Jason Vari's been a Browns fan since he was four years old. The first birthday present he remembers receiving was a Brian Sipe jersey. Like many of us, he also swears that from 1996 through 1998, there was no such thing as football. "I didn't watch a single game," he says.
And like pretty much all of us, he'd like to forget the Browns' recent loss at Carolina — specifically the early third quarter, with the good guys trailing 17-3. It's third and inches from the Panthers' 20-yard-line. Land-mine fullback Terrelle Smith is lined up behind Charlie Frye. But behind Smith, offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon has stashed ... rookie fullback Lawrence Vickers ... for an ... option pass?
That's when Vari's shorts went orange and brown. He realized right then he'd had it with Carthon, a former fullback who more than once has neglected the team's more reliable playmakers for his apparently prized sixth-round rookie. Says Vari: "He's been running his head into things for too many years."
So from his fan blog, Vari started a petition
. Like on third and inches, the plan's pretty clear: Fire Maurice Carthon.
"I'm just fed up with it," he says. "We pay those salaries. We buy the merchandise. Nobody wants to see that shit again. I want somebody to be held accountable. What would they do if we didn't buy the foam fingers?"
Calls to the Browns were not returned. (In their defense, it's hard to grasp anything with sponge hands.)
The signatures are trickling in slowly, but Vari's determined. "I'd like to see enough to fill the stadium," he says. "If this shit doesn't change, you're not gonna see 73,000 fans anymore."
But it turns out Vari has competition for his position. Pink-slip petitions have sprung from at least two other sites, firemocarthon.com
. The latter leads all three with more than eighty signatures. "The sky's the limit," says "Fire Maurice" founder Aaron Goodman, who, like Vari, registered his site mere hours after the loss.
And if Romeo Crennel, quiet on the issue, won't budge?
Says Vari: "I think we may need to purchase two Greyhound tickets."
In case anyone's wondering, fireromeocrennel.com is going for $150 at redshirted.com
, the Web's premier provider of fire-your-coach sites.