Dangling the carrot

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

8 thoughts on “Dangling the carrot

  1. Stein

    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 Carter
    I could go on but I’ll think of happier thoughts. Here’s an idea, Cleveland, DRAFT SOMEBODY WITHOUT PERSONAL ISSUES! Winslow and the motorbike, Charlie Frye and intelligence, Gerrard Warren and Courtney Brown are just awful, William Green and his lack of leadership. Stop wasting these good picks you get for stinking up the joint and improve yourself!!!

  2. mathman

    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.

  3. Ross

    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?

  4. Kody

    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 at houses in the suburbs of Cleveland, but nothing came of it. I would think that if he did come back to be a coach/GM (A combination that rarely ever works… look at Butch Davis) it would be with the Carolina Panthers. Cowher lives in, and loves, North Carolina… so in my mind at least that seems like the ideal job for “The Chin”.

    As for The Browns, I think that team has one problem, and one problem only… Romeo. The man shows no emotion. He’s like a mannequin. A very robust mannequin, but a mannequin none the less. I just don’t see a team working hard for a coach that looks like he doesn’t care. I think Cleveland should of been calling up Marty, the minute the Chargers screwed up and let him go.

  5. Rat Fink Post author

    Ross – Ohio has a hockey team? And…what is this “hockey” of which you speak, anyhow? Heh.

    Kody – I read in my research that Cowher does like NC. But you’re right, they do tend to retire, then get the hankerin’ again.

    I talked to some coaches (one of them being “mathman”) yesterday at school, and all of them are of the opinion that both Romeo and Savage should leave. Something needs to be done. And I hear you about Romeo’s lack of, shall we say, effervescence, on the field. (Then again, Tom Landry won 2 Super Bowls, and I’ve never seen a more deadpan face on any coach.)

    From what I can gather, I think Romeo’s more marionette than mannequin, unfortunately. But I’d still take your Bill…I read an ESPN forum the other night where a bunch of Steelers fans were saying, “I’ll never respect him again” and “He will have ruined his whole dynasty in Pittsburgh” and crap like that, referring to his possible move to Cleveland. Oh dear…with the war going on, debt in the trillions, kids falling through the cracks in school, people dying of cancer…let’s get over it, ya know?

    Adam – yikes, there’s less than a year left before we say, “Oh well, there’s always next year” again?? HA

  6. Stein

    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.


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