"" Writer's Wanderings: Butch Davis Resigns As Browns Coach

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Butch Davis Resigns As Browns Coach

Four years ago, we happened to be on a cruise with the coaching staff of the Florida State football team. The last day of the cruise we entered the dining room and were seated at a table with a very nice couple that we didn't immediately recognize. After the third or fourth person walked up and thanked the man sitting across from us, we realized we were eating breakfast with Bobby Bowden and his wife. What a wonderful unpretentious couple. We quipped about OSU football and mentioned that the Browns were getting a new coach, Butch Davis, from Miami.

Bobby Bowden emphasized how lucky we were. "He's a really good guy," he said.

Our first two seasons with Davis looked promising culminating in a playoff game in the second season. Then things slid downhill. We hoped this would be the year.

In May, we were returning from our son's graduation at U of M in Florida. A man got on the plane with his son and sat a couple rows in front of us in coach. He looked a lot like Butch Davis and I pointed him out to my husband. We concluded it was a "look alike". Surely the coach of the Browns would be flying first class. As we exited the plane in Cleveland we heard several people wish him well in the coming season and then realized that indeed it had been Coach Davis and his son flying with us.

Unfortunately all the well-wishers were disappointed as our season hopes disappeared with an injured playmaker and a quarterback that did more complaining than performing. Still, the blame came to rest on Coach Davis. Today, he resigned.

Davis cites all the controversy taking a toll on the team and his family as the reason for resigning now. I'm sure a job prospect in Florida is part of that too. I remember Bobby Bowden's words, "He's a good guy." He is. He has conducted himself with humility, grace, and tact in an atmosphere of fan-aticism that would just as soon chew him up and spit him out. It's sad that nice guys sometimes finish last. I hope Butch Davis and his family will find the next job more satisfying and fulfilling, one that will challenge and strengthen the "good guy" within him.

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