Get out of the film room, twerp.
I’ve lost count of the number of Manziel-didnt-study-hard articles I’ve seen in the last couple days/weeks. The thrust of them is the same: time is precious and should be maximized in order to gain mastery of pro football concepts new to the QB. Plus anger/outrage. Lots of that.1
But what if Manziel actually did show up first thing on a Monday looking to get out in front of the week … and the film room was unavailable? If time is so precious and Manziel is d-bag for wasting it: WHAT IN ALL THE FUCKS IS OUR HEAD COACH DOING ON MONDAY MORNINGS COACHING UP THE TWERP PRESIDENT IF NOT WASTING HIS PRECIOUS TIME AS WELL AS DISTRACTING THE TWERP FROM HIS JOB?
Alec Scheiner, the team president who grew in power and influence a year ago after Banner and Lombardi were shown the door after just one season together, has become a divisive figure in the organization as well, gaining an increasing voice in personnel matters, well beyond just analytics. At 6 a.m. every Monday, Pettine is joined by Farmer and Scheiner to watch film, with the division between ownership and day-to-day coaching decisions becoming increasingly blurred.2
So Pettine gets a double proctology exam at 6am Mondays and one of the docs isn’t even a real doc? God bless Coach Pett, he sure loves football and wants to coach. Because here’s surely what those mornings went like:
Pettine: Hey guys.
Farmer: Sup. Tough game.
Pettine: Yeah, we couldn’t shake their Cover 2… no looks over the top and believe me we were looking..
Scheiner (looking at phone): Hey guys, look — one the Sloan panelists hooked me up for the Google Glass beta! Oh! Also Jimmy and I decided you should cut that WR Charles Johnson.
The italicized excerpt above is from yesterday’s LaCanfora story regarding the Browns. And while many are spending lots of time guessing at reporters’ agendas, casting aspersions at conniving sources, and wondering who’s grinding what axe; the view from here is that just because there are agendas behind release of info, it doesn’t change the info. And the report shows the Browns as an organization ARE a disaster.
Dysfunctional is such a catch-all word that it doesn’t really capture what it’s like to work in a fucked up organization where vanity and toadyism run rampant in the office.
We know (now) that Jimmy is another trust-fund baby just like Lerner, but unlike Lerner, Jimmy thinks he built his business. He thinks he knows a thing or two. ALPHA DOG.
Jimmy *is* the VIAGRA ad campaign.
Hate Randy Lerner all you want but he knew himself; knew what he didn’t know; knew where he preferred to be (Aston Villa); and finally I’m guessing cashed out after years of the relentless harping of Browns fans and the hideous Cleveland media about — ironically — not being more hands on.3 I always thought his absenteeism was a strength. Hiring predatory morons a true weakness. But admirable restraint for an NFL owner.
But ok fine. We are stuck with Jimmy ‘I have a house on Nantucket and actually put it in a magazine to let you know how fucking fabulous my life is‘ Haslam. At least he inherited his sense of entitlement.4
But about The Twerp.
There are two ways to get a seat inside the Berea film room.
One is to become a ball-boy and shine shoes and pickup towels in the locker room, then maybe an assistant special teams coach, then if you’re lucky spend a couple years with the d-backs, if your team wins maybe you hook onto a senior coach and set up shop as a coordinator and then if you continue excelling you get your shot as a coach in about 20 years.
Path one: You earn it.
An alternative path for the “You earn it” track to the Berea film room is to kick around coaching high school football for a decade BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT THAT MUCH and risk everything to take an internship with a pro team BECAUSE YOU WANT IT THAT BADLY and again you get a gig coaching d-backs and a mentor gets a head coach gig and takes you with him and then you get your shot because you’ve continued to grow and excel and -bam- you’re an NFL HC after 20 years of striving.
On the other hand, you can just be a lawyer from an ‘elite’ college and spend someone’s else money to build a scoreboard and get yourself on an ‘Execs to watch under 40‘ list —
As the general counsel for the Dallas Cowboys, Scheiner has his fingerprints on almost every key off-field decision, most notably the planning, financing and construction of the team’s new stadium. Scheiner is on the board of directors of Legends Hospitality, the new concessionaire company owned by the Cowboys and the New York Yankees; he helps with operations of the new stadium; and he attends league meetings with the Joneses. (Translation: Scheiner cut checks to contractors and got variances and practiced some eminent domain law plus sponging off Jones’ concession business as his training to be Browns president.)
— and finesse relationships with trendy media types and present at pseudo-science symposiums held by an ‘elite’ school. The lesson is: being an upwardly-mobile toady takes half as long to get in the film room AND YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO KNOW DICK ABOUT FOOTBALL.
Path two: You toady it.
Mother of god. Hey you guys, I bought a TV and put it up in my living room. I could therefore be the next Browns president!
Think I’m over-doing it on Scheiner? I don’t.
He lays out what he’s about at Sloan.
Abstract: Why do some analysts have a seat at the decision-making table while others toil away without any real impact? If a good analyst’s job is less than 50% numbers, as some claim, what makes up the rest? We’ll hear insiders talk about organizational culture, structure, politics and other factors that determine an analyst’s influence, and how you can better navigate them.5
Why not just title this session what it really is: “How to reach beyond your skill set and simultaneously spin your grasping into a ’40 under 40′ fluff piece for your resume into your next upwardly mobile step.” Other alt titles: “How to do other peoples jobs.” “How to use your peripheral touch of others’ projects to advance your careers.” “How to leverage your nosiness to gain favor and promotions with key execs.” Wait, no that’s covered tomorrow’s Toady-ing Seminar.
No Alec, no other panelists, no Sloan School of Business — wrong. Wake me when you all get together for a “Stay in your lane” roundtable because fellating each other for micro-managing your way above the rest of the organization who are actually doing their own jobs is gross.
Not for nothing but how is Scheiner on this panel? Catanella – Dir, Basketball Ops, Pistons; Mejdal – Dir., Decision Science, Astros; Hinkie – EVP, Basketball Ops (then), Rockets; Setty – VP, Google… and Scheiner, President of the Browns, before that General Counsel of the Cowboys. Huh? There’s no number crunching in his resume. Unless Scheiner is sharing his Zelig secrets he seems quite out of place on this panel except of course for his special ability to do other peoples’ jobs.
Sam Hinkie. Who’s that you ask? Well first, he’s 37 so you can be sure he’ll be in a couple “40 under 40” features from SBJ. But also he’s the GM of the 11-39 Sixers. He’s so damn smart that you really can’t look at this won-loss record for three or four years. More important than wins/losses: he used to work for THE SMARTEST MAN IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS!!6
That’s right Daryl Morey. Look at the numbers and formulas. Why is that… is that the quadratic equation? The same quadratic equation you learned sophomore year in high school?
Right. What’s next the Pythagorean theorem? Woah.7
Of course real genius of Hinkie and Morey and Scheiner is self-promotion and, importantly, focused self-promotion through the right channels: Simmons, Silver, Sloan. They’ll take it from there because it’s good when Grantland’s proteges are actually in positions of power; because then Grantland’s writers have actual sources for articles. Symbiosis. “Logrolling in our time” as Spy Magazine used to call it. Oldest trick in the media handbook.
You all still excited for The Twerp from Philly/DC/Dallas to change your grandfather’s uniforms?
You are? Smarten up. Because as has been stated here ad nauseum: Want to sell more jerseys? Win. Every other waking moment not in support of winning on the field is window dressing and a waste your time and our goodwill.
Lookit I’m resigned to the fact of uniform change. But it’s not lost on me that it’s the twerps who are driving the change on both ends: There’s twerps who track jersey sales like a football stat, and the twerps who actually buy the jerseys. They’re feeding each other and you have not a seat at this table.
If you’re reading this, I will guess that you DID NOT purchase a Browns jersey last year and have only one, maybe two in your closet. You wear them to the stadium and that’s it. That’s because you’re a normal well-adjusted person and thus you are NOT the target for the new uniform. It is the twerp who will be all in on the updated jersey and -whoa- maybe get some Nike KI ‘kicks’ in orange to go with them.8
And it is that kick wearing, jersey buying pod is who Alec Scheiner identifies with and cares about and markets toward because he is one. That’s his world. He inside that bubble and you can be sure that if he sees Scott Van Pelt with a full windsor knot and pocket square, he’ll be sporting a windsor knot and pocket square. Has no idea what happens outside their bubble. All he knows is that everyone inside his bubble wants the Browns jerseys to have really sexy numbering like maybe the Lions because pocket squares.
Fine. Fine. Fine. Knock yourself out on the uniforms. I can’t fight it. If Grossis and Rizzos and Haslams want new uniforms I can’t fight it.9 Click the pic at right and if still you think The Twerp will improve that uniform I’m not sure we can be friends.
But fine Alec. Keep building scoreboards and changing perfect uniforms and I don’t even want to know what your experience with eminent domain law for Jerry Jones entailed but fine, do that too.10
But stay out of the film room and the draft war room11 and probably the locker room too.
Let the men of football do their jobs, you do your job.
Know your role.
Stay in your lane.
I haven’t pined over losing Shanahan, but now the view from here is that he knew enough about dysfunction from his Redskins days to recognize that when the twerps hold sway, coaches get jettisoned. So good on him leaving and maybe Haslam took something away from his parting PowerPoint. Here’s hoping Pettine gets enough wins to force an org change in 2016 because it’s either that or he’s fired. There is no middle.
- Terry Pluto misses entirely the news from yesterday with this piece that fails to contain even one mention of Scheiner and opts instead to work the Haslam might be problem angle that’s been going on for two years. BOLD TAKE TERRY!! [back]
- This from Lane Adkins in his insider forum: “Alec S and Haslam did sit in film with Pettine. But, it wasn’t a weekly event and they did not tell Pettine who should play or what the offense should be. Now, they did ask questions, expressed concerns, etc.” [back]
- The final straw had to be when Lerner acceded to Grossi’s relentless mantra — “Browns need a CREDIBLE FOOTBALL MAN.” — and hires a ‘credible football man’ who turns out to be nothing but a bloodsucker. A tick ready to pop. Even billionaires notice when someone is sucking their blood. Lerner’s happiest moment as Browns owner had to be watching the blood drain from Homgren’s fat face after informing him that he’d sold the team. HAHAHAHA. But I’m sure lard-ass comported himself quickly realizing that he still had plenty of Lerner’s checks coming to him and once out of god-forsaken Cleveland he’ll be able to wear Tommy Bahama morning, noon, and night. [back]
- We could spend some time exploring how Haslam’s repressed insecurity over the perception that it’s his father’s business make him easy prey for credentialed toadies from ‘elite’ schools because legitimacy is important even if it’s just window dressing. But nah. [back]
- Someone watch this for me please because, needles in my eyes. Can you imagine traveling to Boston and plunking down cash money and winding up in this room? [back]
- As per Grantland. [back]
- Here’s a link. Now you can be smart like Hinkie and Morey too. [back]
- Apologies if you’re one of those shoe guys, but seriously: grow the fuck up. You’re a man-child with your sneaker fetish; it’s a foolish look. Imelda Marcos says, “I am not a role model.” Someone had to tell you. [back]
- Is there even one major media guy who is anti-new uniforms? [back]
- From the 40 under 40 piece. GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: Navigating the various minefields (eminent domain, financings, sales during a recession, etc.) to play a small part in helping make Cowboys Stadium a reality). [back]
- I grow more skeptical of Farmer’s underplaying of Haslam’s role in the draft room with each day. [back]