I am a huge fan of the Ron and Fez show on Sirius XM Satellite radio. They do a bit on the radio called life boat, and I’m borrowing it for Cleveland sports. Here’s how it works. There are four people and only three seats remaining on the life boat. You must work your way through the list of candidates and, unfortunately, someone is designated to try their hand at long-distance swimming.
A couple rules.
1. You MUST pick three people to ride in the boat. “Let them all drown!” isn’t an interesting answer and frankly, you’re not funny. It’s been done, so skip it.
2. Don’t use an overly silly premise for your answer. Life boat is a silly enough premise where you aren’t going to “wow” anyone with your take that you should “keep the fatter guy because at least when we turn to cannibalism, we’ll have someone tasty to eat!”
So, this Cleveland sports life boat is Browns coaches. The candidates are:
Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur
Craig - This turned out to be a bit easier than I would have thought, originally. Let’s run through them. Butch Davis is safe. Yes, he ruined his Browns tenure with a power grab with his buddy Pete Garcia. Yes, he quit mid-season in a disgraceful manner. Still, in terms of quality, I thought he was one of the better coaches the Browns have had since 1999. Eric Mangini is next safest. He was tasked with an almost impossible job between Randy Lerner’s leadership vacuum and not having a real general manager. Yes, he made many of his own problems, but ultimately I think history looks pretty kindly on Mangini and his run in Cleveland.
I don’t think any of the 3 remaining guys are good coaches. But I’m saving Mangini next. Why? Because he’s the smartest of the 3. He is undeniably smart when it comes to football. Maybe too smart for his own good as a coach. That’s why I think he’s a better analyst than coach. But he’s easily safe.
So, Shurmur or Crennel? Hmmm. Let me flip this coin real quick……. ok, it said I should save Crennel. I like Romeo a lot as a human being. I think he’s a great man who loved his players. Shurmur was stubborn, unpleasant, combative with the media for asking questions that needed to be asked, etc. Sorry, Pat, no room on my boat for you.
Butch Davis, even though he botched some personnel moves still is safe as the rest of the group suggests. (Though I will point out he was only percentage points ahead of Romeo. Both won 24 regular season games, but Davis resigned with five fewer losses than Romeo.) Romeo had a 10 win season, no matter how many asterisks you want to put next to it for strength of schedule. (See Romeo, I’m making a decision without a coin flip.)
So, like many I am choosing between Mangini and Shurmur. 10 wins versus 9 wins. Even if I bust on Mangini for the ridiculous situation that was George Kokinis, he still out coaches Shurmur. Sigh. But you are so rowing Eric.