Browns Can’t Win on Field, Look to Win PC War
When a team has gone a combined 7-50-1 over the last four seasons, it is easy to conclude that a whole new direction is needed for the franchise. That is the state that the Cleveland Browns have found themselves in, as they became just the second team in league history to lose all 16 of their games last season. Plus, they through coaches like players go through athletic supporters.
This is arguably the worst run organization in the history of sports. The Browns have not had a winning season since 2007 and have been above .500 just twice since 1989. Clearly, a dramatic change in philosophy is needed, but the direction the team appears to be headed is clearly not the answer – hiring former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to be their new head coach.
A Brief History of Rice
Clearly, Rice has a distinguished legacy. She obtained a master’s degree from Notre Dame and was a professor at Stanford University from 1981 to 1987. She would later serve in the National Security Council and was the Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration from 2005-09.
She even has ties to football. In 2013, she was chosen as one of the 13 members to the College Football Playoff selection committee, the group that determines who will play in the college football playoffs each year, so she does know something about football…but to be a head coach…at the NFL level?
A Quick Denial
ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the story on Sunday and the Browns immediately denied they were considering hiring Rice as their new head coach. The move made no sense, especially in light of the fact that Rice had no coaching experience whatsoever. Not even coaching track or field hockey. There was no way that this would even be considered.
However, no one should think for a second that the Browns are not seriously considering this move. First off, despite having high picks in the NFL draft each season, the team has been irrelevant for the better part of three decades. Fans enter each season with mild expectations and, by Week 4, the team is 0-3 and the enthusiasm is dead.
They do have Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield as their quarterback and he looks like he could be a solid NFL quarterback but, in his rookie season, he is already on his second head coach, as Hue Jackson was shown the door a few weeks ago. It won’t be long before a bevy of head coaches have made their way onto the Browns sideline, which will quickly curtail Mayfield’s progress. (No quarterback thrives under constant coaching changes.)
So, why not make your team relevant in other ways – hire the first woman to be an NFL head coach.
Many will claim that she is not qualified to be in the position, but the truth is that no woman is “qualified.” Coaches usually get these positions because they have been a college head coach or have served as a coordinator at the NFL level for some time. There are no women that can claim that resume.
Rice obviously knows something about football serving on the selection committee, and it would be likely that the team would ensure that she hired the very best coordinators to assist her, no matter what the price tag was. This would help to make her a winner.
She would instantly be hailed by women across the country for not only being the first woman head coach, but for being black as well. It would earn the Browns a great deal of affection and make Cleveland the “Women’s Team.” Plus, the NFL can help to shore up its image with women after a number of high profile domestic assault cases tarnished the league’s luster.
For the football team, hiring Rice makes no sense at all. It would doom this team to oblivion for another decade as being a head coach is a skill set that only 15 or so coaches are really exceptional at. No offense to Rice, but some of the most brilliant coordinators in the game failed at this job and they had been around football their whole lives.
What it will do is make the Cleveland Browns the darlings of the league. It will increase attendance, improve marketing, and make their merchandise the hottest thing on the market. For a team that seems to be destined for last place every season, that will likely make this move worthwhile. So, don’t be surprised if come 2019, Condoleeza Rice is the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
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