Cleveland Browns Flashback Friday: Andrew Berry hammered by brother Adam

LANDOVER, MD - 2009: Andrew Berry of the Washington Redskins poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by NFL Photos)
LANDOVER, MD - 2009: Andrew Berry of the Washington Redskins poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by NFL Photos) /

Back in his college days, Harvard Crimson cornerback Andrew Berry was blown up by his twin brother Adam who played for Harvard’s arch-rival, the Princeton University Tigers. Brotherly love is okay, but this was football. 

Before he became general manager of the Cleveland Browns, Andrew Berry was a four-year starter at cornerback for Harvard. He was good enough to become a three-time All-Ivy League cornerback in each of his final three seasons for the Crimson.

He was invited to mini-camp as an undrafted free agent by Washington but promptly suffered a herniated disk in his spine which effectively ended his playing career. That may have been a blessing in disguise because he wound up getting an offer from the Indianapolis Colts in scouting and player evaluation working under Bill and Chris Polian. Eventually, he made his way to Cleveland, then to Philadelphia, and back to Cleveland as the youngest general manager in the NFL.

Interestingly enough, Berry has a twin brother Adam, who was also an Ivy League football player. They are the sons of proud parents Drew Berry and Brenda Fowler-Berry of Bel Air, MD. However, instead of being teammates, the twins became bitter rivals.

Adam, you see, was a wide receiver for the Princeton Tigers, the arch-enemy of the Harvard Crimson. Adam did not achieve the star status of his brother but nevertheless saw extensive action as a sophomore, junior and senior.

Ivy League football is not played at the same athletic level as Big Ten football, but it is played with the same passion and intensity. The Harvard and Princeton rivalry is as intense as Ohio State and The School Up North.

In 2006, the first year that Adam was good enough to make it onto the field, the Baltimore Sun reports that Princeton’s Brendan Circle, made a 20-yard touchdown catch to give Princeton a 31-28 victory over Harvard. Not only that, but on that game-winning play, Adam was credited with a devasting block on a pesky cornerback (and future general manager) Andrew, which sprung Circle for that touchdown, thereby ensuring his everlasting fame in Princeton football lore.

So devastating was this block that Princeton awarded Adam the Hammer Award for the best block of the game!

Afterward, back home in Bel Air, Andrew protested to his parents that it was a cheap shot, but our intelligence reports indicate that his protests were not sympathetically received in the Berry household. Even worse for Andrew, his own father produced video footage of another play which proved that he had illegally grabbed his brother’s jersey that game, though the referees did not flag him for pass interference.

Face it fans, our general manager was caught red-handed and ignominiously defeated. That season Princeton would go on to tie for the Ivy League Championship with a 9-1 record.

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However, Andrew went on to become All-Ivy at cornerback that season and the next two seasons, while Adam was a contributor at wide receiver but not really a star. Harvard won the Ivy League championship straight up in 2007, and then in 2008 tied with Brown University. All in all, it was a rather decent career, while graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a master’s degree in Computer Science.

While at Princeton, Adam made an interesting speech about diversity, in which he noted that a stereotype exists for student-athletes, who are perceived as academically less competent than their peers and are regarded with disdain by their student peers. He comes across as a very thoughtful young man, despite his violent tendencies toward his twin brother.

Interestingly, the Harvard Crimson contained this astonishing quote from Andrew’s coach back in 2009:

"“Andrew’s really special. For my two cents, he’ll be running an NFL team in 15 years. At 37 years old, he’ll be running an NFL franchise. I have no question.” — Coach Tim Murphy, Harvard University Crimson, quoted by Scott A. Sherman, Oct 1, 2009."

Incredible!  Head coach Tim Murphy predicted back in 2009 that Andrew was going to be a general manager. Note, however, that Andrew became general manager of the Browns on January 28, 2020, at age 32, or five years younger than coach Murphy predicted. Obviously, coach Murphy way underestimated his former pupil.

One other concern fans may have is that if Adam and Andrew are so ultra-competitive, does that mean that Adam will soon take a job as the GM of the Pittsburgh Steelers? Browns fans can rest easy on this point.

It turns out that he is a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and is Head of U.S. Bank Loan Trading. We can assume that he is doing equally well for himself, and has plenty to brag about when the family gets together for Thanksgiving. That Princeton education seems to be serving him well.

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We have to wonder, however, located in Bel Air, MD…Does that mean that Adam is a Ravens fan?