The week has finally arrived for the Cleveland Browns and their followers. Just three days after Thanksgiving, the forever hated Pittsburgh Steelers come to the Lake Erie shores to face the Browns. This is arguably one of the most historic rivalries in all of sports. So what does this game mean to Browns fans across the state of Ohio?
In most fans minds’, the Browns basically play two Super Bowls every season. Playing the Steelers twice a year accounts for both of them. Talking to fans all across the state of Ohio shows how the Dawg Pound truly feels about the black and yellow.
Disgusted fan of the Browns recent play, Michael of Akron, OH had this to say about the rivalry, “It is the culmination of all things good (Browns) and all things evil (Steelers). It can bring me to the highest of highs or make me sink to the lowest of lows. It is the agony or the ectasy. I would not have it any other way”.
Then there are fans like Robbin of Warren, OH that just flat out despise the Steelers. “I’m a die hard fan. I have family in Pennsylvania that are die hard Squeeler fans. I hate them and want to beat them so bad, I feel it in my gut. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family but I hate the Steelers! It will make my year if we beat the Steelers on Sunday and I will get a tattoo of the date we beat them.” said Robbin. Yes, some fans feel that strongly about the rivalry.
The match up is so rich in tradition. Who can forget the 51-0 drubbing the Browns handed the Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium in the ’90s? On the same token, who could forget the welcome back to NFL game which the Steelers ruined by routing Cleveland 43-0? Or what about the amazing Josh Cribbs and his immaculate deception? No one will forget Browns defensive lineman Turkey Jones planting Terry Bradshaw on the top of his head. Or what about the heart breaking wild card playoff loss in which Browns defensive coordinator Foge Fazio insisted on playing a prevent defense the entire second half? The Steelers ended up putting 22 points on the board in the fourth quarter and won 36-33. It’s memories like these that make the hatred for the Steelers so powerful.
The thing you can’t take away from the Browns fans is the loyalty to their team, win or lose. The same cannot be said about the fans east of Cleveland that wave their stupid little yellow toilet paper towels. Although there are many “true” Pittsburgh fans actually from PA, there are an extraordinary amount of front running Steeler fans across the state of Ohio. This makes me and every other Browns fan sick in the stomach.
Coming off a tough loss to the Dallas Cowboys, it’s time for the Browns to step it up a notch and match the intensity level of the their faithful fans for this upcoming game. The extra level of importance must be recognized by the players and coaches. Let Steeler week begin.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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