Cleveland Browns fans are quite the faithful bunch, and that phenomenon would certainly explain a recent development at Mullarkey’s Irish Pub in downtown Willoughby, Ohio.
John Bowers, the restaurant’s owner, is launching a campaign for the Browns to hire Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, who is interviewing with the team today in Cleveland. Although the two parties have no relation (note just one “l” for the coach), Bowers is using the unique connection to spark interest for the coach he feels has the best credentials for the position.
The namesake for the restaurant is the maiden name of Bowers’ wife, Eileen, and in fact, it’s likely Mularkey has already heard of the popular Irish pub.
“Years ago, when Mike Mularkey was the head coach at Buffalo, one of the assistant coaches just happened to be in at Mullarkey’s Pub,” Bowers said. “And he bought like three shirts and he said, ‘I’m buying these for Coach Mularkey.’ And since his name is Mularkey, and the pub’s name is Mullarkey, I think it’d be cool if he was the coach of the Browns.”
While Bowers says one of the main reasons for the campaign is the joking nature of the similar last names, he also feels that Mularkey is the signature candidate for the position.
Bowers lauded the coach’s previous success, specifically citing his stint as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2001-03. The owner said his continued success in Atlanta brings about some optimism for developing a young quarterback in Cleveland.
“Oh absolutely, he did a great job with Matt Ryan in bringing him along and there’s obviously a connection there with Colt McCoy,” Bowers said.
Bowers criticized Mangini for being over his head with the Browns head coaching job, calling out his poor time management skills. One of the more vehement examples he noted was at the end of the first half in the Week 16 loss against the Baltimore Ravens.
Bowers said that along with the photographed sign in front of the pub, he is also lending his support toward Mularkey’s candidacy in other ways.
“Just talking it up amongst the patrons and, you know, having them kind of see the correlation between his last name and the name of the pub, and joking around about how we might even be related,” he said.
(Photo above via Brendan Bowers/WaitingForNextYear.com)