raced through the hiring process, fell in love with a coaching candidate whose track record was questionable at best, and then let that coach dictate his choice of GM. Now, when the wheels have come off, he punts the figurehead GM out the door while looking for ways to avoid paying him, and then who does he turn to for advice? A couple of disgruntled fans looking for 15 minutes of fame.

Holy Crap. Why on earth would any "serious, credible leader" sign up for a tour of duty with this guy?

Folks, the truth is that the Browns aren't even close to being a professional organization. The team doesn't know how to deal with the media, it doesn't know how to deal with the fans, it doesn't know how to deal with the players that it has or find the ones it needs. Nobody's riding to the rescue right now, and anybody who does show up isn't going to be here because he's looking for a challenge, he's going to be here because he's looking for a regular paycheck.

The media is fueling a lot of the speculation about Mangini's future and potential saviors of the franchise. They hate Mangini's guts, so they'd like us to believe that Mangini's on thin ice. But I don't think it's reality. There is really no good alternative to Eric Mangini right now, and he was shrewd enough, and Lerner naive enough, to make darn sure that was the case when he walked in the door.

Mangini's in charge of the team, and he's likely to be for the next couple of years at least. You may think he's a creep. So what? The Browns just don't have a lot of options. You may think that Randy Lerner's incompetent and should sell the team. Who cares? It's his team, not yours. Unless you're willing to hit him hard in the wallet -- which 10 years of experience tells him you aren't -- he isn't going to sell this team until he's good and ready.

So, about all you can do is hope -- against all evidence -- that Mangini will use the picks that he's stockpiled effectively and begin to build the nucleus of a team that can compete in two or three years. That's it.

Sorry guys, but there's just no exit from this mess.

1 comment:

Chocolate Starfish said...

I'm a bit reluctant to comment as I don't want to startle the Rhino and have him disappear once again in the dense jungle, where he has obviously taken refuge these past many months to avoid The Shit which is professional sports in Cleveland. Yes, the Browns are a disaster. Abdicating the franchise to a Lil' Bill Wannabe who seems to be hated on by every living organism on the planet was a colossal boner. Way to go, Randy. You jump to the top of my list of Lucky Spermers who have the unique luxury to fuck up everything they touch and glide through life. Your dad was a war hero, a distinguished businessman, a giver to this community and a true Browns fan. I'm not sure you begin to comprehend how you shame him. I humbly ask the Rhino to waive his testicles in your general direction if your paths should ever cross -- perhaps at a Kenny Rogers' Roasters, if those are still around. Those were solid.

Nice to hear from you, Rhino. Looking forward to your thoughts on the Tribe's trading of Cliff Lee with another year on his contract for a bunch of dingleberries, the Dolans coup in snatching Manny Acta from the Nationals' shitpile, and Delonte's El Mariachi impression outside of Baltimore. Oh yeah, did you read in the PD that Quinn wore Braylon's shoes as some sort of tribute when Braylon was given by Mumbles to his former team as another belated thank you for firing him? What up with that?

You picked a fine time to return, Lucille.