Eric Mangini Deserves Your Scorn ... But How Much Scorn?

Rolling Stone magazine's insult comic dog Matt Taibbi recently took a break from his assault on capitalist swine like Goldman Sachs to turn his wrath on a bigger and more menacing target—Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini.

Taibbi's one-page editorial from the October 29 issue (not available online, because it's 1998, I guess) on the state of the Browns contains plenty of his legendary invective and rage and a host of elaborately constructed zingers—the opening line compares Mangini to Augustus Gloop—but it doesn't answer the most important question at hand: How could anybody care this much about Eric Mangini?

Taibbi's fire is off the charts here. He calls the 2009 Browns "one of the truly thrilling sports disaster stories ever" and "the most fucked franchise in all of sports." To which we can only say, uh ... have you met the Tennessee Titans? The Browns are bad, but it's not even clear yet that they are worse off than the team was a year ago. And Mangini may or may not be a complete dunderhead endangering the livelihoods of otherwise healthy young men, but why would the readers of Rolling Stone give a shit about that?

Plus, is this really news? Everyone already knows Mangini is terrible. It's not like Matt is pulling a Slate-esque counter-intuitive takedown by pointing out that Mangini is not as smart as Bill Belichik. We're all well aware.

The bloggers at Cleveland Frowns think it's just another typical example of EAST COAST BIAS, but that bias usually manifests itself as completely indifference, not unbridled anger. Perhaps Cleveland fans are just annoyed because criticizing the Browns is supposed to be their job.

Why is Matt Taibbi Writing about the Cleveland Browns? [Cleveland Frowns]
Taking it from all sides [Cleveland Sports Torture]