A sportswriter in our local paper wrote an article describing the Cleveland Browns as a cursed team. It's probably the Paul Brown curse, slapped on the Browns franchise after he was run out of town by Art Modell. Paul starts a new team in Cincinnati, and even though the Bungles have been terrible the last 10 years, they have played in a Super Bowl, which is more than Cleveland can say.
But Cleveland has had its chances. Back in the early 80's, the Browns threw away the AFC Championship game in Cleveland against the Raiders. The play is known, I think, as "red right 88". The Browns were down two points with less than a minute left in the game. Cleveland was inside the Raiders 20 yard line. Instead of setting up for the game winning field goal, Cleveland decided to take another shot at the end zone, but the pass was intercepted. The Raiders went on to win the Super Bowl.
Of course there's "The Drive", where Elway tied the game against Cleveland at the end of the 87 AFC Championship game. Denver won in overtime. The next year, Cleveland was getting pummeled by the Broncos in the AFC Championship game in Denver. But the Browns stormed back and was about to go in for the potentional tieing touchdown late in the game when Byner fumbled around the Denver three yard line.
Then there's Modell taking the Browns out of Cleveland. Two seasons ago, Modell's new team, the Ravens, wins the Super Bowl. Last year, ex Browns coach Bill Bellicheck, who was hated by Browns fans, wins the Super Bowl with the Patriots.
Last Sunday, the Browns lose the game, because a player throws his helment at the end of the game. That would have been fine if it was really the end of the game. The play was not over yet. The Browns were penalized, and since a game cannot end on a defensive penalty, the Chiefs got an extra play. They lined up for a field goal, which, of course, was good, the Chiefs win by one point.
The curse of Paul Brown? Certainly not as famous as the Curse of the Babe that's on the Boston Redsox, who have taken late season dive out of the playoffs into the Big Dig.
This morning I heard both Brown's kickers were fined by the NFL for taunting. Kickers taunting? The helment-throwing jackass was fined too. The Browns are looking like the "thugs" of the NFL. Makes sense though. Look who their head coach is. He came from Miami, Fla, a school known for years to have its share of thug players and undisciplined teams. But then again, I could not care less about the Cleveland Browns. I root for a much worse team, the Lions, who play the Panthers this weekend in a battle of the two worse teams in the NFL. It will probably be 0-0 tie.
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