Baltimore Orioles: Is sports knowledge too commonplace?

The Baltimore Orioles lucked out when they hired Brandon Hyde. In him they got a good baseball man who had worked his way up the coaching ranks. And it in fact appears that he’s being given full autonomy to do what he wants to do with the team on the field.

I heard a disturbing story over the weekend regarding the Cleveland Browns (of the NFL) and their new head coach, Kevin Stefanski. First off, Stefanski’s a guy who could be seen as similar to Hyde. He’s worked his way up the coaching ranks, and now he’s getting his big break to be a head coach.

It’s almost a given that a coach in any sport who’s never been the head guy is going to take over a bad team. And the Cleveland Browns certainly qualify as a bad team (at best, underachieving). But I read an article over the weekend which stated that Stefanski was told that he’s to turn in his game plans to ownership and to the analytics department at the end of every week. Owner Jimmy Haslam and his analytics department will then go over the game plan, and presumably have the autonomy to make changes if the deem it necessary.

That’s an alleged report. However it’s consistent with some of the things I’ve heard about Haslam’s ownership tenure. And that’s an untenable situation for a head coach in any sport. To have to turn in game plans to the owner? That’s akin to a baseball owner calling pitches from his suite.

However as sports have become more and more a part of mainstream culture in America, they become more well-known. I think I know baseball pretty well – needless to say, well enough to write about it! I also think I know football and basketball pretty well. But I’m also smart enough to know that I don’t know enough about these sports to coach them at the professional level.

I suppose what I’m saying is that many people seem to believe that simply because they “know the game,” they’re good enough to know it at all levels. It appears that the Cleveland Browns have an owner who’s not only not empowering his people, but who thinks he knows the game well enough to be going over game plans. That isn’t a recipe for success.

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