If the Cleveland Browns were a reality TV show, they would get better ratings than "Survivor" and "Dancing with the Stars" combined.
The latest episode in the high-drama series of “Browns ’08: Disappointment Island” involves General Manager Phil Savage responding to an angry and confrontational fan in a less-than-ideal way.
The website deadspin.com originally reported the story, and it was also reported on a radio station local to where I live; that’s right, Pittsburgh, PA, of all places.
Here’s how the confrontation allegedly went down:
Fan: You are easily the worst GM in the NFL. Chud, Crennel, and Tucker should
NOT have jobs. How the hell do you play prevent defense the entire game? How do you NOT use Jerome Harrison more? Why the hell would you throw the ball with six minutes left? This is officially a regime that is worse than Butch Davis'. By the way, just like last week—this e-mail was written while the Browns still had the lead.
Savage: Go root for Buffalo, f--- you! (Editor’s note: the bomb was not spelled out in Savage’s e-mail.)
On Thursday, Browns Head Coach Romeo Crennel basically confirmed the report. On the same day, Cleveland talk show host Tony Rizzo interviewed the e-mailer, who goes by the name of “Brett.”
In the interview, Brett stated that he had harassed and criticized Savage over the course of several e-mails. Brett admitted that these e-mails to Savage were pretty much out-of-line. He also acknowledged that he probably deserved the response that he received, and even defended Savage by saying that the GM’s response showed passion for the team.
As Bania from "Seinfeld" would say, “This is gold, Jerry! Gold!”
That’s right. I find this episode absolutely hilarious. People who think it reflects poorly on the organization or Savage himself need to lighten up and stop taking life (and a game) so seriously.
After all, do you mean to tell me that a Browns fan, or a fan of any team for that matter, didn’t need to be told to “self-love” himself at some point?
Secondly, I have some doubt that it was actually Savage who responded to the e-mail. After the Kellen Winslow saga, we know that some rank-and-file Browns employees have a way of causing a bit of trouble from time-to-time. People that want to get mad at Savage might want to at least consider that fact first.
But for the sake of argument, let’s assume it was Savage who wrote the e-mail.
Are we really to believe that Phil Savage, who is by all accounts a humble, God-fearing Christian, would start dropping F-bombs on “Joe the Fan” if he wasn’t provoked?
Do people really think that Brett’s side of the e-mail exchange was flowery and delicate? Brett said he deserved the response that he received. So, is it possible that Brett is leaving out a little bit of the text of his e-mails for the sake of the story?
And finally, would you rather the Browns have a GM that is lifeless and not human? A guy can only take so much badgering before he decides he’s had enough. This e-mail correspondence took place over several months. And Phil decided that, quite clearly.
Moreover, Phil's response—as Brett pointed out—is indicative of his passion for the team and his belief that he’s doing the right thing. How could you not love this if you’re a Browns fan?
How would you like it if some random person found your business card, e-mailed you at work, and told you that you sucked at your job? Might you respond that the e-mailer was severely lacking in the expertise of your field and had no basis for his criticism?
I don’t know how many NFL General Manager jobs Brett has had, but I’m guessing it’s somewhere between zero and zilch. Just because you buy a ticket and wear a Brady Quinn jersey to the games doesn’t mean you know how to run an NFL franchise.
People who will crucify Phil Savage over something so inconsequential and irrelevant to the ultimate goal of winning football games need to take their anti-Browns and anti-Savage agenda elsewhere.
Besides, both parties—Brett and Phil—say that they’ve kissed and made up. So if neither party has a problem with it, why should anyone else?
In fact, Savage should be commended for drawing attention to the organization. As the old saying goes, “Any publicity is good publicity.” Yep. Phil Savage is a marketing genius!
So that’s my opinion on the subject. And if you don’t like it, F--- you! Go read the Dawgfather’s blog!