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LEAGUE INSIDERS SHOCKED BY SAVAGE E-MAIL

The prevailing reaction in most NFL circles in the wake of Thursday’s admission by Browns G.M. Phil Savage that he sent an e-mail that said “f–k you” to a fan (technically, it was “f@#* you”) is shock.
As a league source with knowledge of Savage’s ways told us on Thursday morning, such language is very much out of character
Said another source on Friday morning, “Shock would be an understatement.  I don’t know what to say.  I really can’t believe it.”
Of all NFL General Managers, Savage would likely be regarded as far and away the least likely to have snapped in this manner.  He’s a devout Christian (or, at a minimum, he wears it on his sleeve for the world to see, which frankly conflicts with our understanding of Matthew 6:5-7).
Indeed, we’re told that, every year at the Senior Bowl, Savage organizes a revival-type meeting for the coaches and scouts in attendance.  Per one source, the event has left some NFL types feeling uncomfortable.
And who can forget (actually, we had) Savage’s open call for Christian players?
“We want Christian players who can play football well,” Savage said in 2006.  (And that might have been news to owner Randy Lerner, who is Jewish.)
Bottom line?  Regardless of whether and to what extent Savage’s professed views are genuine, it was stoopid for him to allow a disgruntled fan to get under his skin. 
That said, Savage’s blunder has provided useful instruction for folks in key positions with other franchises.  “Every time something happens in Cleveland,” a source told us on Thursday, “I learn something from it.”

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46 Responses to “LEAGUE INSIDERS SHOCKED BY SAVAGE E-MAIL”
  1. deymond says: Nov 21, 2008 9:00 AM

    You’re saying that it’s un-Christian to be a devout Christian? I guess he “wore it on his sleeve” so much that you had never heard anything about it.
    Thankfully, your beliefs give you more freedom to be sanctimonious.

  2. Dirty_Waters says: Nov 21, 2008 9:03 AM

    Devout Christian = Goes to church on Sundays and is a hypocrite the other 6 days.

  3. ForTheGlory says: Nov 21, 2008 9:03 AM

    please don’t make it sound like a Christian man has to be a perfect man. EVERYONE makes mistakes, everyone. the difference here is that he acknowledged it & apologized for it. florio, you even said that you were shocked that he admitted it. most people would either deny it, blame someone else, or say that there was nothing wrong for what they did. that is one of the many things that makes his faith real in his life. Matthew 6:1-7 says nothing about not “wearing your faith on your sleeve”, it says that you shouldn’t do it if your motivation is to be seen by others. if your motivation is love for other people than there is nothing wrong with being open about your faith. Jesus, the originator of the Christian faith did nothing but wear his beliefs on his sleeve & tell everyone he came in contact with about them. savage isn’t perfect, he’s just blameless because he takes responsibility for his mistakes.
    by the way, that doesn’t make him a good GM.

  4. Scott @ WFNY says: Nov 21, 2008 9:07 AM

    That’s the consensus feeling around Cleveland as well; mostly the reason why no one really believed the kid that sent the original email, and even more of a reason why many thought it was an intern or someone of the like.
    We wonder if he’s cracking under the pressure…

  5. garyofferdahl says: Nov 21, 2008 9:10 AM

    Well I guess Jay Fiedler and Ahmad Brooks are off their radar.

  6. ClevelandSucks says: Nov 21, 2008 9:12 AM

    Looks like Savage is starting to buckle under that pressure. I don’t blame him, you got a bisexual quarterback starting, a wide receiver that can only catch a cold, a tight end/soldier that is a complete jackass and a coach that can’t win. A man can only take losing to Pittsburgh for so long before they snap. Hey at least here in Pittsburgh our coaches only email porn back and forth to each us.
    Buck up Browns fans there is always next decade!!!
    GO STEELERS!!!

  7. cheeseburger says: Nov 21, 2008 9:14 AM

    A christian isn’t Christ. He’s human. Florio, don’t you claim to be catholic (who are suppose to be christian) or are you like Joe Biden CINO (catholic in name only)? I’m not sure how your understanding of Matt 6:5-7 conflicts with him wearing it on his sleeve. It was about how they prayed in vain repitition wanting reward right away and not grace. I like how you rip everyone who professes to be a christian from Tony Dungy to Kurt Warner. It’s funny how you try to pull out a bible verse rip on a christian. Try reading a little further in the book of Matthew 7 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” CINO

  8. clevefan1 says: Nov 21, 2008 9:15 AM

    Wow Christians curse sometimes? What a revelation…
    Here’s another good bible verse:
    John 8:7 (New International Version)
    When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
    If Christians were all perfect, would they need a someone to save them from their sins?
    That having been said, Savage still f@#*ed up. But, he has since apologized, and, hopefully, he won’t do it again.

  9. IHateBretFarve says: Nov 21, 2008 9:18 AM

    Florio, I am hearing that this isn’t the first time Savage has done this. Word is he often responds harshly to fans or reports or disagree with a mediocre management skills. I am hearing, more importantly, that the fact the Browns are letting this get out is a clear cut sign that they plan on heavily pursuing Bill Cowher this winter and are fully prepared to offer him full control to come to Cleveland. If the next step is some form of verbal punishment and a promise to look into the matter more after the season you know the writing is on the wall. Good Luck Coach Chin you will need it.

  10. 26Hawk says: Nov 21, 2008 9:21 AM

    So, what the f@#* did he say, anyhow?

  11. jakeallen47 says: Nov 21, 2008 9:22 AM

    Wow. Christians are human too. Imagine that.

  12. ClevelandSucks says: Nov 21, 2008 9:22 AM

    Everytime I go to Cleveland I always ask, “Where is the handle for this shithole”?

  13. Don Corleone says: Nov 21, 2008 9:24 AM

    ForTheGlory says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 9:03 am
    please don’t make it sound like a Christian man has to be a perfect man. EVERYONE makes mistakes, everyone. the difference here is that he acknowledged it & apologized for it. florio, you even said that you were shocked that he admitted it. most people would either deny it, blame someone else, or say that there was nothing wrong for what they did. that is one of the many things that makes his faith real in his life. Matthew 6:1-7 says nothing about not “wearing your faith on your sleeve”, it says that you shouldn’t do it if your motivation is to be seen by others. if your motivation is love for other people than there is nothing wrong with being open about your faith. Jesus, the originator of the Christian faith did nothing but wear his beliefs on his sleeve & tell everyone he came in contact with about them. savage isn’t perfect, he’s just blameless because he takes responsibility for his mistakes.
    –AMEN–
    by the way, that doesn’t make him a good GM.
    –HALLELUJAH–

  14. chillwax says: Nov 21, 2008 9:31 AM

    Hopefully this will give the Browns enough reason to fire him and make way for Bill Cowher, who will want full personnel control. I say “Bring in the chin!”

  15. a Cheerleader says: Nov 21, 2008 9:40 AM

    ————————————-
    “We want Christian players who can play football well,” Savage said in 2006. (And that might have been news to owner Randy Lerner, who is Jewish.)
    ————————————-
    I wonder how many Jewish players actually are in the league…

  16. kenviro says: Nov 21, 2008 9:41 AM

    Hypocritical christians … what a concept.

  17. vincelombardi says: Nov 21, 2008 9:48 AM

    sounds like front office implosion, high expectations not met by incompetent coach/staff/owner/medical team/ hell there is enough blame to go around. begs the question, was john collins right?

  18. vincelombardi says: Nov 21, 2008 9:49 AM

    hey cleveland sucks, must of been hell in the 80s when marty lost one game in 5 years to pissburgh….

  19. Pea Tear Griffin says: Nov 21, 2008 9:54 AM

    “We want Christian players who can play football well”
    Sorry Jay Fiedler . . .
    Oooo, I just thought of something. Remember that story Florio did over the summer about a Muslim player who was supposedly blackballed because his dad was one of the 9/11 terrorists? I think this might bring it back to life!

  20. bslamb47 says: Nov 21, 2008 9:59 AM

    Echoing the sentiments of: ForTheGlory , cheeseburger, clevefan1, the Matthew reference isn’t the correct context. More appropriate would be James 1:49B “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” He let his sin get the better or him as Paul and all true Christians battle against.
    Being a Christian is walking with Christ and as your heart continues to be regenerated you are becoming more sanctified = more Christlike.
    As a Christian the struggle is outlined in Romans 7:15B “for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” This is the central theme of Rom 7: 14-25.
    We all stumble but we continue in our walk seeking forgiveness along the way and living with the results of our sin. Paul called himself the foremost and worst of all sinners. For those that have learned through poor example that Christians are perfect, you’ve been lied to. I hope that Mr Savage has made sought the proper forgiveness. Receiving it doesn’t mean the ramifications will necessarily go away, but seeking it will preserve his witness. I pray that this will be seen. Thank you for this website. It’s been a source of enjoyment for me since its beginning.

  21. sprindale says: Nov 21, 2008 10:01 AM

    You probably know more about Phil Savage than I’ll ever know, but it seems like you’re criticizing him for openly being a Christian. Matthew 5:6-7 is talking about attitude and motives. It’s not saying to hide your Christianity in a closet, it’s saying that you should not put on a spiritual show. You shouldn’t be religious just to impress people. Often, though, God is the only one who can tell the difference. Again, you probably know a lot more about Phil Savage than I do, but it seems to me like you’re playing God and judging his heart and motives, which goes against my understanding of Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” And Romans 2:1 “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” It’s not up to you to question if Phil Savages professed views are genuine or not. He made a stupid mistake. That doesn’t mean his beliefs are not genuine. We all make mistakes. We all snap and do stupid things. We’re all stupid and broken. That’s why we need a savior in the first place.
    One more thing: I want to reemphasize that we are not told to hide our Christianity. Matthew 5:13-16 says: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” In other words, don’t hide it. Let it show! But, let it show out of humbleness towards God and not to impress other people.
    Thanks for letting me have a say. I love your website (when you talk about football).

  22. rigginsorama says: Nov 21, 2008 10:09 AM

    I’d have to say that it’s impossible not to be a hypocritical Christian. I’m a Christian – but I am FAR from perfect… I guess I’m a hypocrite then too. Thank God for the blood of Jesus!

  23. seatofmypants says: Nov 21, 2008 10:12 AM

    Wow Florio – do you need a blood transfusion everytime you vote?
    You are totally in the tank for the Democratic Party.
    And now, obviously a bias against religious beliefs.
    Non of us are perfect. Savage makes mistakes, and they aren’t limited to his decision making as a GM. But he is human.
    He is under a lot of pressure, and sent the email we all would have thought of sending (but hopefully would have held off on hitting send).
    He has made a mistake, acknowleged it – time to move on.
    Next question….

  24. ChrisJNelson says: Nov 21, 2008 10:15 AM

    If god actually existed, this might be relevant.

  25. Pastabelly says: Nov 21, 2008 10:16 AM

    Not many Jewish players in the NFL that Savage probably insulted with his comment. The most prominent Jew is Olshansky. The list of others with some some Jewish lineage:
    Lennie Friedman, a nine-year veteran offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns.
    David Binn, a long snapper for the San Diego Chargers. Last season Binn was selected for the Pro Bowl. Binn’s father is Jewish and his mother is not.
    Igor Olshansky, a defensive end for the Chargers. Olshansky went to Jewish day school and married his Jewish school sweetheart. He is the first Russian-born player in the NFL.
    Sage Rosenfels, a backup quarterback for the Houston Texans. Rosenfels has a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother.
    Mike Seidman, a tight end for the Indianapolis Colts.
    Mike Rosenthal, an offensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins.
    Josh Miller, a punter. After being cut by the New England Patriots in August, he was signed by the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 22. He often appears at Jewish community events.
    Antonio Garay, a defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears. His mother is Jewish.
    The one rookie is Adam Podlesh, punter for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Podlesh has played in every game this season.

  26. clevefan1 says: Nov 21, 2008 10:46 AM

    We want Christian players who can play football well,” Savage said in 2006. (And that might have been news to owner Randy Lerner, who is Jewish.)
    So, I guess you ASSumed that by him saying that, he meant that he doesn’t want any players EXCEPT Christians. I guess what he should have done was listed every religion known to man so people wouldn’t feel excluded. I swear people just look for a reason to get pissed off. Instead of taking a single quote out of a story, how about posting this from the same exact paragraph that quote was taken from:
    “People say, ‘Phil, you’re a Christian G.M. Does that mean we’re only going to have all Christian players on the team?’ Absolutely not,” he said. “We want Christian players who can play football well.
    Here’s the rest of the article if anyone is interested:
    http://wheresjim.wordpress.com/2006/05/30/religion-shapes-savages-vision-for-the-browns-reprinted-without-permission/

  27. surfcbpier says: Nov 21, 2008 10:51 AM

    With the number of people that have died/been murdered in the name of a religion; I think an “F” bomb is fairly inconsequential.

  28. danphxariz says: Nov 21, 2008 10:51 AM

    I’m confused and this is a serious question. Did Savage actually use the “f-word” itself? Or did he literally type “f@#”?? If he actually typed “f@#*” then that’s hilarious. Can someone answer this please (Florio?).

  29. ralphthedog says: Nov 21, 2008 10:54 AM

    with all the bible verses here and all the preaching going on, I guess I’ll skip church this Sunday…
    the guy had a bad day, I see no reason to crucify him.
    RTD

  30. fmfnavydoc says: Nov 21, 2008 11:22 AM

    Savage needs to think about what he types in an e-mail before hitting the “send” button…if he had done that, this wouldn’t be a story.

  31. zertrat says: Nov 21, 2008 11:24 AM

    Citing religious text on this site? (Even if it is the “new international version.”) Mind boggling.

  32. clevefan1 says: Nov 21, 2008 11:27 AM

    I was just reading Pastabelly’s response and it reminded me this:



    And danphxariz, I believe Savage actually typed “f@#* you” as Florio said, not the actual F word.

  33. ForTheGlory says: Nov 21, 2008 11:38 AM

    clevefan1, thank you for the context of savage’s comment about wanting Christian players. just like taking a Bible verse out of context, you don’t truly understand what’s being said until you know what was said before & after.
    i’m a BIG fan of this site, if what clevefan1 write’s is correct, that’s very poor journalism to release that statement only & not the context of it. there’s a big difference in the meaning.

  34. shuxion says: Nov 21, 2008 11:38 AM

    Maybe he had the you talk it types program (Dragon: Naturally speaking for those who use it) and said that to one of his fellow employees.
    Mailroom Chuck: “Mr Savage here is your mail.”
    Phil Savage: “f@#* You…….oops i sent the e-mail hope that didn’t get in there before I sent it.”

  35. empty13 says: Nov 21, 2008 11:44 AM

    hell depending on who he is talking to, osamabama is muslim, or christian or even jewish.
    that’s the kind of person who one ought to worry about. since he truly only worships power.
    him, and al davis.

  36. ClevelandSucks says: Nov 21, 2008 11:59 AM

    @ vincelombardi says:
    November 21st, 2008 at 9:49 am
    hey cleveland sucks, must of been hell in the 80s when marty lost one game in 5 years to pissburgh….
    So your a Browns fan with the name of Vince Lombardi, let me see the Browns haven’t won that trophy yet have they? Do the Browns even know what the Superbowl trophy is or looks like? You want to talk about decades my friend…How was it watching in the 70s?

  37. pm says: Nov 21, 2008 12:00 PM

    Your understanding of Matthew 5:6-7 is at best sad. Jesus never intended us to hide our faith but to share it. Otherwise Matthew 28:18-20 makes no sense. Perhaps you should stick to football and leave theology to those to whom it means something. Savage is human, which is why he needs Christ. We all crack sometimes when faced with the pressures of life. Give the man a break, you would expect one.
    PM

  38. MarkB says: Nov 21, 2008 12:17 PM

    The nutters are out in full force. Notice how they can always pull out the “he’s not perfect” card for one of their own. After all, it doesn’t matter what you actually do in life, it only matters what you say. “I’m a good Christian” is their Get out of Jail Free card.

  39. brauneyz says: Nov 21, 2008 12:33 PM

    Florio, it’s bad enough when you drag politics into the fray, but this religious crap is gonna make me go elsewhere. Where’s the friggin’ football?
    ChrisJNelson, thank you!

  40. BenB says: Nov 21, 2008 1:06 PM

    So Christians aren’t sinners?
    I love how little liberals know about Christianity.

  41. SoCal Bengal says: Nov 21, 2008 1:38 PM

    Perhaps it his response to the fan wasn’t the best it could have been. But this is a sport of men. Profanity happens. Is it really worth this much attention? PFT is reaching the point where about 50% of the articles aren’t worth reading due to either redundancy or non-interest…or both.

  42. vincelombardi says: Nov 21, 2008 1:54 PM

    hey clevelandsucks i believe most years they split in the 70s but lets go back another decade or two and i think pissburgh won maybe 1-2 games a decade against cleveland, didn’t say i was a fan, just have the facts ma’am.

  43. dwaechte says: Nov 21, 2008 2:32 PM

    Quite the little debate broke over this whole religion thing. Who knew it could be such a controversial topic?
    Anywho, I happily report that ESPN and AP are giving credit to Daulerio for breaking this. Too bad Florio, guess you’ll have to, you know, learn to read your emails and maybe do some work to get the credit you seek.
    Were you hoping this would turn out to be inaccurate? Your tone on this whole subject seemed skeptical the whole way, almost in a “Damn, if I didn’t break the story and made a post doubting its accuracy, I hope it turns out not to be true so I can be RIGHT!”.

  44. Raw Deal says: Nov 21, 2008 3:35 PM

    Then there’s the whole “Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself” thing. People don’t go to church because they’re perfect– they go because they’re not.

  45. williamsbros says: Nov 21, 2008 4:52 PM

    Florio outs himself even further as a member of the Liberal media, wearing their bias on their sleeves to insult a person of faith any time they make one little misstep. We already know how “principled” you are Florio from that one day when you told us who you voted for from 1988 to 2008.
    Give the guy a break. He’s been an excellent drafter and for a guy who documents every single alleged misconduct of an NFL player, shouldn’t you be more sympathetic to a guy who wants men of character on his team?

  46. zxasqw12 says: Nov 22, 2008 10:46 AM

    It might be useful to define some terminology.
    The word “hypocrite” was used in ancient Greek theatre to describe actors who used masks to portray different emotions. Over time, the word came to be used to describe anyone who wasn’t really what they claimed to be. A hypocrite then, is someone who is knowingly and intentionally different from what they outwardly claim to be.
    Savage’s perceived failings as a GM notwithstanding, an isolated incident (as this appears to be) doesn’t seem to justify his placement in this category.

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