‘Hands’ Down—The Browns are just weird (Observations from the Edge, with the Courier’s Lee Kann)

TYROD TAYLOR took the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs last year. He looks to do the same with his new team, the Browns. (AP PHOTO)

I have a bit of a medical matter right now. Dr. Peter Tweak, my chiropractor, says it’s called jaw-drop syndrome and it settles in the TMJ joint. I’ve had potent symptoms of it before, like when I learned that Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was granted not one, but two contract extensions, making him still a winless playoff coach for 15 years. Interestingly enough, I had only mild symptoms when the Cleveland Browns went 1-31 over the last two seasons. I suspect that this type of conduct from the Browns is no longer astounding. But now the symptoms have returned. They started coming on before the April NFL draft—around the time I heard a quote from current Browns general manager John Dorsey—and the symptoms are getting more robust. My chiro is helpless to help. I’ve thought about acupuncture but I’m afraid of needles. I’ve considered hypnotherapy but I fear being brainwashed. I went to a 12-step program for Browns fans but it was sold out. So this piece is my medicament.
I feel well enough to write, though. Thank you for asking.
As the Mike Tomlin-led Pittsburgh Stillers embark on another journey to the Superlative Bowl, they once again open their campaign in Cleveland against the hapless Browns. I could go on here about the Steeler season and their chances of reaching “one for the other middle finger,” but everyone is doing that, and frankly, the woebegone Browns seem infinitely more captivating at this moment. The Steelers’ Le’veon Bell and his demands (and his ego) are old news. But the stupefied Clevers just keep on pumping out the drama. They provide enough fodder to keep even Mark Madden’s mouth moist.
If you missed my article from a couple years ago… “The Mistake on the Lake (Browntown),” let me give you a quick recap. Since the Eisenhower administration, the Browns have had 53 starting quarterbacks (average—1.26 years per QB). Since Woodstock, they have had 18 head coaches (average—2.72 years per coach). Since the end of the big war, WWII, they have had 14 general managers (average—5.14 years per GM). Sounds analytical, I know.
THE BROWNS SELECTED QB BAKER MAYFIELD with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s expected to be the backup to starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the Sept. 9 game against the Steelers. (AP PHOTO)

Speaking of analytics, former Cleveland general manager Sashi Brown was an analytics aficionado, having never played a football game or coached the sport. He was a lawyer (please don’t hold that against him). As GM, he lasted two years, selecting players based on algorithms, biorhythms…and maybe tarot cards and a Ouija board. His team went 1-31. So much for building a team on “Moneyball.”
How have Cleveland GMs and their drafts fared lately? I’m glad you asked. Every first-rounder the Browns have selected from 2009-2016, which is 11 (they had two first-round picks in 2012, 14, 15), are now gone. Steeler cornerback Joe Haden was one of them. He lined up on defense last year against the Browns in his first Steeler game and he’ll do it again on Sunday, Sept. 9, in Cleveland. Lord, he must be thrilled to be here and not there.
Recently, the Browns traded their first-round pick from just two years ago—receiver Corey Coleman—to the Bills for a seventh…I say…seventh-round pick, two years from now. I can’t imagine how much money they have spent on first-round contracts loaded with signing bonuses that are non-refundable. So I googled it, but to no avail. Coleman has already been released by the Bills.
In the last two years, the Browns have had five first-rounders. So if I were Myles Garrett (DE), Jabrill Peppers (S), David Njoku (TE), Denzel Ward (CB) or Baker Mayfield (QB), I would not buy a house in the land of Cleve just yet.
Cleveland GM Sashi Brown has now given way to former Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey, armed with the No. 1 pick of the draft and a need for a quarterback that will turn the franchise around.
And what was Dorsey’s main quarterback priority coming into the April draft? Are you sitting down?
Hand size.
While most GMs are looking for athletic ability, work ethic, commitment, talent, intelligence, accuracy, field smarts, and other attributes of that ilk in a quarterback, Dorsey was concerned about large hands—the logic being that it gets cold in Cleveland in November and December.
No, I am not making this up. But I do wonder if Dorsey was making it up as he went along. (I feel my symptoms surging.)
Now in the Trump world—the Trump bubble I should say—hand size is an indication of man size. I believe he even said as much (in so many words) on national television during his presidential run. The following year, he declared that his hands were too big to don latex gloves while serving meals to hurricane survivors in Texas and Florida. (Trump has been beating back small hand size gossip for decades.) Does Dorsey live in the Trump bubble, as others do? I googled Dorsey’s political slant, but to no avail.
“I’m a believer in hand size,” Dorsey is quoted as saying. Eventually, he picked quarterback Baker Mayfield over projected first pick QB Sam Darnold (who is now with the New York Jets). I googled Mayfield’s hand size, but to no avail. For his sake, here’s hoping that he has big enough man—I mean, hand—size.
While delving further into hand size—according to the Asian Journal of Andrology, a study by In Ho Choi of Gachon University Hospital in Incheon, South Korea, it is suggested that “the digit ratio (the ratio between the 2nd and 4th finger) can predict adult” (um, man size) “…and that the effects of prenatal testosterone may in part explain…” (man size).
As well, in 2002, a group of Greek researchers measured the body composition, including finger length and man length, of 52 men, aged 19-38, and found that “age and body characteristics were not associated with” (man size), “except for the index finger length, which correlated significantly with the dimensions of the flaccid, maximally stretched” (manliness). Another study of 1,500 men found that the “length of an index finger was significantly correlated with” (manly dimensions).
Well, that’s enough man science for 10 articles so let’s move on. However, I can’t help but wonder if this was researched by Dorsey when he made hand size a quarterback qualifier. I mean, there are gloves for this sort of thing—the hands, I mean. While Dorsey spent four seasons in Kansas City, he compiled a 43-21 record, mostly on his ability to evaluate talent, according to those close to the Chiefs organization.  But according to an article in the Kansas City Star, Dorsey’s dismissal had to do with his inability to relate to others. Is it any wonder the Browns have had nine GMs since the 20th century?
To cap it all off, this week, Browns inside linebacker, Mychal Kendricks, has been busted for insider trading, allegedly turning $80,000 into $1.4 million in a mere four months. The Browns cut him altogether. Maybe if he had been an outside linebacker, it would have been outsider trading, which is not a crime…
Kendricks was released this past May from Philadelphia after winning the Super Bowl. Then he was signed and released by the Browns in a flash. Dorsey knew Kendricks was under investigation when he signed him.
Cost to the Browns? Well, I tried to google it, but…
Lee Kann is a filmmaker, media producer and freelance writer for the New Pittsburgh Courier.  Contact: shooting16bl@gmail.com


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