How can you call Deshaun a criminal? Elementary, my dear Watson…
It was only a few years ago I criticized Jimmy Haslam for signing Kareem Hunt, a local kid who gained (well deserved) notoriety for becoming a star running back with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Unfortunately, Hunt later gained additional (again, well deserved) notoriety by going Will Smith on his girlfriend in a hotel elevator in Cleveland in February of 2018. Keep in mind, he was a member of the Chiefs at the time, so that makes it not so bad, right? I mean, Cleveland Browns don’t do that sort of thing, do they?
Oh wait, I seem to recall Jim Brown accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 1965, and a few years later tossing his girlfriend off a balcony (no easy task, which is undoubtedly why many old-timers refer to him as the “Great Jim Brown”). The troubling thing about Jim Brown was that he could never seem to go more than a few years without an assault charge coming his way, a pattern that lasted into the turn of the century. Talk about consistency…
But enough about number 32. JB and his shenanigans are old news.
So why did Jimmy Haslam and the Browns’ brain trust (I hope you chuckle as much as I do when I see the words “Browns” and “brain” in the same sentence) take a chance on Kareem Hunt?
Well, because the Browns conducted their own investigation into the allegations (yes, there had been other incidents involving Kareem prior to the elevator smack-down) levied against Hunt. The Browns talked to the people who were there, they talked to people who weren’t there, and they talked to people who wouldn’t commit either way (which obviously gave them more information than the cops would ever obtain, right?) before arriving at their decision. And their decision was (drum roll, please):
“He deserves a second chance.”
Now, the Browns know a lot about second chances. They are the ones who, after all, gave Josh Gordon what seemed like a dozen second chances, and that paid off just swimmingly, can we all agree?
Well, okay, maybe it didn’t go exactly as planned, but the point is that the Browns gained a wealth of valuable experience in the second chance department, which put them in the proverbial driver’s seat when Deshaun Watson became available. I mean, some teams are lucky, but the elite organizations make their own luck. Enter Jimmy Haslam and his brain trust. Heh-heh (sorry, I can't help it).
So, with all of this knowledge and experience just oozing from within the organization, the Browns understandably went all-in when trading for Watson, treating first round draft picks like bubblegum wrappers and sending three future first-rounders in exchange for the rights to a guy who very possibly could be in the slammer when the 2022 NFL season kicks off five months from now.
But not to worry, Browns fans, it’s all good. See, we know what we’re doing, we have experience – no, make that expertise – in handling the NFL’s problem children. You just wait and see. I bet they hire a really good masseuse.
I mean, Jimmy Haslam’s record as Browns’ owner is awesome so far, right? So back off with the verbal barbs, like I did.
Also, don’t let the fact that I wrote this story on April 1 sway your thinking, but to be completely honest …
As far as I’m concerned, Jimmy Haslam just went full Will Smith on the city, and if this backfires, it will be another 20 years of football purgatory.
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!