Yep, that's me! I had that same look on my face throughout most of The Cleveland Browns versus The Pittsburgh Steelers game last night. Why so serious? Well, we've been there before. In the NFL Playoffs in 2002 for example, the Browns built a large lead over the Steelers only to see the Steelers score two touchdowns in the final four minutes to win. So let's say I was "cautiously optimistic" though I looked angry. So much so that Kelly asked me at least twice if I was ok. Fine, just unwilling to get overly emotionally invested. I just didn't want to experience the heartbreak again.
I'm old enough to remember "Red Right 88" so named for the play in the 1981 Playoffs when Brian Sipe threw an interception to the Oakland Raiders' Mike Davis instead of throwing it "into the lake" as he was reportedly told to do by Coach Sam Rutigliano. Coach Sam told us fans at a Mansfield Browns Backs event a number of years ago as he diagrammed the play for us that the play was designed to see the pass go to Dave Logan on the right side of the end zone, not the left side to Ozzie Newsome where it got picked off. Devastating I know but that wouldn't be the last one to rip our hearts out. How about "The Drive" and "The Fumble" both times against Denver in AFC Championship Games. Then of course "The Move" when team owner Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore in 1995. Thanks to the fans the name, colors and history were allowed to stay and the team returned to action in 1999.
Last night, I was reliving all of those nightmares in my mind as the Steelers mounted a comeback from being down 35 to 10 at the half to come frighteningly close to beating us again. But the Browns hung on to win 48 to 37 their first playoff win since 1995 in their first playoff game in 18 years. Next The Brown & Orange visit the defending champs Kansas City Sunday January 17th for a 3:05 pm kickoff. I'll be watching, seriously, very intently, and hoping for a win. Not satisfied with the big step taken last night. Because like the team's slogan says "We Want More"!