Dangling the carrot

21 November, 2008
Rat Fink

So last night around dinner time, #1 Son text-messages me:

Watchin NBC news-theres a rumor the browns want to hire Cowher-8 million contract

“Whaaaat?” was my response. So the Thriller and I turned on the set, and when the sports report came on, sure enough, there it was, albeit just a few words about it. Hmmm.

Philomaths, start your search engines.

What I learned was both interesting and disappointing. See, I don’t think Romeo’s the guy. He’s a class act, but after what — 4 seasons now? — with the team, they still can’t make it happen. Any GM (even Browns General Manager Phil Savage, who, by the way, got into a little trouble of his own a couple of days ago) needs to believe that after giving a coach a fair shot and the team still can’t win, other plans need to be considered.

So here’s the deal. The rumor says that someone “close to the organization” has reported that:

  1. The Browns front office is talking to former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, and is prepared to offer him a contract between $8 and $12 million.
  2. Cowher has just recently purchased a home in Strongsville, a suburb of Cleveland.

Well now, I just had to check all that out. And here’s what I found:

This particular rumor has been around for awhile. Last night, I read posts on forums about it dating back to September of 2007. The earliest mention of it was in 1998, when the Browns were poised for reinstatement to the NFL after being ripped away from Cleveland and given to the highest bidder out there in Maryland somewheres. Says the New York Times article from ’98:

Last week, Pittsburgh Coach Bill Cowher, at an impasse with the Steelers over a contract extension, indicated he might try to be general manager and coach of the Browns.

Well, as we all know, that didn’t happen — just like it probably won’t happen now, at least in the foreseeable future, for a minimum of two reasons:

  1. The Rooney Rule, which states that any team looking to hire a head coach must interview at least one minority candidate. If everyone knows the Browns are after Cowher, who’d sign up for an interview?
  2. Cowher will want to run the show, and there’s been no indication from what I can find that Savage has been threatened with termination.

Personally, I’d like to see Angry Man With Strange Looking Chin come to Cleveland. (And apparently, so would a lot of other people.) We haven’t had a decent coach since Marty Schottenheimer.

Fink out.

PS – a Friday extra: Peter Pan Gone Horribly, Devastatingly Wrong

Friday extra #2: “It’s all Rousseau’s fault, Grammie.”

Image credits: AP Photo/Peter Diama, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Theo Wargo, wireimage.com
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21 November, 2008 12:21 pm

Bill Cowher loves being retired. He won’t do it. Even if all the circumstances worked out where Cleveland could hire him, it wouldn’t happen. I like what Romeo Crennel has done, but I don’t think he is given enough control over the team. He didn’t make the decision for Quinn (choke) to take over for Anderson. I think the higher administration is to blame for the low playing level of the Browns. Here’s a list of busts that have been recently acquired for Romeo to work with… Antonio Bryant Reuben Droughns Jeff Fayne Charlie Frye Travis Wilson Ted Washington Tim… Read more »

21 November, 2008 1:39 pm

I think Romeo is a pansyand that is the problem. IT is not in him to run the team. HE is a great assistant (a gopher boy) and that is all. I also think you will see two new key player next year and new head coach and a new GM. Both are terrible, but do not look for any improvements because the browns always seem to fin the worst people and put them in the most important positions. Setting the whole team and City up to look bad.


21 November, 2008 1:42 pm

All I have to say is…opening day is April 6

Go Tribe!


21 November, 2008 8:42 pm

What’s with the dearth of Ohio hockey news? The Blue Jackets have one of the most exciting players in the NHL in Rick Nash, who, I might add, scored a goal last season that was almost universally ranked at the top of everyone’s ‘Goals of the Year’ list. As a lifelong hockey fanatic, I felt it was one of the most spectacular goals I’ve ever seen, a superhuman individual achievement.

So where’s the love?


21 November, 2008 11:02 pm

I think the Bluejackets would be bigger in Ohio if they were in Cleveland. Columbus is a college town, not a pro-town. If my hero Bill Cowher went to the Cleveland Browns, I’d start crying Steel-Town Gold tears. As a life long Steelers fan, I can tell you the disappointment I felt when Cowher retired… because I knew he’d get that urge to coach again, and he’d go somewhere else, and come back and kick our Black and Gold butts. As for him coming to Cleveland though, I doubt it. Earlier this fall I heard a rumor he was looking… Read more »

22 November, 2008 8:03 pm

Stein has gone postal….
Oh, and I think hockey is actually pretty well accepted in Columbus. I have relatives around the area that are nuts about it. Cleveland has its own hockey team but very few know about its existance, nor do many care. This is just a football/basketball/baseball state. Oh, and the Columbus Crew play for the cup tomorrow.