The Mirage: Lerner Séance

You want a reason for optimism? You want the Eric Magnini hire explained? Well, you can't always get what you want but you can attend a seance in which Brian Tarcy channels the voice of the Browns owner to explain it all...

Browns owner Randy Lerner has refused to speak, so I have decided to use my special powers to hold a séance and get him to speak through me. Yes, this really is a mirage.

For the occasion, I cooked a ceremonial staphburger and pelted myself in the head with plastic beer bottles. And with that, it took me a mere 0.4 seconds to decide that Eric Mangini is on his way to a Hall of Fame career as the coach of the Cleveland Browns.

It was an excruciating four-tenths of a second.

But once I faced my deepest fears and the type of demons that would frighten Sigmund Freud's mother's tormenter, I accepted that Eric Mangini is THE coach of THE Cleveland Browns.

And then I began to make up pretend rhymes about Vince Lombardi and Eric Mangini involving spaghetti and some lady named Betty. It made sense at the time, I swear.

And even if my faux poetry makes no sense now, my logic surely does. What logic, you ask? Exactly! I follow Randy Lerner's lead and poof… the séance begins.

Hi, I'm Randy Lerner and I think Eric Mangini is great. Did you see him on The Sopranos?

Tony Soprano called Eric "The Mangenius." And I believe Tony Soprano is as good a judge of NFL coaches as Carmen Policy or Phil Savage or, well, me. So my logic is what the hell. Why not trust a fictional mobster?

Do you think anybody else would be different than a what-the-hell chance? Okay, fine. But I tried to get those guys. They said they'd heard all about the storied history of the Cleveland Browns and weren't interested in continuing such a story. I didn't understand but then I heard that Eric Mangini was available.

And that sealed it for me. Wow. I am sure super excited to have this thing over and pass the buck for another four years. You wanted a good reason. Well that's it.

In the meantime, this just might work. What'll you think then, huh? Yeah, that's right, you'll be calling me The Randgenius instead of Randy Thanksdad.


As the séance ended, I felt an odd desire to watch soccer and have fish and chips alone in the corner of the room. I also realized that although the above is not exactly true, there are certainly elements of truth in it. As a Browns fan, I am imprisoned in the brain of Randy Lerner.

If he wants Eric Mangini as his coach, so do I. Marty Schottenheimer was my first choice, but not anymore. As I search for positives about the new coach, they are easy to find. He had his best season with a smart, disciplined quarterback who doesn't have a big arm.

Theoretically, Brady Quinn is as smart and disciplined as Chad Pennington and has a stronger arm. So there's that.

Eric Mangini is a young once-fired coach moving between New England and Cleveland. That seemed to work out okay for Bill Belichick, who simply went in the other direction, via the same middleman team – the New York Jets - by the way.

Twisted logic? Sure. What better kind is there?

I think Eric Mangini has a chance to be a great coach in the exact same way that I think Brady Quinn has a chance to be a great quarterback. And the two are tied together. For Mangini to be a great coach, Quinn must be a great quarterback. Considering that his two primary targets are Braylon Butterfingers and Evil Knievel, this is not an easy task.

The worry is that Mangini joins Romeo Crennel and Chris Palmer as dead leaves fallen from the Belichick tree. On the other hand, I can make Eric Mangini rhyme with Vince Lombardi mostly because I'm not going to root for Buffalo.

But now that the séance is over and I've had time to absorb everything I learned, I believe that Eric Mangini is going to build a new Cleveland Browns dynasty because – and this is true - Randy Lerner's brain told me to believe it.


Brian Tarcy writes "The Dreamer" column for the Orange & Brown Magazine. He is the creator of and and the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To NASCAR.

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