After Phil Dawson's field goal put the Browns up 20-3 in the second half yesterday against the Jets, a strange feeling hit me.
"I can't remember the last time the Browns had a 17-point lead," I said to my friends TJ and Brian as we watched the game on TV.
I just checked it out - last year, a 22-0 week 11 win against the Dolphins.
That was 13 games ago. Almost a full season between having comfortable leads in a ballgame. I had completely forgotten what it was like to cheer for an NFL team with a lead.
Of course, the Browns being the Browns, the Jets cut quickly into that "comfortable lead" and only a controversial call in the end zone - the Jets receiver pushed out by safety Brodney Pool before landing in bounds - kept the game from being tied.
(Good call by the refs - you can't assume the receiver would land with both feet in bounds on that play. And a great job by Pool to get over there and hit him hard. And most surprisingly of all, the call didn't go against the Browns!!!)
It's amazing what a few good plays can do to a fan base. After Droughns's first two carries Sunday gained first downs, TJ, Brian and I came to the consensus that we would win the game. This was halfway through the first quarter with Cleveland trailing 3-0.
I woke up this Monday morning with a stomach ache and a head ache. But I thought back to the euphoric thoughts of a Browns victory and voila! Back at 100%!
Better yet, both the Bungles and Steelers lost Sunday. So now the Browns are tied for third with Pittsburgh in the division, and I think their fans are calling the Dr. Kevorkian hot line.
The Browns are 2-5 and head out west to face the San Diego Chargers. Will they be underdogs? Yeah. Should they win that game? Probably not.
But I'm not even worried about that right now. I'm still basking in the glory of this week's win.