we need to talk about kevin
January 5, 2021

The Cleveland Browns' good feeling over their first playoff appearance in 18 years — the NFL's longest such drought — was dampened on Tuesday, with Head Coach Kevin Stefanski among five in the organization to test positive for COVID-19, the team announced.

Stefanski will be replaced by special teams coach Mike Priefer, and could return to in-person team activities in 10 days — which might not matter if they lose on Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Stefanski is asymptomatic and will work from home to help prepare for the game, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Stefanski will be the NFL's second head coach to miss a game due to COVID-19, following the Detroit Lions' Darrell Bevell, who missed a December game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But that was a meaningless late-season contest, in contrast to the Browns' long-awaited first postseason game since 2002. With Tuesday's positive tests, Cleveland will enter Pittsburgh with eight of its players and six of its coaches out due to COVID-19. Jacob Lambert

August 14, 2020

Should President Trump lose re-election, could Rep. Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) House leadership position be in danger?

A new report in The Washington Post describes how "discontent" with the Republican minority leader is "on the rise" in the House of Representatives, and a "small group of members is discussing whether someone should challenge him for minority leader if Trump is defeated," as Republicans prepare for a potential "intraparty war."

While the report notes the anti-McCarthy sentiment in the House is certainly "far from unanimous," it describes how some Republicans feel he's too close to Trump and has given the president "too much of a pass," with one House Republican saying McCarthy "does nothing but lick Trump's boots." It isn't clear who could actually challenge McCarthy, though the report says House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) has been eyed.

"[McCarthy] becomes damaged goods [if Trump loses], but it could be offset if he is successful in helping the GOP conference win back a bunch of seats," a senior House Republican told the Post. "But if we lose ... the Republican conference is probably going to be looking for something different in leadership."

A spokesperson for McCarthy downplayed this talk, saying Republicans "are united and singularly focused on working with President Trump to renew the American Dream, restore our way of life, and rebuild the greatest economy ever." Read more at The Washington Post.

Brendan Morrow

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