Reading the Jan. 8 letter “Birth of a Browns fan” stirred up some memories, questions and a few comments.
My dad was a huge Browns fan who passed along stories of Otto Graham, Dante Lavelli and the old Browns, who used to beat all comers in the days before the NFL as we now know it.
When I was growing up, Dad and I went to almost every home game and watched Jim Brown run over would-be tacklers and Lou Groza kick many field goals. We saw good, hard competitive football year after year at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium and rejoiced in the team’s championship victory in 1964 over the Colts.
We suffered through all of those heartbreaking moments that kept the Browns from the Super Bowl and, like many fans, always tried to be optimistic for next year. But after the original Browns were moved to Baltimore, except for one season, there has been very little to look forward to each year. My Dad passed away never seeing the Browns win anything again.
Why, year after year, have talent evaluators in the front office had mediocre to poor drafts? Why have their drafted quarterbacks not met expectations, when others have become the face of the franchise? From a talent and performance standpoint, there always seem to be missing pieces that keep the Browns from succeeding.
The firing of Rob Chudzinski was appalling and, in many ways, highlights what I think one of the primary problems is. It’s the people in the organization who want “instant gratification.” As an observer of teams that are successful, most seem to have coaches, quarterbacks and core team players who have played together and have become cohesive units, understanding each other’s roles and responsibilities.
They endure through losing seasons but continually improve through good trades and drafts and familiarity with their offensive and defensive schemes, not having to learn new ones each year brought in by new coaches.
Building a champion is a growth process, and it obviously takes more smarts and patience than the Browns organization possesses. If you can’t build a consistent, competitive, winning team in 14 years, then when?
Two steps to curb ER admissions
The Jan. 9 editorial “Complications in the ER” concerned the expansion of non-urgent ER use by new Medicaid recipients in Oregon. That is not surprising and should have been totally expected.
Whenever something is “free,” it no longer has value and is overused. The solution to this overuse of ER services for non-emergency reasons can be easily solved with the addition of two requirements for Medicaid recipients.
The first would be a requirement that pre-authorization is obtained before presenting oneself in the emergency room.
A 24-hour nurse triage call center should be set up so that patients call before an ER visit. If the visit is deemed necessary, a pre-authorization would be sent to the emergency room. If the visit is not deemed an emergency, then the patient would be instructed to make an appointment at an outpatient center.
The second modification to discourage overuse of the emergency room would be to require a copayment at the time of the emergency room encounter. A payment of as little as $10 to $20 would eliminate a lot of non-emergency visits.
I know from my own patients that the vast majority of Medicaid recipients have disposable income, as evidenced by the high incidence of smoking, smart phone ownership and tattoos.
Dr. Patrick J. Naples
Practicality of concealed carry
I found the Jan. 3 letter “Selling fear and guns” remarkable.
To my knowledge, Ohio does make available how many concealed-carry licenses have been revoked, and that is a measure of criminal activity among license holders. It’s a low number.
The image of the movie character Luca Brasi roughing up New York store owners to entice them to purchase protection reminds me that New York City has some of the toughest gun-control laws. Honest citizens cannot easily purchase handguns. One wonders how Brasi might have fared if the store owner and his neighbors were “heeled,” as they use to say.
The National Rifle Association doesn’t need to promote an environment of fear. We only have to turn on the TV news or open this paper to read of home invasions, shootings and other senseless, violent crimes.
It’s not fear that forces us to arm ourselves; it’s practicality. I don’t know of any other tool that makes the old physically equal to the young and healthy. I don’t know of any training or equipment that makes the lone woman equal to a larger man, or an individual equal to a gang, other than the gun.
And it’s a sadder irony about the Sandy Hook school massacre than the writer knows. After the first shot was fired, principal Dawn Hochsprung, school psychologist Mary Shelack and teacher Natalie Hammond raced to the sound of shooting, armed only with their bravery.
Hochsprung and Shelack were murdered by Adam Lanza. I and many others believe that if any of those three had been armed, the confrontation would have ended right there. Lanza didn’t end his killing spree by taking his own life until he realized the police, who were armed and would shoot back, had arrived.
I can’t help wonder what other personal rights the writer would suggest we give up for the betterment of society. The right to privacy? Or the right to a free press?
There are a lot of rights we could give up to make society more orderly and smoother running, but all of them would come at the expense of the individual.