Six Points on the Cleveland Browns (Mar. 5)

Christopher MaherCorrespondent IMarch 6, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - 2009:  Tom Heckert of the Philadelphia Eagles poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
NFL Photos/Getty Images


Six Points, after the Super Bowl and the utterly worthless Pro Bowl, is back after taking some time off.


There have been no games to recapitulate, no significant firings in Berea, and 98 percent of what we will absorb this time of year will be inaccurate, anyway.


Drop a Newspaper Guild paycheck on Six Points every couple of weeks, and he’ll be happy to add to the disinformation.


The primary reason for the longtime absence of Six Points is ...


1. It’s Silly Season:


That’s what they call it in NASCAR.


It’s a time with no actual competition, but plenty of speculation. And just as in NASCAR, 98 percent of what you read or hear will be inaccurate.


Six Points is not a total draftnik, and didn’t even stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. Thus, he has no opinion about a DE from Northeast Southwest A&M with a high motor who projects as a backup linebacker in a 3-4.


Can the Browns trade Derek Anderson to the Raiders for a first-rounder and Al Davis’ visiting nurse?


That’s about the level of discourse seen on the Intertube, and traditional media is not much better. We call it silly season for a reason.


2. Dancing With the Walrus:


Mike Holmgren, upon taking the reins as Grand Poohbah of Football Operations, said “I don’t dance” in one of his pressers.


That was most likely an allusion to his plaindealing nature.


Vocabulary 101 from Six Points: The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, the city’s only newspaper, is synonymous with “straight shooter” in its name.


Growing up, Six Points thought “Plain Dealer” was synonymous with “ugly pusher.”


Undoubtedly, some think “ugly pusher” is a more apropos sobriquet.


Nonetheless, Holmgren is dancing this time of year. They all do.


Why tip your hand and express your true intentions when you can express interest in a player you would not touch with a ten-foot pole in order to move up in the draft, move down in the draft, or dump excess baggage on another team for more draft picks?


It’s silly season, and we’re all dancing.


3. Another Savage Inequality:


In the 1990s, Jonathan Kozol wrote a book titled Savage Inequalities, which chronicled the disparities in public school systems in the United States.


Most of us in the Bleacher Report community probably grew up middle class, as Six Points did, and the stories Kozol’s book tells are horrifying. 


As much as we may have loathed high school, Savage Inequalities will make you want to drive back to your old high school and kiss the building.


In the case of Phil Savage, Browns fans still have painful reminders of the scant returns on substantial investments.


The latest tumor excised from the Browns was one Corey Williams, who cost the team a second-round pick and a huge contract.


Williams never produced in Cleveland, and was just traded, along with a seventh-round draft choice, for a fifth-rounder. 


Yes, the Browns got burned. Another Savage inequality. Buy high, sell low, but at least they sold.


And yes, there’s another point to be made about another Savage player acquisition. Stay tuned.


4. They Either Cling Or They Run!


That’s the punchline to a riddle a female server asked Six Points over a late lunch in an Akron, Ohio restaurant one afternoon.


The question was “What do men and pantyhose have in common?


The same question can be asked of Browns fans regarding fans of one Brady Quinn.


While online posts and bar conversations overwhelmingly favored the Notre Dame product at the beginning of the 2009-10 season, many of Quinn’s disciples lost the faith by the end of the campaign.


Others, still enamored with his first-round draft status and Notre Dame pedigree, insist his body of work in Cleveland is incomplete, and he needs to be given a full season with the keys to the car.


Not even Safe Auto would insure that.


All three of Six Points’ readers may have noted that Brayden Tyler Quinn was referred to by his more well-known moniker.


Well, other people in the office often get nicer to you when you’re about to be fired.


5. Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss:


Let’s not get fooled again.


You got your degree in whatever, and got in the door with your company.


Your first boss was a laid-back dude, and you liked him, but he never saw fit to give you any responsibility. You just knew you were better than your immediate supervisor, but that boss did not like entrusting new guys, so there you were.


You complained to friends and co-workers about him, and due to circumstances that had nothing to do with you or your performance, he was eventually replaced.


The new boss came in, and he’s a disciplinarian and a micromanager. Still, he gives you your shot.


You fail miserably, and your friends put it all over Facebook about how unfairly you were treated, but half of your colleagues are no longer in your corner.


Still, it has to be the new boss’s fault.


Now, your boss has a new boss above him, and he’s known to be an expert in your field. Finally, redemption! None of those people really knew what they were doing, and ...


He’s not impressed with you, either.


Maybe, just maybe, your degree was barely earned and you suck at your job.


Maybe, any amount of money your employer is paying you is entirely too much.


Maybe, you might think you’re safe because another guy in the office who is not much better than you makes more than you.


Maybe, the boss’s boss, who has worked with award winners in your field, has come to the conclusion you will never be one of them.


Maybe, your name is Brady Quinn.


In the midst of NFL Silly Season, it’s evident to Six Points that the Browns’ quarterback going forward is not on the roster.


The latest rumor on the Intertubes, although probably 98 percent inaccurate as all things are this time of year, has Quinn being shipped out for a third-round pick to an as-yet undisclosed team.


Another Savage Inequality.


But, if Six Points could get a third-rounder for a quarterback with happy feet, no long ball and no accuracy, he would have made the deal yesterday.


6. The Ex-Pat:


The first edition of Six Points gave proper respects to Patrick McManamon, former sportswriter and columnist for the once-great Akron Beacon Journal, for the concept for this format.


McManamon went from the Beacon Journal to AOL Fanhouse, where he now plies his trade writing about Cleveland sports teams.


Newspapers are a good place to leave these days. And that’s a shame.


In the childhood of Six Points, there was always at least one newspaper in the house every day. Some days, there were three.


In HBO’s award-winning series The Wire, fictional Baltimore Sun city editor Gus Haines reminisced with a colleague about his father, a blue-collar worker, who never wanted to be disturbed while he was reading the newspaper.


He said “There was something about that damn paper.”


Yes, there was, and yes, there is.


So many of us get all of our information online these days, and who can blame us? Why drive miles to buy a printed copy of the paper that is outdated by the time it reaches our hands when we can go to a website to read about that flood in Iowa?


But, that report of the flood in Iowa probably came from the Associated Press originally, and we never would have read about it without the efforts of Des Moines Register staffers.


Yes, there’s something about those damn papers.


Mr. McManamon, best of luck in your new endeavors, and you cannot be blamed. The Newspaper Guild in Akron just inked a new deal with the Beacon Journal, and union rep Stephanie Warsmith called it a “concessionary contract.”


If our paths ever cross, let’s have a Guinness.


Extra Point: The Quarterback Store:


It’s obvious that none of the quarterbacks on the current roster are going to be The Man going forward, and thus, the new Holmgren/Heckert regime is going quarterback shopping.


Six Points has never shopped for a quarterback before. 


That begs the question of what the experience would be like.


Would it be a big-box setting like a Best Buy or a Walmart, a boutique setting like the Apple Store, or maybe something else?


Perhaps the Quarterback Store would resemble something like the Progressive Insurance commercials with “Flo” having the policies on the shelves in software boxes.


Now, let’s go shopping:


Six: Hi! I’m looking for a quarterback.


Flo: You’ve come to the right place! We have all sorts of quarterbacks to meet your every need, and you can name your own price!


Six: Well, I don’t want one from an overhyped program with a whole lot of media buzz.


Flo: Discount!


Six: And no Heisman Trophies, either.


Flo: Discount!


Six: And for the first two years or so, all I need is a game manager.


Flo: Discount!


Six: But, he has to be able to read defenses and make all the throws.


Flo:We can do that!


Six: And, after those two years, I want him to be able to put the team on his back and win games for me.


Flo: Cha-CHING!


Six: Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?


Flo: Are you trying to pick me up?


Six: No, that was an honest question. I meant nothing by it!


Flo: Retail jobs suck, and the pay sucks even more! YOU try getting by on only one job working retail! And, by the way ...


Six: Yeah, my premium is due. Here’s the credit card.






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