When the Cleveland Browns football team is brought up in conversation, people laugh, make jokes and pity one of the worst organizations in all of sports.
Is it fate that this city should not have a football team or just bad luck?
The Browns looked promising only two years ago posting a 10-6 record with six players making the Pro Bowl.
But, disaster struck again with the team going 4-12 and ultimately the departure of head coach Romeo Crennel.
In an offseason rumored with coaches names such as Bill Cowher, the Browns ultimately decided on former Jets head coach Eric Mangini, who lost his job due to Brett Favre's failures late in the season.
Man- genius, as he was once called, hired then-Ravens pro personnel director George Kokinis. The Ravens demanded that Kokinis be granted final authority over personnel moves if he were to make the promotion to the Browns organization.
Unfortunately, things went down hill from this point on.
Mangini had full personnel control and final say, like his former employer Bill Belichick while Kokinis was left in the dark on more than one occasion.
The "man-genious" not only traded away the #5 pick to the Jets, ultimately where USC's Mark Sanchez was drafted, but traded away numerous players including former Pro-Bowlers Kellen Winslow Jr and Braylon Edwards. In these trades the Browns were able to get draft picks as well as cast-offs from Manginis previous team.
Not only did Mangini trade for Jets players but ended up making questionable draft picks up and down the draft, passing on top talent to move back and pick up late-round draft picks.
Where was Kokinis while all of these personnel decisions were made? No where to be found is where Kokinis says he was. Not only had Mangini made the final say on roster moves but had not informed Kokinis that the Browns had traded controversial wide receiver Braylon Edwards until the trade was completed.
The Browns are a team of disarray. The offense has been a complete joke as Mangini failed to name a starter until days before the Browns opened their season.
Brady Quinn was given the start but was quickly benched after only 10 quarters of play. Since, Quinn has been benched, came in for relief of the absolutely awful Derek Anderson, who takes the cake for his 2 for 17 effort in a disgusting 6-3 win over the terribly inconsistent Buffalo Bills and is now being looked at as the starter again soon.
The close relationship of friends became a tale of two men fighting for control of a football team.
Not only was the team losing, the front office was becoming divided and some of the best fans in football, the dawg pound, even debated boycotting the Browns opening kickoff this upcoming weekend.
Someone had to take the blame for owner Randy Lerner's mistake of hiring Mangini, who is 1-7 while rumors that he has lost his locker room are spreading each week and unfortunately Kokinis became the scapegoat of the Browns organization.
If the Browns want to become serious contenders year in and year out they need to start over once again because the firing of George Kokinis was unjustified and an acknowledgement of the failures of Manginis' first year as head coach.
Owner Randy Lerner must be willing to pay a coach big money in the off season in addition to spending money on free agents and change the culture and philosophy of the Cleveland Browns organizations because the fans and players don't deserve to lose anymore.
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