The Cleveland Browns – the Losers on the Lake, the Wretched by the Rock Hall, the Chokers of the Cuyahoga – did it again to all Cleveland fans Sunday.
After totally dominating the Shittsburgh Steelers in every facet of the game in the first half, the Browns entered the locker room – with a 10-0 lead. We all know how today’s game ended.
Fumble. Missed field goal. Interception return called back. Penalty out of field goal range. Hail Mary ohsoclose. And that was just the first half. We left more points on the board than Drew Carey during an episode of Whose Line is it Anyway.
I don’t even know where to start. For as much as I, and all other Cleveland sports fans, invest in our teams, we get nothing back. Today served as yet another example of the disease that’s plagued the Browns, Indians and Cavs since 1964.
The second half proved as frustrating as any I’ve seen. Shittsburgh totally abandoned the run game and let Big Ben sit back in the pocket, where he picked the Browns secondary apart on short crossing patterns. The pass rush was ineffectual and nonexistent.
Fourteen of Cleveland’s 20 points came off of special teams and defense. I thought, oh I thought, that Josh Cribbs’ kick return would have deflated the high tide rushing in. Alas, alas…
Here’s how devastating this loss was – I watched the game with my buddies Rosen and TJ, and driving back we contemplated shooting up heroin and driving my car off the pier by Browns Stadium. The Winking Lizard, home of the Buckeyes Browns Backers, fell deadly silent after Charlie Frye’s final pass bounced off several pairs of hands in the end zone.
In fact, the loss even sapped away the joys of Ohio State’s triumph over hated Michigan. This had the potential to be the sports weekend EVER, and it ended with a giant thud.
I tried to wait a few hours to write this, to cool off, to pray that a level head would prevail. The cooling off period failed to soothe my burning intensity.
Five of the Browns’ seven defeats have been one possession. Saints, week one? Ugh. Ravens, week three? Please. Panthers, week five? Ehhhhh. Chargers, week nine? Six field goals kicked. Steelers, week 11? Well, just see above.
TJ aptly pointed out the Browns entered today just two games – two games! – out of the Wild Card, even with a 3-6 record. Even better, we’d leap ahead of the dreadful Steelers in the division and remain one game back of the Bungles if we were to win.
Of course, the Steelers didn't really win today's game.
The Browns lost it.