Inside the NFL Studio: Romeo Crennel

Many feel that the smug, ironic commentary which started out on ESPN Sportscenter about twenty years ago got tiresome about ten years ago. In its place is the talk show host of the future: James Lipton Rashad, the perfect host for this era of team and league-owned TV networks. Today he delicately probes the intellect of one Romeo Crennel, head coach of the Cleveland Browns.


Hello, and welcome once again to "Inside the NFL Studio." Today we continue our series of interviews with great men of sport by talking with the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, a man of untold numbers of grand accomplishments, now with a franchise whose proud history and tradition stretch back to the days of Woodrow Wilson, Queen Victoria, and the diplodocus, Mr. Romeo Crennel. Thank you for joining us, sir, it is indeed an honor.

Crennel: My pleasure, James. I think.

Rashad: Tell us, Mr. Crennel, how you have approached the reinventing of the sport we to this point have called "Football."

Crennel: We're not reinventing the sport here, James. We're simply trying to play the sport well. There's nothing to "reinvent."

Rashad: Your modesty is a great as your unparalleled skill and acumen, sir.

Crennel: Um, okay. But my skill isn't going to win diddley. It's the players who had better have some damn skill, or it won't matter what the hell I do out there.

Rashad: Deflecting praise, the mark of a true gentleman. Tell me, you have had a long and distinguished coaching career, to whom would you compare yourself most accurately? John Wooden? Vince Lombardi?

Crennel: Have you lost your mind? I've been a head coach for one season. We lost almost twice as many games as we won. Start comparing me to great coaches when we win something.

Rashad: Well, I am certain that this will only be a matter of time. How would you compare yourself to Bill Belichick, perhaps the foremost genius of the twenty-first century?

Crennel (laughs): Coach Belichick would kick your ass if you said that to his face. Bill's a good friend, and certainly an excellent football coach, but he's no genius. The man coaches football, for Pete's sake. How freaking brilliant can he be?

(both men laugh, one sycophantically, one in disbelief)

Rashad: Tell me, what lessons did the Great One impart upon you, his hand-picked disciple?

Crennel (stunned): Did you have a head injury as a child?

(Rashad laughs nervously)

Crennel: I'm serious, young man, you have a serious problem with reality. The reality is that Bill Belichick brings a certain defensive philosophy to whatever team he's coaching, but in the end, it's pretty simple: you put the best players you can get in the best situations you can and ask them to make the best decisions and execute to get the best results. This isn't rocket science. This isn't even programming your cell phone. This is about bringing in guys who can think and execute at the same time. Ben Taylor can think but not execute. Chaun Thompson can execute but not think. You need guys who can do both: Bill had 'em, and we won Super Bowls. I don't, and I haven't won jack. There's your brilliant insight. Give Belichick my players, he don't make the playoffs. Gimme his players, we do. The only "genius" is to teach the guys how to think and get them to commit to executing and trusting their teammates to execute as well.

Rashad: My eyes! I have been struck blind by the brilliant flash of awesome exceptionality! I call it, "Awceptionalisome!"

Crennel: You are a very strange man.

Rashad: Again, I bow to your unrivaled intellect and powers of perception!

Crennel: Okay, you're kind of freaking me out here. Have you had the mercury levels in your blood checked? You eat a lot of fish? Is there an actual football question hiding in that soft-boiled head of yours?

Rashad: Yes, I'm sure everyone would like to know: Charlie Frye. More John Elway, Brett Favre, or Tom Brady?

Crennel (laughs): You really are insane, aren't you? Charlie Frye? Right now, you got Don Majkowski. That's it. Could he become an All-Pro, an MVP, a Super Bowl champion quarterback? Good Lord, you can't answer that in 2006. Use your brain! He's got potential, and I like the attitude he brings to the game, but the man can't even figure out whether to shave the top or the bottom part of his head. Cut him open, and fresh sap will run out, he's so green. You think the NFL defenses are a little more advances than what he saw from Ball State ? My guess, and this is only my opinion, is they are, just a little. I'd like him to stop chucking the ball like he's the only guy on offense with a brain, we'll see where he goes from there. John Flipping Elway, you really are an idiot, aren't you?

Rashad: Next to you, my intellect cowers in fear.

Crennel: Good Lord.

Rashad: What developments do you see the Browns making this season? A Super Bowl? Two Super Bowls?

Crennel (sarcastically): Yes, James, I see the Browns winning two Super Bowls this season.

Rashad: Fantasmariffical!

Crennel: I'll have to take your word for it. Seriously, the Browns will win more games this season. That is our goal. Until I know who's on the damn team, I can't tell you anything. But I'll tell you this: we will have better play from the front seven against the run, or I will kill and eat Phil Savage.

Rashad: No! You wouldn't!

Crennel: Of course not, you great buffoon. My doctor told me to cut down on red meat.

(Rashad laughs uncertainly, Crennel remains impassive)

Rashad: What inspiration do you take from your AFC North counterpart, the hypergenius Brian Billick?

Crennel: He is an inspiration to all NFL head coaches, James.

Rashad (beaming): Yes, he is.

Crennel: If he can win a Super Bowl, there is hope for any of us. Except Dennis Green, poor guy.

Rashad (knowingly): Because he held Billick back?

Crennel: Of course not, you muttonhead, because he coaches the damn Cardinals! That is one seriously messed-up franchise right there. No hope at all.

Rashad (confused): I see.

Crennel: And Rich Kotite, I guess. Give him a job, don't give him a job, he's got the same chance.

Rashad: Well, that's all the time we have this week. Join us next time ...

Crennel: And Marty Mornhinweg. Serious maroon material there.

Rashad: ... when our guest will be legendary Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope. Until next time ...

Crennel: Norv Turner, too.

Rashad: ... this has been "Inside the NFL Studio." I am your host, James Lipton Rashad, wishing you, good night.


The Right Hon. Sir James Lipton Rashad received a Bachelor of Arts in Lackeying from the University of Ohio at Barrett.  He received a PhD in Toadying soon thereafter and is now the Trivisonno Chair of Bootlicking at UOB.  He has trained many members of the Cleveland Press Corps, but left to pursue his own interests when his pupils surpassed his sycophantic skills.  He can be reached at, where he will no doubt be thrilled to receive your missive.

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