As strange as it was to see the Browns fire Pat Shurmur after a 5-11 season—after all, isn't that merely upholding The Browns Way?—it seemed even more peculiar for them to hire in his place a 44-year-old without a lick of NFL head-coaching experience.
But then, the new fellow's name is Rob Chudzinski. Among the Browns' very few distinguishing traits is their nativity to Cleveland (though even that has, in the past, been subject to overturn.) You could scarcely invent a more Cleveland name than Rob Chudzinski. Guys with -ski surnames began settling northeast Ohio 150 years ago, working in stone quarries and steel mills, and by the early 20th century Polish immigrants even supported a newspaper called the Monitor Clevelandski. In a tossup you must admit that "Chudzinski" is simply more fun to say than "Whisenhut" or "Trestman." You must also admit that for the Browns to hire a green coach who was interviewed by no other NFL teams bodes uncomfortably well for his chances at continuing The Browns Way.
Apparently Chudzinski blew Browns management away in interviews (the team had at least eight other candidates, all with more experience). No coincidence he grew up nearby in Toledo, and as a boy would imagine himself playing with or as Browns greats. Upon his hiring Chudzinski cited Ozzie Newsome and Brian Sipe in that regard, but he could've gone with Hall of Fame center Frank Gatski ('46 to '56) or lesser-knowns such as running back Henry Hynoski, receiver Frank Kosikowski, linebacker Mike Kovaleski, or Ed and Dick Modzelewski, or Jim Ninowski or Gene Selawski or Joe Skibinski or Ed Ulinski. Or for that matter Mike Bedosky, John Rokisky, John Sandusky, Crais Wycinsky or Steve Zahursky. But not Bill Brasky. He's a son of a bitch.