The pendulum swings back and forth. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. Democrats win elections and Republicans win elections. Things in nature – and in society – tend to go back and forth around an equilibrium point. And so, I thought there might be an indicator several weeks ago that the Cleveland Browns would reverse course and begin the process of acting like an actual NFL franchise.
The Browns fired Hue Jackson in mid-season; they obviously need to hire a permanent replacement. In recent times – actually, for the duration of Cleveland Browns 2.0 – hiring coaches has been handled in mysterious ways. Since Jimmy Haslam took over the team, he conducted the interviews and ran the coaching search. He bought the Browns in 2012 and since then, the team record is a stunningly awful 23-82-1. In that time, Haslam fired Pat Shurmer and hired:
- Rob Chudzinski 4-12-0 for one season
- Mike Pettine 10-22-0 for two seasons
- Hue Jackson 3-36-1 for two and a half seasons
- Gregg Williams as the incumbent interim coach.
The expectation for the Browns was another owner-run coaching search that would continue the goat rodeo nature of Browns’ management. But then came reports that Haslam was going to step aside and let his newly hired – and well respected – new GM, John Dorsey, run the coach selection process. That may not sound like a watershed event, but it was. Dorsey has never been a GM before, but he has been involved in the “football operations” of other teams and has been successful in just about every stop along the way. Haslam’s track record for coaching hires – and player selections in the draft such as Johnny Manziel – has been universally wrong. Successful franchises let “football people” run the “football side” and have “business people” (like the owners) involved in the “business side”; then the two sides work together – you know, sort of like a team.
So, I thought the pendulum had reached its furthest point in the direction of ineptitude and would begin to swing back toward competence. And then in an interview, John Dorsey said he was going to consider anyone and everyone for the job including women such as Condoleezza Rice. If he said that as part of a stand-up comedy routine, maybe it would work in that context; in just about any other context, it is about as dumb as an inflatable dart board.
Before I get accused of chauvinism, I want to speak directly to the pragmatism that exists in 2018 with regard to professional – or college – football.
- The number of women with head coaching experience in the NFL and in major college football is zero. There is no pool of experience in which to go fishing.
- The number of women with experience as coordinators in the NFL and in major college football is zero. There is no pool of experience in which to go fishing.
- Condoleezza Rice is a most accomplished woman and an avid sports fan who has no more credentials as a football coach than Pope John XXIII – – and he is dead.
For reasons that will never be known, the Cleveland Browns appear to have suffered yet one more self-inflicted wound on the “credibility axis”…
Moving on …
Greg Cote of the Miami Herald had this comment about a recent election result in Florida – – one that did not need any recounting of votes:
“Florida citizens this week voted to ban dog racing in the state, meaning some 6,000 suddenly retired racing greyhounds may need new homes. Breathing a well-earned sigh of relief: the mechanical rabbit!”
Twenty players will make their first appearance on MLB Hall of Fame ballots this year. I think two are mortal locks to be enshrined on the first ballot:
- Roy Halladay
- Mariano Rivera
I think the “interesting” player on the list this year is Andy Pettitte. Here is a link to all of his stats compiled on baseball-reference.com. Those numbers say he should be a strong contender for the Hall of Fame. Except we know that he was a PED user for the simple reason that he admitted he was a user.
What will be interesting here is to see how the Hall of Fame voters treat a player who has been identified as a user by his own admission and with an aura of contrition.
Finally, since I mentioned above the Browns’ and their coaching search, consider this comment from Bob Molinaro in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“Idle thought: Pardon the cliché, but for another season, Bill Belichick is playing chess while the other coaches play checkers.”
Actually, some of those “other coaches” are playing tic-tac-toe as they seek to learn how to play checkers…
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………