The Really Sad Story of Marcus Benard

by Cleveland Frowns on October 12, 2011

By now everybody’s heard that Browns linebacker Marcus Benard is probably lucky to be alive after crossing four lanes and being thrown 261 feet from his motorcycle after crashing it into a guardrail on I-71 near W. 65th street after practice on Monday, and walking away with bumps, bruises, and a broken arm. Since we’ve heard at least one professional analyst dismiss the event by simply comparing Benard to Kellen Winslow Jr., calling Benard stupid, and exhorting the importance that Benard “be punished,” it’s especially important to discuss a few more things that might be at play here.

Mainly that increased propensity to engage in risky behavior is a symptom that’s commonly associated with depression (including risky driving), that if any Cleveland Brown has cause to be depressed, it’s Marcus Benard, and that only a sociopath wouldn’t consider this in making any kind of judgment regarding Benard’s accident.

Our friend, pictured in better times.

Brooklyn police say “there’s no way of knowing” how fast Benard was traveling at the time of his accident, and Benard himself claims to have been moving at 60 mph, but one witness reported that “Benard’s motorcycle passed him ‘at a high rate of speed’ and then crossed over all four lanes of I-71 before crashing into [the] guardrail.” In any event, it’s probably a safe guess that Benard could have been driving safer (the legal charges against him certainly assume as much). And while we don’t and probably won’t ever know why he got into the accident, if we’re talking at all about increased risk taking as a result of depression, even if at the smallest margins, who could possibly blame Benard for being depressed?

Of course, decent and right-thinking Browns fans are all depressed enough about the roughshod that the Holmgren fiefdom has run over principles of honesty, integrity, accountability, and the one that a decent man who’s making obvious progress at an historically difficult job gets to keep that job. But for us fans this is all just a diversion. Imagine what it must be like for someone like Benard whose livelihood depends on it. To go undrafted out of Jackson State to the best story in Browns training camp just one year later, to become the team’s best pass rusher and lead its injury-crippled defensive unit in sacks the next season, and for a boss who supported you every step of the way through the harrowing ordeal of the premature birth of your son, a boss who made you the man you were, a better man. To go through all that only to see that boss summarily dismissed — against all notions of honesty, integrity, accountability and the one that a decent man who’s making obvious progress at an historically difficult job gets to keep that job — and to become a forgotten man in the regressive low-ceiling schemes* of that boss’s successor despite having made every effort to fit in. And all of that before ever having a chance to sign a contract for much more than the league minimum, which, had basic principles of honesty, integrity, accountability and the one that a decent man who’s making obvious progress at an historically difficult job gets to keep that job been honored, would have been something you’d have certainly had every chance to have done. Now, who knows?

Talk about the pits.

On one hand you might want to say, “that’s life in the big boy’s league,” but in truth it all gets right to the difference between firing a head coach who deserves to be fired, and firing one who doesn’t deserve to be fired at all. It’s all real life either way, and when you pour gasoline on a garden that has something that’s actually growing in it, you’ll destroy more life than you would have if you’d have done the same thing to a garden that’s barren. Really sad, whether the motorcycle accident has anything to do with it or not.

Here’s wishing Benard a speedy recovery, and that an organization with more respect for basic principles of honesty, integrity, accountability, etc., gives him a chance to get back on track.

Back later today with more on the Browns.

—————

*Writing about Benard in the summer of 2010, Tony Grossi observed that “[t]here is no room in Mangini’s defense for a specialist.” Of course there wasn’t. It wasn’t checkers we were playing back in those days.

  • Anonymous

    While your points are all valid as it relates to Bernards current situation, environmental factors are only one, and typically regarded as one of the the least, influential components of clinical depression.    

    Im not saying he was or he wasnt depressed, but theres a important distinction between being clinically depressed and being frustrated with work.   

    • Anonymous

      I don’t necessarily disagree, but I’d suggest that a career involving certain extremes that come with being an NFL football player might not be your typical case re: “frustrated with work.”

      • Anonymous

        I agree with that.

        Do we know that he was even depressed though?   Maybe he just got into an accident, like many people who choose to drive motorcycles do?  Certainly not everyone who drives a motorcycle is depressed.
         
        If you are just assuming he was depressed, and didnt just get in an accident, it might seem to some you are using this incident as a way to perpetuate your anti-holmgreen position.  

        • Anonymous

          I think the post is clear enough that I’m not assuming Benard was depressed, I am just bringing up the very real possibility that he was, and that it might have had something to do with risky behavior that might have caused this accident. Of course it would be irresponsible to fail to point out Holmgren’s role in creating the conditions that might have caused any decent man to become depressed, and of course there’s only so much I can worry about what certain folks will think about this post.

          • Anonymous

            Using him driving a motorcycle  as the only tangible symptom to conclude a  ”very real possibility” of depression is  a reach at best.  

          • Anonymous

            Not just that he was driving a motorcycle, but that he almost killed himself in an accident on a motorcycle, to conclude that there is a very real possibility he was engaged in risky behavior, which, as science has proven, is connected with depression. It’s not hard.

  • Anonymous

    Marcus is very lucky. I went over the handle bars @ about 25 mph on my Norton Commando a few years ago (depression was not involved). I flew about 30′, landed on the grass berm but still broke my collar bone. 

    I can’t imagine taking the kind of flight Marcus did on concrete. I’m sure he has multiple bruises in addition to his broken hand/arm.

    As to his role with the new regime, he’s really a 3-4 OLB so he does not have a natural position in the 4-3. Lawrence Vickers & Matt Roth, both very good players had similar fates.

    But this is an oft repeated story in the NFL when a new regime takes over.

    The big sin here is that of Holmgren. He disingenuously let all those guys (and the fans) twist in the wind for all of 2010 when he new damn well what his real plan was.

    • Anonymous

      “The big sin here is that of Holmgren. He disingenuously let all those
      guys (and the fans) twist in the wind for all of 2010 when he new damn
      well what his real plan was.”

      That’s really pretty much it.

      • Anonymous

        so assuming he was disingenuous,  he purposely wanted to let all the guys and fans twist in the wind for what reasons exactly?   i for one agree that in hindsight, it would’ve been more practical to make a change in 2009, but EM laid one heckuva sales pitch on Holmgren..  we all know how impressive he is..  it seems to me that Lerner might’ve had a say in keeping EM around another year as well, especially after seeing the longest winning streak in recent franchise history and wanting to save some face after hiring him before the ink dried on EM’s walking papers from the Jets.. and of course the little matter of the $12m still owed to EM..

        • Anonymous

          “he purposely wanted to let all the guys and fans twist in the wind for what reasons exactly?”

          So that someone else could take the heat for an obvious rebuilding year. To avoid taking responsibility for something until the last possible moment. Inertia. It’s not hard.

          • Anonymous

            yeah who was i to think that the buck doesn’t start and stop with Holmgren, he is the Team President afterall..  i really don’t see the difference on who the HC is when it was Holmgren’s choice to keep him on..  everyone and their grandma expects change when a new front office comes in, rarely does it happen otherwise..  so the responsibility is clearly on Holmgren as it basically was a rehiring of Mangini.  i still blame Holmgren for not making the decision earlier, just don’t see any upside whatsoever for Holmgren to be disengenuous.  

    • Anonymous

      Lawrence Vickers, as great as he was for the Brownies, has been demoted to backup FB for the Texans (got beat out by a former TE from Rice) and also dropped a surefire TD on Sunday..  Matt Roth is still in a 4-3 down in Jville, 4 tackles and 2 sacks in 4 games.. Sure would be nice to still have him with Benard going down, but maybe Titus Brown or Stephens will step it up.. 

      I agree that Holmgren should’ve made a clean break right after 2009 season, but as a wise man said “it is what it is..”   

      • Anonymous

        “Lawrence Vickers, as great as he was for the Brownies, has been demoted to backup”

        Maybe he’s depressed having left Cleveland (Mangini, Hillis, et al).

        • Anonymous

          Obviously.

    • Beeceeinla

      FWIW, roth is now a 4-3 DE with the jaguars.  some teams use smaller DE’s in their 4-3 alignment. IIRC,  our GM doesn’t have a problem with smaller DE’s & jauron’s scheme allows for smaller DE’s also.

  • http://www.redright88.com Titus Pullo

    Work has been weighing on me lately; when are your office hours Dr. Frowns?

    • Anonymous

      24/7, bruh. Talk to me.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    What ever happened to people just being accountable for their actions?

    Look, if he wants to drive like an asshole that’s his God given right as an American. When
    he endangers others with his idiocy is where I have the problem. I’m
    not sure how fast one had to be traveling to be thrown 261 feet from
    your origin, but stand on a goal line and look down to the 13 yard line
    on the other end of the field and take a guess. Dollars to donuts says
    that it’s no where near 60 mph.

    Somehow I doubt that Holmgren firing Mangini depressed him to the point of embarking on a suicide mission up I-71 exactly 281 days after the fact. I do however believe that it sucks that he’s riding the pine with Jauron here. Anyhow, he gets paid whether he plays or not, so things aren’t all bad.

    • Anonymous

      What you write here is mostly beside the point, but people in leadership positions should be held more accountable than people whose lives depend on the decisions that those leaders make.

      • Anonymous

        you mean by the leadership banning motorcycles in Berea??  somehow i’m sure that was kept in the new CBA and players can’t be told what they can or can’t drive to work..  i think the real culprit here is Can-Am, this is the 2nd time Cleve sports fans prospects for a successful season was diminshed by the presence of the Spider.. (Delonte and now Benard)

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

        If he was cut from the team, house foreclosed, Can Am Spyder reposessed, wife left him for a podiatrist, etc, etc, then I could understand how someone could be in such a state of despair. But all that happened here is that he has a new boss. He’s kind of a guy without a position right now, which isn’t his fault. He’s still got no reason to think the Browns don’t believe in him as he’s on the roster (as of this moment).

        I was, and still am, a Mangini fan as much as anyone and you know this. I just have trouble placing blame for Benard’s driving habits on anything other than him being young and having a lot of cash.

        Depression isn’t the only reason people engage in risky behavior. Stupidity and wanton disregard for the safety of others are also very legitimate reasons.

      • Anonymous

        Person in leadership position:  Benard = Father
        Those whose lives depend on decisions made:  Prematurely born son, wife/partner, extended family (unfotunately not Browns’ new defense)

        I think you have to hold anyone operating a motor vehicle accountable for their actions. I’m a PA working in Ortho surgery and ER. I see a bunch of motorcycle MVAs which fall into 3 categories: 1) adrenaline junkies, 2) newbies in over their heads, 3) wrong place, wrong time. Recently, I’m also seeing guys riding the 3-wheel bikes hitting the pavement because they handle differently than a 2-wheel, they accelerate and expect the same response and it just isn’t there.

        That being said, I agree with your observations comparing the character
        and personality of the old vs. new regimes in Berea, and the wholesale
        negligence and disuse of Benard this year. However, I don’t see the need to connect these observations to the accident, aside from the fact that the crash put him in the news this week.

        • Anonymous

          “I don’t see the need to connect these observations to the accident,
          aside from the fact that the crash put him in the news this week.”

          Call it a “want,” then. I feel for the guy, which isn’t mutually exclusive to believing folks should be held accountable for their actions. I don’t think I disagree about any of the rest, and appreciate the inside ER info.

  • Aeroscarr13

    The fact that he was driving on a suspended license doesn’t help the case for depression being a significant reason for the accident.

    The reasons for having a license suspended in Ohio are varied, http://www.dmv.org/oh-ohio/suspended-license.php#Reasons_for_Suspension , but until we find out why it was suspended, I’m going to assume it was for other poor decisions he’s made in the past and is not related to a medical condition he may have.

    • Anonymous

      I heard his license was suspended because he wasn’t insured due to lack of payment, not sure how valid that information is. 

      You know, I really hope this wakes that big dummy up.  He has a family, what the hell?  I know these athletes are sometimes adrenaline junkies, but come on, you’re not 14 you dumbass. 

      Imagine that huge body flying through the air – how he didn’t hurt anyone else is nothing short of a miracle.

      I hope his teammates give him a big hug followed by a swift kick in the ass.

      • Anonymous

        Again, this is all beside the point.

        • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

          So he was driving without insurance because (edit: maybe) he was depressed? “Risky behavior”, and all that?

        • Anonymous

          I’m aware of that.  

          So who does Holmgren have to blame for his poor judgment and careless behavior as team president?  It must be someone’s fault that he is what he is, right?  I mean, when he was born he was a pure soul, so somebody screwed him up. 

          When can we expect to read The Really Sad Story of Mike Holmgren? 

          • Anonymous

            im pretty sure the RSSoMH would begin with him thinking he was soley responsible for GB’s trophys when he was there and not a woderful culmination of talent, timing, and fate. then again, i am just talking sideways out my ass… hmm do I have a future as a Browns beat writer??

          • Anonymous

            I’m sorry, you’re over-qualified for that position.

          • Anonymous

            no no no he wasn’t born a pure soul.  original sin #cripes.

          • Anonymous

            Bad choice of words on my part.

          • Anonymous

            lol #cripes i super didn’t mean it that way.  

            keep wording it up.  

            #sisters

          • Anonymous

            You need to speak very s-l-o-w-l-y with me.  Generation gap, you know. 

            Also I made the assumption that he has a soul.

  • Anonymous

    this is simply a result of the ‘think less’ philosophy translating into real life.

    still 2 and 2!     /yawn

    (14 weeks later) still x and xx!!!   any guesses?

    • Anonymous

      4-12.

      • Anonymous

        biggest difference from last year to this year…

        i dont mind losing to good teams, equal teams.. whatever…

        i DO mind being embarrassed. mental errors, being completely outplayed/coached… this year, regardless of the current record or the rewpsective records from last year vs this year.. we have already been embarrassed/outplayed/coached close to if not the same amount in this sason compared to the last, and it is disheartening.

        i wanna say 5-11.  karma and the laws of mediocrity state that 5-11 will allow people to rationalize the fact that a new hc/scheme did equally as well as last year…. whereismyshotgun?

        • Anonymous

          right because Mangini’s philosophy  was implemented overnight (although the defense was pretty similar as Eric and Ryan all coached under Romeo in NE), let alone having an entire offseason to try to get the guys up to speed in the first year of the new coaching staff.  we started 1-11 remember??  and we were getting blown out the first few weeks with more experienced guys that he went 4-0 with to finish the season.. (Rubin, Roth, Benard all started playing mid=season).. bottom line: it’s a process and they deserve more time.. 

          yes we have looked bad, but it’s a process, especially when half the starting lineup are in their 1st or 2nd year..  i think we can all agree that we have some talent with pedigree on this team, and they deserve the full season to see if the coaching staff was able to be effective in helping them develop, because we certainly didn’t see much from the first 12 games, let alone 4 games of the Browns 2009 season

          • Anonymous

            did everyone see the memo?

            NO EXCUSES.

          • Anonymous

            Go away.

          • Anonymous

            so mangini’s teams are allowed patience but Shurmur’s isn’t?  got it..  

          • Anonymous

            frownstoldmetoscrew.com

            oh yes, it’s up.

          • Anonymous

            YES!  this could even generate more hits than clevelandfrowns.com

          • Anonymous

            NOT LIKELY.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

            Holy shit.

          • Anonymous

            !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Anonymous

            !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Anonymous

            I couldn’t find Biki’s comment.  frownstoldmetoscrew.com is off to a good start, but some there is still a lot of work to be done.  If I don’t start seeing some progress soon, I’m going to start the call for  a new admin with a possible regime change. 

          • Anonymous

            natually you would be invited to start your own website:   frownstoldmetoscrewdotcomtoldmetoscrew.com

            !!

          • Anonymous

            indeed a lot of work to be done, i just posted my comment on this wonderful new addition to the blogesphere

          • Anonymous

            checked my email, i agree with your (deleted) response for the most part. we will see how it goes.

          • Anonymous

            Color me disappointed… I was prepared for “Holy inappropriateness”, but…no.
             

          • Anonymous

            frownstoldmetoscrew.com

            oh yes, it’s up.

          • Anonymous

            aww man i missed it :(    stupid dentist.

      • Anonymous

        biggest difference from last year to this year…

        i dont mind losing to good teams, equal teams.. whatever…

        i DO mind being embarrassed. mental errors, being completely outplayed/coached… this year, regardless of the current record or the rewpsective records from last year vs this year.. we have already been embarrassed/outplayed/coached close to if not the same amount in this sason compared to the last, and it is disheartening.

        i wanna say 5-11.  karma and the laws of mediocrity state that 5-11 will allow people to rationalize the fact that a new hc/scheme did equally as well as last year…. whereismyshotgun?

      • Stchema2

        My best guess: 4-12, followed by 5-11, followed by the hiring of new head coach Andy Reid.

        • Anonymous

          i liked when tom jackson said this about reid’s postgame last week:  ”i saw the angsty look in his eye.”  

          i angst a lot too, and also love to use the word angsty, so now i have a tolerance for jackson,  and empathy for reid, that i hadn’t had before.  

          oh – and as a fellow angster – let me say that i’m pretty sure we don’t want anyone that angsty to be our next head coach.  because if you’re angsty when you have one of the most talented teams in football, and then you arrive in cleveland – yikes.  let’s just empathize with him from afar instead.

          • St. Chem

            I’m not banging the drum for Reid by any stretch. I just assume that he’ll be on the short list when the pendulum swings back from “Wunderkind” to “Veteran NFL Coach” for Randy L’s inevitable next hire.

          • Anonymous

            good good good now how about a coach we *should* be banging the drum about – skip holtz to osu do it do it do it

    • Anonymous

      at oak – loss
      sea – pk
      at sf – loss
      at hou – loss
      st lou – win
      jax – pk
      at cincy – loss
      balt – loss
      at pitt – loss
      at pitt – loss
      at ariz – pk
      at balt – loss
      pitt – loss
      worst case:  3-13
      best case:  6-10

      • Anonymous

        Agreed – on all

        • Anonymous

          I dunno, guys. The Rams are going to come in hungry.

          • Anonymous

            I should have been more precise.

             Agreed on the worst case/best case.

  • Anonymous

    I cant tell if you are serious or not anymore. If you are being serious, then I don’t even know how to reply to such a post. I am sure you will remove my comment or wish bad things to happen to me (both rational thoughts/principles) because I strongly, strongly disagree with what you are writing here. I am sure Marcus Bernard decided to crash his motorcycle and , potentially, end his career or life because he is unhappy with Browns management. Nevermind the fact that he is getting paid by said team and it would behoove him to be healthy and productive to (try) to earn another contract from said team. I see the idiotic Star Boys out driving around at massive rates of speed all day long and I can assure you that they are not depressed. This whole post is a reach of a reach.

    • Anonymous

      Completely beside the point. There’s only so much I can do to help you.

    • Vari

      The Ghost of Mangini Past was really on the bike that day.  Marcus was only a passenger to the evil and darkness of the Lengend of Lerner.  For it haunts the City of Cleveland.  True story.  I don’t know why anybody would believe that other crap story, the one about Bernard being a rich young athlete willing to push the limit and his own mortality for sheer enjoyment of the rush.

    • http://brian23.com Brian

      it is common knowledge that the first thing paramedics dispatched to motorcycle accidents do is give the downed rider some prozac

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous like button clicker is having a field day today. How typical.

  • scottnchills

    I am sitting here trying to wrap my mind around this article. Did you really just present an case that extrapolates the firing of Eric Mangini to a causal relationship with regard to Marcus Benard’s motorcycle accident?

    Serious question Peter. Are you Eric Mangini’s attorney?

    • Anonymous

      “I am sitting here trying to wrap my mind around this article.”

      TRY HARDER.

      • Anonymous

        OK, weird analogy here, but I think I’m beginning to understand why so many guys profess bewilderment and that whole “what just happened here?” tact when they fail to comprehend why females are in a perpetual state of “you should know what I’m pissed about without me actually telling you why I’m so pissed off at you.”

        Not putting you, Frowns, in the female category by any means, but sometimes your perception of the situation at hand is just at some other level that some of us that live in the real world do not grasp. 

        • Anonymous

          i am liking this simply to get points with the female pop… >.>

          • Vari

            The problem is that they generally deduct points at a more rapid pace than actually adding them.

          • Anonymous

            the scoreboard is indeed always active

      • Anonymous

        OK, weird analogy here, but I think I’m beginning to understand why so many guys profess bewilderment and that whole “what just happened here?” tact when they fail to comprehend why females are in a perpetual state of “you should know what I’m pissed about without me actually telling you why I’m so pissed off at you.”

        Not putting you, Frowns, in the female category by any means, but sometimes your perception of the situation at hand is just at some other level that some of us that live in the real world do not grasp. 

      • scottnchills

        Frowns, you seem like a really smart guy. But ‘CleveLand’ is right – I guess I just live on a different plane of existence. At any rate, I keep finding myself drawn back here. I’ve always been fascinated by puzzles and while I find your blog puzzling the reading is also quite intriguing. Per your suggestion I will keep trying. It took me a few months to solve the rubiks cube when I was a kid. Maybe I can do better cracking the puzzle of your stream of consciousness.

        • Anonymous

          Logic can solve the R cube and it’s over.  tFrowns….no.  But the ride is kinda fun, like Cedar Point after a few corn dogs.  

          • Anonymous

            And a blue Icee.

        • Anonymous

          Hey, thanks. We all come at this (and everything else) from different perspectives or “planes,” and I have to think that honest attempts at integrating these perspectives can only help, which is sort of the whole point of this thing.

          Again, all I am really saying about Benard is this:

          1) His story is sad, motorcycle accident or not (which of course has a lot to do with the way his mentor/coach Mangini was dealt with here). 

          2) There is a clear link between depression and risky behavior, and another between risky behavior and motorcycle accidents, and those links are at least worth thinking about here (certainly as much as it’s worth dismissing Benard as an idiot, etc.).

          I didn’t really need a motorcycle accident to write about how depressed Benard must be by the turn his career has taken in the wake of Mangini’s firing, but with everyone piling on Benard the way they were about the accident, it seemed like as good a time as any to weigh in. Especially given the link between depression and risky behavior, etc.

          You can’t think this is so crazy.

  • Anonymous

    If you look at how Benard was dealt with last season, there was seemingly a lot of support for him in the locker room.  I think (as usual) that Grossi’s comment above is off base.  Benard had a role and he was a successful pass rusher in Mangini’s defense.  The NFL isn’t all pass rushing though.

    I think that it’s a stretch to link Benard’s current behavior to the firing of the coach except to say that the environment in which he functions and is (or is not) held accountable is obviously different.  The current locker room environment seems a bit too open for my liking and there doesn’t seem to be a tightly closed door with respect to criticism and complaint by the players.  That’s likely moot to some degree with this incident.

    I would caution that we can all over-analyze the off-the-field actions of football players.  Some people are simply risk-takers.  It should be noted, however, that risk taking without regard to personal safety is one of the (but not the only) criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder.   This could also be a sign of a bipolar mood disorder. The list of disorders goes on. The recognition of mental illness amongst high profile athletes mirrors that in the general population: it is grossly under-recognized, under-resourced and under-appreciated. 

    It was obviously a stupid thing to do especially when most (?all) NFL contracts call for the avoidance of such activities.  I know that’s never stopped anyone from engaging in them but that protects the team’s rights.  At some point, the light in the player’s head has to go on and say “this is a bad idea”.  It’s irresponsible and shows a tremendous lack of judgment.  It’s a bad marker.

  • Anonymous

    The pity is the people who suffered from clinical depression do not know that they are suffering from it.

  • Anonymous

    It’s true that everything is connected http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_laws_of_motion and I appreciate your appreciation of my dot-connecting skills.

    Enjoy the universe’s inevitable reaction to your comment. I hope it’s nothing worse than a papercut.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    I love when people come to my place and tell me what to do.

  • The Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs

    Eric Mangini overachieved plain and simple. To break it down in one sentence, here’s why: Not only did he inherit a salary cap nightmare and a roster of talented, yet egotistical players, he was able to clean house, clear salary cap, acquire draft picks and compete into the fourth quarter against better teams. That’s why some of us here mourn his loss and aren’t 100% on board with the new organization, at least until we see the same type of progress occurring.

    And it begs this question: When was the last time the Browns “overachieved”?

    While some would argue the 2007 season garners that title, I disagree as they beat the teams they should have, lost divisional games they had shots at winning and couldn’t clinch a playoff birth when the moment was staring them in the face.

    The quick fix Butch Davis 2002 team might be considered that as well, but they rode the death of an owner, an offense that was more opportunistic than productive (ranked 19th out of 32), and the benefit of a four-way tiebreaker (fueled by William Green’s legs against Mike Vick’s Atlanta) to make the playoffs.

    I would say the 1994 team sticks out in my mind. 134 point differential after spending the last four in the negatives. The top ranked defensive unit surrendering only 204 points per game. Running an offense with Vinny Testaverde at quarterback, and jumping out to an 8-2 start. Yes, yes, yes, I know they lost three stinking times to the Steelers, but that team came out of 3-13, 6-10, 6-10, and 7-9 seasons to go 11-5. And it looked like the dynasty was about to be born.

    And then Modell moved the team. Another reason why the Modell move is uncomparable to the Al Davis move.

    And who made that system work? Yeup, Bill Belicheck, ever hear of the guy? Yeah, the media loved to cover how awkward his press conferences were and how little information he gave. But he got a chance to build and progress and grow and lo and behold, the system produced more than what was expected.

    And then gasoline and the garden.

    To relate to this piece, all I know is that Marcus Benard overproduced last year. Peyton Hillis overproduced last year. Lawrence Vickers overproduced. Brian Daboll overproduced. THE BROWNS BEAT THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AND THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!!! Damnit, we were on the right track!!!

    And that’s what makes the case of the team and some of its players so depressing. Best wishes to Marcus and I hope to see him back on the field in a system where he can grow and flourish soon.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly right CM, in my sad case when someone decides to “come to my place and tell me what to do” I have to buy her dinner and call her sweetheart too.

  • Anonymous

    Reading this post made ME depressed. 

  • Anonymous

    *slow clap*

  • Anonymous

    GOOD. The depression needs to be diffused so we don’t have any more accidents.

  • Anonymous

    GOOD. The depression needs to be diffused so we don’t have any more accidents.

  • Anonymous

    Actually sounds like a pretty good deal for you, Acto. What am I missing?

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    I like the way you think Frownie, but….

    I wish it was that simple, the “tell me what to do” is never as interesting as I anticipate.
    It almost always involves me going to rewire someone’s house, fix her car, loan some money out, or some other labor intensive activity.
    It invariably ends with a warm goodbye and a hearty handshake.

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