The Cleveland Browns have been impervious to success for quite some time, and that’s hardly a secret. Over the last 12 years, the speeding clown car stuck in reverse has won more than six football games exactly once. In five of those lively seasons, they topped out at a paltry four victories.
To call the situation in Cleveland an unmitigated disaster would be putting it mildly. This past season, their starting quarterback for five games was a second year player that turned 30 in Week 6. Only the Browns.
The storied organization predictably went on to fire head coach Rob Chudzinski after just one season, barely allowing the guy a chance to make a dent. Giving a coach one season to fix the Browns is like expecting someone to fix the economy over their lunch break. So now we start over, again.
At the moment, and to the surprise of no one, inebriated ownership isn’t having much luck finding a new head coach. This of course brings us to a thoughtful suggestion since there’s a very good chance we’ll be having the same exact depressing discussion after next season. And that suggestion is…
Forget the idea of a new Browns head coach and instead have a special guest coach of the week for each of the team’s 16 games next year. Put it this way, would you rather finish 4-12 and be miserable or finish 4-12 and have a little fun? You know whatever they end up doing, it’s going to be something along the lines of 4-12.
Now there are several ways to go about this. The guest list could be predetermined or fans could vote each week from a list of retired, awful coaches, preferably ones with football backgrounds, though not required.
Think about all the fans outside of Cleveland who would normally ignore the Browns that would suddenly show interest, albeit a laughing one. According to my imaginary conversation with sports business executive Darren Rovell, the voting option would be the more lucrative marketing opportunity as it would create a weekly buzz leading up to each game and allow the Browns to bid out logo placement on the poll for a major corporate sponsor to slap their logo on. Brand awareness, brand explosion.
But alas, since we already know who the Browns are playing next year, it’s more fun to make the list right now. Below is a list of special guest head coaches for next season. The chief themes here would be endless charisma and excessive trolling of other franchises, or both.
Texans — Gary Kubiak. A revenge game no-brainer. Plus, Gary could use the practice and the Browns could agree to center the game around a sponsorship from Kubiak’s hair dye.
Raiders — Art Shell comes to mind, though since the game isn’t in Oakland, I tend to lean Art Vandelay just based on the sheer number of trick plays that guy probably has up his sleeve.
Bengals — The unhinged man pictured above. That guy was born to coach a rivalry game. And yes, this will serve as a one-time only “bottles allowed on the field” game.
Ravens — Lou Holtz. The Browns would probably give their best effort in over decade and the post-game press conference with Lou peering over the podium would be incredible.
Steelers — Some dude dressed in Ben Roethlisberger’s uniform. While I assume this is some kind of uniform infraction under the coaches requirements, cameras would definitely catch the taunting attire before said person was required to change, creating that all-important buzz on social media. The option after that is to simply have no coach for the game and just let the players run around.
Colts — David Shula. He is now the endearing president of a steakhouse. It’s not like the Browns can get any worse.
Saints — Luke McCown. Drew Brees’ backup who threw one pass last year. He’s absolutely useless on the Saints sideline and could offer the Browns a few pointers. Plus, he began his career in Cleveland. Full circle feel good story.
Buccaneers — Vinny Testaverde. Had to reserve a place for Vinny and there’s no better spot for him to coach than against the franchise that witnessed him throw 112 interceptions in six mindful seasons.
Ravens — Vincent K. McMahon. Remember, this city took the Browns. A beautiful middle finger salute from Mr. McMahon as he emerges from the tunnel would go viral in 30 seconds.
Bengals — Sam Wyche. A great opportunity to return to Cincinnati to remind Bengals fans that they do not in fact live in the city of Cleveland.
Steelers — Bill Cowher and his commanding chin. An ugly brawl at mid-field before the game between fans, players and hot dog vendors leads to the NFL’s first ever double forfeit. Twitter retires, SportsCenter experiences record ratings.
Jaguars — Rich Kotite. Was always amused by the quote from the former Jets and Eagles coach of “my record speaks for itself,” especially considering his career coaching record of 41-57. Makes for an intriguing matchup with the Jags.
Titans — Webster Slaughter. Played receiver for the Browns and then had a few productive seasons with the Houston Oilers, so I’m guessing Webster’s pretty pissed the Oilers eventually became the Tennessee Titans. Excellent buzz surrounding this one, especially since most of us have no idea where Webster is or what Webster is doing.
Bills — Vinny Del Negro. No football background but storied coaching ineptitude matches the spirit of both the Browns and the Bills. Another no-brainer.
Falcons — Ralph Wiggum. Fictional character that picks his nose and eats paste, sure, but the Browns are pretty much a fictional franchise that picks its nose and eats paste.
Sadly, it appears as though the Browns will turn to the unoriginal and hire the Bills defensive coordinator … and be the Browns again next year.