Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Browns 8, Bills 0
Welcome to a new era of Browns football.

The early 1980s had the Cardiac Kids. The late 80s had Bernie Kosar and the Dawg Pound.

Now, we have Believeland.

And why not believe? If the Browns can win in a December blizzard, if that defense --that defense -- can shut out Buffalo without forcing a turnover, why can't this team do something great.

In the stands on Sunday, I froze with three close friends. It was brutal, but it came with a reward. I'd like to say the Browns win made me feel like I was in Florida.

But that would be a lie. Actually, I didn't feel anything. The cold made me numb, and I was actually thinking I may have to lose a few toes.

Still, it was a great Christmas gift to be at the Stadium Sunday, giving me a memory I will never forget.

Browns fans are the best in the world. But I have to say, Bills fans are pretty damn good. Not only did many make the trip, but they stayed, didn't cause any trouble, cheered when it was appropriate, and didn't taunt.

There is a great respect, I think, between Browns and Bills fans. We haven't forgotten how Ralph Wilson supported our city when Art Modell moved the team. I also think we can empathize with Buffalo, since it has had similar disappointment to go along with its success.

One fan sat in front of me, in a Bills jersey. Just before kickoff, he turned to me.

"Just so you know," he said, "I don't hate the Browns 364 days of the year."

I told him it was cool. I felt the same way about his team.

- So, if the Browns beat the Bengals Sunday, they clinch a postseason berth. If Tennessee loses to the Jets, the Browns clinch.

If Tennessee wins and Cleveland loses, things get a little complicated. In regards to a wild card spot, the Browns will have to see what the Titans do against the Colts in week 17. If Indianapolis wins, the Browns advance, no matter what they do against San Francisco.

If a Colts win over the Titans seems certain, in reality it is something less than that. With two weeks to go, the Colts are locked in to the No. 2 spot in the AFC playoffs. The final to games for them mean nothing.

- I don't want the Browns to play 2008 without Jamal Lewis in the backfield.

- Congratulations to Josh Cribbs and Braylon Edwards on making the Pro Bowl. But how did the linemen get left off?

- So, anyone want to guess which Bengals team shows up Sunday? I'm guessing the motivated, focused Bengals hoping for revenge. I listened to Saturday night's game, and the Bengals announcers sounded horrified at the team's performance against the 49ers.

If that team shows up, the Browns win easy. But don't count on it.



At 6:41 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

Bills fans didn't taunt because they got all the taunting out of their systems at Saturday night's Cavs game.

I was sitting up in the $10 nosebleeds at The Q, absolutely surrounded by Buffalo fans who apparently had decided to take in the Cavs game as a football warm-up.

They frequently got "Let's go Buffalo" chants going, they cheered on the Sixers (more accurately, they cheered against Cleveland), and at the end of the game, a number of them tried to assert their belief that the NBA is inherently inferior to the NHL and their Sabres by attempting to drown out "Let's go Cavs" with "Who gives a (insert expletive of choice)? CHA-LU-PA! CHA-LU-PA!"

I can only conclude that either A) you ran into the nice Buffalo fans or B) Buffalo fans are a lot more reserved and well-behaved when their team can't score a single point.


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