Six Points on the Cleveland Browns (Nov. 20)

Christopher MaherCorrespondent INovember 20, 2009

CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 16: Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens sacks Brady Quinn #10 of the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 16, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

It's Friday, and time for Six Points to scrub the mess off of the floor from the last week of the Cleveland Browns' season, get out the Lysol to disinfect the remaining residue of the Monday nighter against Baltimore, and look forward (?) to Sunday.

1. One Fine Day:

Ever have one of those days where you wish you had a magic reset button so you could go back to sleep and remake it?

You know, one of those days where your dog dies, you take it to the vet for burial and your boss fires you for being late?

Brayden Tyler Quinn had one of those days Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Except for being fired, but that may be coming.

Quinn was fined $10,000 by the NFL, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, for his block at the knees on Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs.

Granted, fining Brayden Tyler Quinn $10,000 would be like fining Six Point s $1,, but it’s not all about the fine.

ESPN and the rest of the national media showed the clip of the interception return, and it, along with the commentary, did not make Brayden Tyler Quinn look very good.

Brayden Tyler Quinn has already lost $10.9 million in escalator clauses in his contract, predicated upon his taking 70 percent of the snaps in 2009, thanks to head coach Eric Mangini’s benching him after 10 ineffective quarters at the beginning of the season.

Now, based on the negative publicity, he could stand to lose lucrative commercial endorsements, which include Ganley Chevrolet, Subway and GNC.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. More about that later.

2. 4077th M.A.S.H.:

In addition to both starting ILBs, D’Qwell Jackson and Eric Barton, along with rookie RB James Davis, two more starters have been declared out for the season.

Dave Zastudil, a punter who was a Pro Bowl candidate, is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. The Browns’ special teams unit, among the best in the NFL, will sorely miss him.

Steve Heiden, a Brown since 2002 and a solid blocker and overall performer at tight end, is down for the count with an ankle injury. This is probably the last we’ll see of Mr. Heiden, as he will be 34 by the time the next season rolls around.

As Browns fans know, Davis, whose help we could have used this year, is out with a shoulder injury for the year. That's also on Brayden Tyler Quinn.

3. The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round

And the crunching sound you hear is that of people being thrown under its wheels, such as GM in title only George Kokinis, veteran WR and Cleveland native Joe Jurevicius, and veteran Mangini Girl Friday Erin O'Brien. Not to mention numerous relatively anonymous staffers in support roles when the Stalinesque blood purge of the Berea compound began.

But, in about the only gesture of respect given to Eric Mangini in North America, Six Points will say he has handled the dismissals with class.

Mangini also handled something else professionally, taking the hit for the play that knocked Josh Cribbs out of the game when it wasn't his doing. Say what you want about Mangini, that was pure accountability, knowing that the ultimate responsibility is his, even though the decision was made by his quarterback.

In the case of Kokinis, who the media reports Mangini handpicked to be his boss, Mangini mentioned his longtime friendship with him, and essentially said that sometimes things don’t work out.

Well, sometimes they don’t.

If they always did, divorce lawyers would be filing for unemployment along with half the rest of the country.

It may be Corpspeak, it may be a desire to avoid liability, but Six Points can honestly say Mangini has not publicly trashed anyone who is no longer with the Browns in his tenure here. Nor has he ever publicly trashed anyone on the squad who has been demoted.

If all former employers did that, the unemployment rate would be no lower, but the world might be a nicer place.

4. Reese’s Pieces:

It’s been all over the Internet and in the fishwraps this week that Randolph Lerner has been chatting up Mike Holmgren for his newly created Grand Poohbah of Football Operations gig.

Holmgren is more credible than anyone we have in the current structure, but Six Points wants someone else.

The man’s name is Floyd Reese.

Currently a “senior football adviser” to the New England Patriots, Reese was general manager of the Tennessee Titans from 1994 through 2006, when mercurial owner Bud Adams let him go.

Under Reese, the Titans were a perennial contender, notching 111 wins in those years.

By contrast, Browns v. 2.0 has fewer than half that number of wins in its decade of existence.

Randolph? Randy? Sir? 

Open your wallet for this man. Of all the names out there, he could assemble the pieces of a solid team.

Put a GM under him, as Six Points is sure he can recognize upcoming talent after his longtime experience, and let that management team decide if they can live with Mangini.

What’s in it for you? You can spend more time across the pond watching Aston Villa, your futbol team.

5. Where’s the Beef?

The late Clara Peller, a senior citizen when she starred in the Wendy’s commercials, examined a fictitious fast-food competitor’s burger, and uttered that legendary line.

Those commercials aired in the early 1980s, and in 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale used the line to attack his primary campaign rival, Gary Hart.

Hart, a charismatic and photogenic governor of Colorado, was many years Mondale’s junior, and was an early leader in the Democratic primaries.

As history shows, Hart was sunk by a paparazzo from the Miami Herald who photographed him on a boat with a model, but “Where’s the Beef?” remains as part of American culture to this day.

Basically, the phrase refers to a complete lack of substance.

Such is the case with Brayden Tyler Quinn.

In the years depicted in AMC’s award-winning series Mad Men , set in a fictitious Madison Avenue advertising agency, a common truism in advertising was “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

If there is any steak here, it’s not USDA Prime.

Let’s go back to 2007. Charlie Frye, as Browns QB, was mediocre at best, and the organization did not know what it had in Derek Anderson.

Enter Brayden Tyler Quinn. A photogenic QB from Notre Dame, a university boasting many Cleveland-area alumni. 

Quinn was an Ohio boy, and better yet, there were photos of him as a toddler in a Browns uniform.

The Notre Dame Hype Machine was ready to sell him as the Second Coming of Joe Montana, and former Browns GM Phil Savage bought the sizzle to the tune of a 2007 second-round draft pick and a 2008 first-round choice.

Thus, after being passed over 21 times in the 2007 draft, including by the Miami Dolphins for a kick returner when that franchise was in desperate need of a QB, Brayden Tyler Quinn became a Cleveland Brown.

On that fateful moment, Six Points almost trashed his Trinitron.

To be fair, if Paul Brown were resurrected to prowl the sideline once again and Peyton Manning took the snaps, this season’s record would not be much better with the talent level of the 2009 Cleveland Browns.

But, in the case of Brayden Tyler Quinn, as many red flags came with him as would have been found in a May Day parade in the former Soviet Union.

And, after he became a professional, the hits kept coming.

Brayden Tyler Quinn was drafted in the age of YouTube. Numerous videos of him exist booing service academies in his Notre Dame career.

Six Points considers that a completely classless act, as this column is not being written in German or Russian under an authoritarian government, but it gets worse.

YouTube videos abound of Brayden Tyler Quinn throwing hissy fits on the Notre Dame sidelines.

Videos also abound of his meltdown in the 2007 NFL Draft in the green room, as he looked to be on the verge of tears.

Going back to his Notre Dame career, Quinn played in four bowl games. He was 0-for-4, and the Fighting Irish lost by embarrassing margins.

Scouting reports, apparently glossed over by Savage, had serious concerns with his accuracy and ability to throw the deep ball. Those reports also, while praising his intelligence, questioned his ability to be long-term NFL material.

Let’s start again with Quinn’s multimillion-dollar professional career. After holding out in 2007, he could beat out neither Charlie Frye nor Derek Anderson.

In lieu of making headlines on the field, on December 31, 2007, Columbus police questioned him for an altercation with homosexuals outside of a bar in the gay-friendly Short North district of that city. No charges were filed.

According to AP reports, Brayden Tyler Quinn was harassing them.

As Shakespeare said, “Methinks thou might protesteth too much.”

Six Points was once young and cute, and had a few homosexuals try to pick him up. The response was “I like women,” or “I don’t swing that way,” and that was that.

And that was in a far less tolerant time.

But why in the world, on New Year’s Eve, would you be in a gay area of your city if you were neither swinging that way nor had more issues than National Geographic?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Except for the issues.

Now, let’s advance to 2008.

Quinn, once again, failed to win the starter’s role in preseason. Only after the team unraveled did he get a start against a Denver defense that was missing almost its entire secondary.

In a loss, that was Quinn’s only respectable start of his career. Although he won the following week in Buffalo, his statistics were abysmal.

After he was disabled for the season with a broken finger, Quinn was decked by former Browns DL Shaun Smith in the locker room. As Mangini would say, it was an internal matter, but why in the world would a second-string defensive lineman risk his career by decking a multimillionaire QB without reason?

Smith now plays for Las Vegas of the UFL. Maybe the two can be reunited soon. After all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Let’s go to 2009, shall we?

In Quinn’s first 10 quarters at QB, before being replaced in the middle of his third game as starter, the Browns’ offense generated a total of 19 points. 

Before being put on the injured reserve list for the season, promising RB James Davis was laid out by Quinn in the regular-season opener against Minnesota on a poorly thrown, high short pass. The Vikings' defender put him out for the game with a shoulder injury, which would be later blamed on a practice session.

Once again, Mangini covered for his players.

Some Internet buzz (unconfirmed) reported that Mangini was facing an “all-out mutiny” if Quinn would have been the starter the following game against Cincinnati.

After that, many middle fingers were raised in bars and living rooms in Greater Cleveland as he was shown pouting on the sideline.

Reinstalled as starting QB after Derek Anderson did no better with the Browns’ lack of talent, Quinn mustered exactly zero points against Baltimore’s suspect secondary and almost got his team’s only playmaker knocked out for the season after calling the ill-fated hook-and-ladder play that laid him out on a stretcher.

Nice exclamation point on a 23.5 QB rating with 74 net yards, no?

Phil Savage, we’d go root for Buffalo, but there’s no steak here, and the sizzle has long been gone. And we are damn hungry.

Now, the only sound we hear that accompanies fragrance is the Febreze we’re spraying to get rid of the smell of this draft pick.

6. Blackout Stout:

In this region, Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale has become a holiday tradition.

Some call it “Christmas Jail,” as people who normally partake of lesser brews exhibit substantially less intelligent behavior while consuming it.

Great Lakes also brews something else that can put one’s reputation and livelihood at risk, and it’s called Blackout Stout.

Named after the electricity failure that darkened most of the eastern United States and much of Canada in 2003, Blackout Stout comes in at around 9.1 percent alcohol.

While a nice memory blackout might be a wonderful thing to have for this Browns season, the title was in honor of the Detroit Lions having their home market blacked out for this clash of 1-8-0 titans.

After all, you have to be stout-hearted to even think about watching.

On Brayden Tyler Quinn’s One Fine Day, Six Points asked “Who do you think will win on Sunday?”

The answer was “Whoever doesn’t watch the game!”

Paul Brown and Bobby Layne are rolling in their graves.

Looking at the game, the resistible force is confronting the movable object. Namely, the NFL’s worst offense confronting the NFL’s worst defense.

But, at least the Lions can score.

Thus, Six Points  predicts another valiant effort by a short-handed Browns defense wasted, with the final score Detroit 17, Cleveland 9.

Extra Point: The Game:

The Saturday before Thanksgiving is approaching, and that means it’s time for The Game, as it’s known from Columbus to Akron to Cleveland to Toledo to Detroit to Ann Arbor.

For over a century, Ohio State and Michigan have gone hammer-and-tong on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and throw the record books out when these two archrivals meet.

For Michigan and their embattled coach Rich Rodriguez, this is the Wolverines’ Super Bowl. Rodriguez’ job could be saved with an upset in the Big House.

HBO Films did an excellent documentary on this greatest of all traditional rivalries, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look.

When young, you hate the other team and the other school.

Growing up, you still hate the other team, but dislike and respect the other school simultaneously.

As years go by, you respect the rivalry, having worked with alumni of your onetime enemy, and appreciate the greatness of that Saturday before Thanksgiving, win or lose.

And as maligned as the Big Ten may be in the national media, you hold the Saturday before Thanksgiving sacred, for it is the day when rivalries that may date to before your ancestors arrived in America are renewed.

Wisconsin plays rival Northwestern, and Purdue and Indiana battle for the Old Oaken Bucket. Iowa and Minnesota have at it, and all those rivalries go back to the days before the Ford Model T.

May there never be an official Big Ten Championship Game. Most years, it comes down to Ohio State and Michigan.

And may the Saturday before Thanksgiving always be sacred. Shabozz. Amen.


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