By In Browns, Football

Oranges and Tangelos

So here’s Week 2 of what I think will be a weekly update on returning to life as a Cleveland Browns fan — also a discussion of the old orange Browns helmets and the new ones:

From SportsWorld:

I do not believe in Johnny Manziel. I do not trust him in the least. I do not like the way he plays football. But if I am going to love my Browns, it seems, I must make peace with the idea that we are now thrown together in a marriage of convenience. Johnny Manziel will have a direct affect on my personal happiness. This would not be my choice. But, that’s the point. There is no choice.

Tangelo Dream


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18 Responses to Oranges and Tangelos

  1. When I think of Manziel, and you made the comparison, I think of Fran Tarkenton. Short guy, mediocre arm (lots of wobbly passes) and likes to improvised in crazy, seemingly foolish ways. At least by any normal NFL standards. Now, I realize they’re not the same guy & this isn’t the 1960s or 1970s. And in today’s context, Fran Tarkenton is a HOFer with three Super Bowl appearances (all losses) on his resume. But Fran Tarkenton, until he won (rather late in his career), was dismissed as an undisciplined football player who didn’t play winning football. Tarkenton played on a pretty dismal team, especially his first three years with the Vikings. And he was so “well” thought of by the Vikings that they traded him to the Giants at age 26. The Giants of that era, of course, were mediocre at best. It wasn’t until he rejoined the Vikings at age 32 that he started to have success and gain respect.

    None of this is to suggest that Johnny Manziel will have any of the success Tarkenton had. However, when I see guys like this, you need a coach who is willing to adapt to the players style. Johnny Manziel, like Tarkenton, is never going to be a guy who sits in the pocket and throws darts over the D-Line into tight windows. But he could be himself & with the right coach & system, his ability to improvise could be effective. How did Benjamin get so wide open? Part of it is that Manziel bought a lot of time with his mad scrambles & the defense broke down. And yes, Benjamin used his speed and football smarts to make a play. But when I think of non traditional players, I also think of Cam Newton. The jury is still out on him to some extent, but at least his coach let’s Cam be Cam. Shotgun formation to allow him quicker reads, and some autonomy to use his legs as needed (within reason).

    Somewhere along the line, Bud Grant decided to let Fran Tarkenton do his thing & was eventually rewarded with three Super Bowls. (Yeah, that and a good running game and great defense). Of course, we’re talking about the Browns here, and we’re also not talking about a coach the caliber of Bud Grant. But, the point is, Johnny Manziel could be an effective QB if they’ll let him do his thing. He will probably roll 777s more often than seems reasonable. There will also, of course, be mistakes, as he learns to be an NFL QB. Will he be Fran Tarkenton, no, I’m not saying that. Just that he could be an effective QB. It’s just going to take time. Time that isn’t often given to NFL QBs any longer. The best thing the Browns could do is just give Johnny Football the job for the rest of the year and let it play out. They’re not going to win that much anyway. They don’t get to play the Bucs & Titans all 16 weeks. Maybe he’ll roll 777s a few more times and they’ll win more than they should.

    I don’t root for Manziel the person. But I like watching Manziel the player. He could be quite fun in a cookie cutter NFL. Like Fran Tarkenton.

    • NevadaMark says:

      But Tarkenton DID get his chance. He tossed 40 tds his first two years for a terrible expansion team. Lets see how Johnny M does when he gets his chance. I hope he succeeds.

    • James says:

      I think you are overstating it a bit. Fran was pretty well regarded. He became a starter in his first year and made the Pro Bowl in his 4th and 5th year with the Vikings and his first four years with the Giants. He didn’t get along with the Vikings coach. He was so poorly regarded that the Giants gave up 2 first rounders and 2 second for him.

      • I get your point. But the Giants also traded him back too. And, yes, in the old days, you could have 2-3 years to grow into the job, which Tarkenton had… and Aaron Rogers had too btw.

  2. danaking says:

    I feel you. I’m still not happy the Steelers changed from the block numerals on their jerseys almost 20 years ago.

    • invitro says:

      Are you on crack? Their numbers look great.

      • invitro says:

        Sorry, maybe I’m on crack. I do like the new numbers, but the old ones are better.
        I had a flashback to the 1980’s when I despised the Steelers even more than the Dodgers (but not as much as the Phillies) and that made me a little bit mental. (I was an Oilers & Astros fan.)
        Well, jerseys always only get uglier as you get older. That’s been true for a very long time, at least as long as I’ve been alive. So we all sympathize.

      • MCD says:

        Are you on crack? Their numbers look awful.

  3. Scott B says:

    Joe, you said you can’t stand Brady at all. I’m curious as to why. I think everyone can understand hating Belichek, but I’m curious to know about the reasons for the ill will towards Brady.

  4. Brian says:

    In the paragraph about baloney; isn’t it “one AND the same,” or is it really “one IN the same?”

  5. MCD says:

    You know, as someone who has no strong feelings one way or the other about the Browns, I was ready to write off Joe’s “orange outrage” as a phenomenon confined to him and perhaps a half-dozen or so Dawg Pound zealots. I had seen the new helmets, though only for a few seconds at a time during highlight shows, and it hadn’t even registered me that the color was different.

    But you know, now that I actually take a closer look at the helmets with the new orange, I have to admit that I find them very disconcerting. That isn’t the Browns. Where do I sign the petition to “bring back Pantone 2026 C”?

  6. Mark Daniel says:

    Regarding the new orange, perhaps you didn’t know that this new color reflects the passion of the Dawg Pound. Does that make you like it better?

    • MCD says:

      I realize “new orange color that matches the passion of the Dawg Pound” aren’t your words, and are from the official Browns PR release, so this question isn’t directed at you personally.

      I understand how the hypocycloid symbols in the Steelers logo is symbolic of U.S. Steel and the star in the Cowboys logo is representative of Texas being the lone star state, but how exactly is one shade of orange more representative of passion than another?

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