It’s happening around cubicles and water coolers and in cafeterias all across the country.
But not in the Cleveland Browns‘ locker room.
The newest RAC Rule (Romeo A. Crennel’s Rule) forbids the upcoming (but-not-here-soon-enough) presidential election from being discussed within the Browns’ environs.
No rehashing the debates or discussing the various platforms for fixing our on-life-support economy. No checking out SNL skits on your PDA or startling a teammate by whispering “President Palin” in his ear.
Yeah, it’s that nuts out there now. So much so that Crennel doesn’t want his own tenuous 1-3 team to become divided by the increasingly divisive discourse surrounding the race.
Crennel says the move was a preemptive strike, rather than a reaction to any perceived tensions. “Their politics is their politics,” he said on Wednesday. “My main concern is that they don’t get on the soap box here in the locker room.”
Free speech aside, it was probably a smart move, considering the unfortunate yet increasing tensions being stirred on the campaign trails. On Wednesday, backup QB Brady Quinn introduced John McCain and palled around with Sarah Palin at a local rally, where he was joined on stage by not-so-left tackle Joe Thomas. Quinn also caught a ride on McCain’s tour bus.
On the flip side, linebacker Willie McGinest joined LeBron James at a voter registration rally last weekend and is open about where his support rests. Speaking of Barack Obama, McGinest says: “I don’t think anybody else motivated me or gave me the inspiration to want to get up and vote.”
It’s a bit of an insult to think that grownups can’t have healthy debates and disagreements without things deteriorating to the degree that it impacts the quality of their work. At least it might have been before the rhetoric sank into a moral abyss in recent days. Now, it’s probably best for everyone just to shut up and vote.
Of course, the point of view most held in the Browns’ locker room may have been expressed by center Hank Fraley, who capsulized the lunch-pail view of the offensive linemen. “We like to argue a little bit,” he said. “But half the time none of us knows what we’re talking about.”
Just like everyone else, it seems.
Associated Press photo