Like most NFL general managers and head coaches, Browns general manager John Dorsey’s press conferences are about as free-wheeling and carefree as a colonoscopy.
It’s an NFL tradition like no other.
Team officials in the NFL don’t answer questions, they deflect them. Why? Because this is the NFL, where real men play tackle football. So go ahead, ask away — and they’ll tell you only what they want to tell you, and you’ll like it, because that’s all you’re getting.
Especially if that team is about to embark on a coach search, which NFL teams execute with a secrecy and solemnity unseen since the Manhattan Project.
Given the stakes — in this case, “How can we find someone better than our last full-time head coach, who coached 40 games and lost all of them, except four?” — Dorsey’s genial obfuscation is understandable. Because you never know how many other teams are out there also looking for a coach who can win at least five out of 40.
So in his press conference last week Dorsey danced the dance of generalization. But at the very end, when pressed about what he’s looking for in the next Browns coach, Dorsey rattled off the usual clich￩ qualities, before lobbing this grenade into the foxhole:
“It could be a woman.”
Reporters must have looked at him strangely. They must have wondered if he was serious. Because the next thing Dorsey said was, “Do not look at me like that. I am serious. Who knows? We will look at everything is what I am trying to tell you all.”
So for the record, the Browns are eliminating no potential candidates based on gender. This is useful information. If it truly “could be a woman,” Dorsey must have his list of candidates, which we can only assume would include all of the following obvious ones:
- The Queen of England: Let’s face it. When you get right down to it, a head coach is nothing more than a figurehead. Elizabeth II has been in the figurehead business for more than 66 years. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I really believe with the right offensive coordinator …
- Gisele Bundchen: I don’t know about you, but if I’m looking for a coach with the right pedigree for the job, I start at the Tom Brady branch of the Bill Belichick tree. Gisele has ignored more football talk from her husband than we’ll ever know. Hiring her, moreover, would send a message to little girls everywhere that one day they too can grow up to become a supermodel AND head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
- Serena Williams: She’s a better athlete than at least half the players in the NFL. She’s a winner, and she’s not afraid to give the referee a piece of her mind. Not to mention the built-in perk of the Browns holding their OTAs on one of the back courts at Wimbledon.
- Oprah: Not “Coach Oprah.” Just Oprah. You know, like Lombardi. Rockne. Shula. Halas. Sometimes one name is enough. Sometimes one name can win you a championship. If the PA announcement, “Coach Oprah and your Cleveland Browns!” doesn’t give you chills, you’re not a Browns fan.
- Becky Hammon: For the last five years she’s been an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. Some day soon she is going to become a head coach in the NBA. Your move, Browns.
- Meryl Streep: Call me crazy, but for a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in 16 years, hasn’t won a playoff game in 24 years, and has never won a Super Bowl, if I pass up the chance to hire an actress who has been nominated for an Academy Award a record 21 times, and won more Oscars (three) than any actor in history not named Kate Hepburn, then shame on me.
- Ronda Rousey: She makes her living by beating up people inside a steel cage. I mean, what more could you ask for in a football coach?
- Flo: Star of those Progressive commercials. This would be a bold hire in that no team in history has won the Super Bowl with a head coach who wore an apron.
- Jennifer Lopez: Hangs out with Alex Rodriguez, so she gets the whole athlete thing. Plus, she would be a wildly popular choice, demographically, among the Muni Lot singer/actress/dancer crowd.
- Michelle Obama: Famous. Classy. Glamorous. Eloquent. Loyal. Photogenic. Charismatic. Nobody, including Belichick, would throw the challenge flag with more playful vivaciousness.
- Sage Steele: Don’t know if she can coach, but she has the greatest name in sports. “Coach Steele” screams Super Bowl.
- Virginia Halas McCaskey: She’s the owner of the Chicago Bears. She’s George Halas’ oldest child. She’s 95. OK, maybe it’s a stretch, but I really believe with the right offensive coordinator …