Baffoe: Browns & Order — A Look Into The Cleveland Draft Room
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By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) In the National Football League first-year player draft, the organizations are represented by two separate and equally important groups — front office personnel who painstakingly research potential draftees and homeless people who sway the emotions of historically inept owners.
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR KYLE SHANAHAN: But I wanted plain cheese pizza!
INTERN: Sir, you can just pick the pepperoni off of …
SHANAHAN: No shut up! Go away, I’m telling on you.
GM RAY FARMER: Alright, folks. Word is Clowney is going to be a Texan, and the Rams are going O-line. I like how my first draft is shaping up already.
SHANAHAN: The @#$%ing pizza is wrong. I hate this place. Fire the jerk who ordered the wrong pizza!
FARMER: That’s your dad.
SHANAHAN: Not anymore.
HEAD COACH MIKE PETTINE: I’m telling you —“Bortles” just sounds like a name that says success in a town synonymous with success.
[blank stares in rest of the room]
WAR ROOM MEMBER 1: Oh, yeah.
WAR ROOM MEMBER 2: Right.
WAR ROOM MEMBER 3: Of course.
WAR ROOM MEMBER 4: [to MEMBER 3] Who is that guy talking?
FARMER: Speaking of names, Mike, how in the hell do you say yours again? Pet-EEN?
SHANAHAN: Yeah, well stop pettin’ yourselves and draft me a quarterback! [nudges fourth pizza delivery guy] Get it?
FARMER: [answering phone] Championship headquarters … Uh huh… OK… Yep… Wait, what? Oh, no. [throws phone, intercepted by Ravens defensive back] Attention, everybody! We are out of Bort license plates in the gift shop! I repeat, we are out of Bort license plates in the gift shop!
WAR ROOM MEMBER 2: Holy hell, that’s the mayday code.
[phones ringing everywhere, general scrambling and chaos, Bernie Kosar heating a can of beans over a fire in the garbage can in the corner]
PETTINE: I didn’t sign up for this! I did not sign up for this!
PIZZA GUY: Who are you again?
FARMER: [fetal] I won’t Manziel. I won’t Manziel. I won’t Manziel. I won’t Manziel … [nearby phone rings] Red Rum, how may I help you? [clarity reaches his face, a smile] Listen up, everyone. Listen, I say! Buffalo wants to trade!
SHANAHAN: Better be for some decent ass wings. These ones suck.
FARMER: What do you think, Poutine?
PETTINE: Gimme a corner.
SHANAHAN: Yeah, fine do that. Vince Young is enough for me, you fools.
FARMER: We have Justin Gilbert high on our board.
PETTINE: Where is the board exactly?
FARMER: Well, it’s more a metaphorical one. See, for about six figures we hired a special consul-
STRANGER: [turns from taking notes over a dead Kosar, has thick drawl] What’s a board? What are we? None of this matters, man. The winners all lose in the end. Nobody ever really gets a Super Bowl.
PETTINE: Well, our pick is coming up soon and we don’t really have time for-
STRANGER: Time? Talking about time? Time is a flat circle.
FARMER: So you like the Gilbert choice?
STRANGER: Your boy played for Huntsville High School in Texas. Team name the Hornets. A hornet is traditionally what color?
FARMER: [grin growing wide] Yellow.
STRANGER: I believe you have yourself a Yellow King.
FARMER: We can’t lose him. [picks up phone] Yeah, Vikings? Would you like to flip-flop 8 and 9 picks here and we’ll give you a… how about a fifth-rounder?
WAR ROOM MEMBER 3: I don’t think Minnesota is going corner at-
FARMER: Shut the hell up, Costner! We got a deal? Great. Done. Good work, everybody! Oh, hey, Mr. Cohle, you can’t smoke in here.
SHANAHAN: Hook it up with a Smoke Wooderson.
FARMER: This could not be going any better for us, Putin.
PETTINE: I concur. I can’t see anybody between now and the 26th pick taking a quarterback. Teddy Bridgewater is going to be a huge success here. I can feel it.
SHANAHAN: Dude’s got hands smaller than my sense of self, and I question his leadership skills because I know leadership, and he has a ton of other red flags that I am in no way citing in regards to race.
[enter owner Jimmy Haslam and Jennifer Garner-looking leather-clad associate]
HASLAM: Not so fast.
SHANAHAN: Sup, Jerry Jones wannaba mother- [associate strikes him with whip]
HASLAM: Gentlemen, I have made a decision on the future of our dear franchise. We will be selecting Johnny Manziel.
PETTINE: But the consensus here is Bridgewater.
HASLAM: Who the hell are you?
FARMER: Sir, we really think Bridgewater is the safer bet and should fall to us at 26.
HASLAM: Listen up, newbie. If you’re not aware, cutting ties with personnel after just one year doesn’t exactly bother me. So maybe you want to do what the guy who signs the checks and is currently dealing with the FBI thinks, OK?
SHANAHAN: I like your style, chief!
HASLAM: I was having dinner the other night on a Flying J expense account. A homeless man was on the street. Before I could pay him to fight Braylon Edwards for my amusement he looked up from his post-tasing [associate’s hand twitches at her hip] and said, “Draft Manziel.” Just like that, I was convinced that this leprous creature — a product of a society and economy that men like me have helped to push closer to a post-apocalyptic world worse than Cleveland itself — represented Browns fans. The common people that I otherwise have complete apathy for want Manziel.
SHANAHAN: [teary, slow-clapping]
HASLAM: Oh, and in case you don’t think I’m serious … [nods at associate]
ASSOCIATE: You’ve traded a third-round pick and the 26th overall pick to the Eagles for the 22nd pick. Might want to get on the phone with a certain agent.
HASLAM: My lucky number is 22. Get on the computer box and twerk out my … excuse me, the organization’s official announcement.
Kissing Suzy Kolber (@KissMeSuzy) May 09, 2014
FARMER: [awaking on the floor next to an empty bottle, reading text message] “CHICK FIL A FOR ROUND TWO AND A STUD RUNNING BACK DO IT – KYLE SHANAHAN”
DET. LENNIE BRISCOE: I spent a 10-year marriage in Cleveland one night.
You can follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe.