by Alex Poletti
Photo by Getty Images
After a shocking week 17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns wasted no time firing their head coach Freddie Kitchens. Unfortunately, this left star wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry without someone to yell at in the fourth quarter, so the pair of wideouts turned their anger on a nearby water cooler instead.
“They were really giving that water cooler hell,” quarterback Baker Mayfield says. “I don’t know if they were actually mad at the water cooler or if it was just a surrogate, but it was definitely intense.”
To put it mildly, Kitchens did a poor job running the offense, as OBJ had his worst NFL season and the Browns finished with 10 losses despite having Super Bowl aspirations at the season’s start. Throughout the year, Landry and Beckham were seen arguing on the sidelines with the first-year head coach.
The same seemed to be coming true on Sunday when the Browns trailed the worst team in the league by a touchdown heading into the fourth quarter. However, by then Cleveland ownership had already pulled Kitchens out of the stadium like a bad comedian in a Vaudeville act. With no coach to yell at for the fiasco, the receivers had to improvise.
“We were losing to the Bengals, so I wanted to give Freddie a piece of my mind,” Landry recalls. “I was looking all over for him—I hadn’t realized the Browns had already fired him. Instead, I found this water cooler that was similar in shape and size. It seemed close enough and I didn’t want to keep everything bottled up, so I just had at it.”
Beckham soon joined in, throwing his helmet down before raising his voice to the container. The spat continued for the first few plays of the Bengals’ next drive.
“There was no communication whatsoever,” defensive coordinator Steve Wilks says. “Clearly, the water cooler wasn’t listening to a thing the receivers were saying. It was probably the most productive conversation between the players and the coaching staff all year.”
Given the way it coolly handled the outbursts from star players, the water cooler is now the top candidate to be next year’s head coach.
“We hadn’t really thought of doing an internal hire, but this makes all the sense in the world,” Browns owner and man who must be incredibly sad Jimmy Haslam says. “This water cooler has no idea how to manage a football game, doesn’t understand opposing defenses and can’t communicate with its players. That’s already a step up from Kitchens.”