OK, So Cleveland’s Front Office Is Dunder Mifflin

If you haven’t heard by now, ESPN published an amazing article on the ineptitude of the Cleveland Browns under Owner, Jimmy Haslem. It should be noted, its author, Seth Wickersham, has had credibility issues in the past. However, I don’t care about any of them. I ate up every word of the article like a Clevelander eats horse shit.

As I read the whole thing, I gasped, I SMH’d (shaking my head’d), I laughed. But the more I read along, the more something became clear to me. Every figurehead in the Brown’s front office is an exact replicate of someone from The Office. Before I go on, for those that don’t know (my one idiot coworker), The Office was a sitcom on NBC that ran from 2005-2013, winner of 5 Emmys, 2 Golden Globes, and served as the launching point for A-List actor, John Krasinski.

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We up to speed now? Good.

So let’s start with the top. Jimmy Haslem.

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aka Deangelo Vickers.

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Yes, they’re both handsome men, but that’s besides the point.

What stood out to me was this:

“In two years, Haslam had increased the number of his direct reports, between Browns business and football, from one to seven. He continued to solicit his usual array of opinions both from outsiders and from all corners of the building, leaving everyone to wonder and worry over who was in the latest iteration of his inner circle.”

Sound familiar?

I mean the guy just shows up in 2012 and it’s abundantly clear that he has no idea what he’s doing. The article explains how he would sit in on any football meeting he could. Head coach’s offices, scouting meetings, positional meetings. A juggling act of sorts.

Ok, that was a force. But the inner circle thing. I’m not wrong there.

Now maybe you thought I’d pair the head of the organization with the head of the office, which is fair, but lazy if we’re being honest. Instead, the Michael Scott of the Browns is the former head coach, Hue Jackson.

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What connects them is their response to criticism. When faced with it, both would try to retroactively change history in order to make themselves look like the victim. For instance:

(Referring to wanting Texas A&Ms Myles Garrett over UNC’s Mitch Trubisky in the 2017 Draft)

“Jackson wanted Garrett and one day made his case by taping pictures of Garrett on the glass walls in Haslam’s office as a joke. But Jackson wasn’t kidding… The Browns went 0-16 in 2017… Jackson complained that Brown had passed on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. It enraged the front office, given Jackson’s insistence on drafting Garrett that year.”

There are 2-3 more examples of this, but I won’t waste your time. You get the point.

This inability to be accountable is Michael Scott to a tee. Best exemplified in the Willy Wonka episode. Youtube doesn’t have any of the clips I want, so enjoy this video on the episode that holds nothing relevant to the point I’m making.

At the end, Michael says something that Hue Jackson, I assume, says to himself in the mirror every morning before leaving the house.

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And while the article says his firing went like this:

“Haslam and general manager John Dorsey entered Jackson’s office and told him the team was going to move in a different direction.

Jackson asked why he was being fired.

The team quit on you, Dorsey replied.

At the time, four of the eight Browns games had gone to overtime.

“Get the f— out of my office,” Jackson said.”

I like to think it ended like this.

Prove me wrong.

Another great character of the piece was that of Sashi Brown.

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The analytics mastermind tasked with turning around an out of date system with no prior experience in his new role. Exactly that of someone coming into the world of paper after a lifetime of working steel. I’m speaking of course, of Charles Minor.

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Now I know what you’re thinking, and no, that’s not why I picked him. If that was the case, there’s a much more relevant character for this comparison. This is purely on professional merit. Maybe if this was an NHL team going for the “Stanley” Cup, it’d be a different story. But I digress.

Minor and Brown were both brought in to turn around an organization that had made countless bad personnel decisions

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and bring a new way of thinking along with him. Both of which absolutely blew up in each others faces. Upon Brown’s firing, I have to imagine the conversation went something like this.

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So if you’re a Browns fan, this sucks. I mean, you probably knew, or at least strongly assumed all of this was happening, but you could hide in ignorance. Kinda like in college when you KNOW you’re going to fail a class, but until the report card shows up, you can just ignore it. Or at least nap multiple times throughout the day to avoid reality, a method I may or may not have practiced.

All in all, the losers of this whole article are the Browns and the entire city of Cleveland. But they’re used to that. That’s nothing new. They’ll be fine. I think.

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On the bright side, Office fans can find solace in the fact that while their beloved show may never hit the airwaves again, a real life rendition is happening on the coast of Lake Erie.

Sad that you can’t hear Michael make racist comments every episode? Read about how Jimmy Haslem always called Sashi Brown “Obama.” Oh, you prefer Michael’s sexual inappropriateness? Read about how the marketing team broadcast porn to the entire office. Do you, for some god forsaken reason, love the episode where Robert California invited the “in crowd” to lunch? Then you’d love the paragraph where Haslem avoids inviting his GM, Ray Farmer, to dinner then fires him the next day.

Or just log into your parent’s Netflix account like the rest of us and binge the show for the 12th time. ESPN has enough clicks on this anyway.

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