Sunday, January 23, 2011

"This moment of tremendous pain." Yes, it's NFL championship Sunday.

It's League Championship Sunday in the NFL, the day where dreams are made or hopes are dashed, where two teams will advance to the Super Bowl, and two will go home, bitterly disappointed.  Something Browns fans obviously know about way too much.

I'll be at Soldier Field today, but underneath my sweatshirts, scarves, and down coat will be my Browns jersey.  Trying to absorb some of that magic for Cleveland.  I have a ticket, but wasn't sure I should go.  However, given the enormity of the game--I mean, it can't get much better than Packers-Bears for the Super Bowl--I couldn't pass it up.  It has to fill in--for the time being--for the absence in my schedule and my heart, of the Browns' return to the AFC Championship game.

As everyone knows, the one moment that perhaps sums up Cleveland Sports Torture more than anything else, happened 23 years ago, a mile high and a million memories ago.  A fantastic last drive, and The Fumble by Earnest Byner, just seconds after being called "The Money Man" by the announcers.  The last drive is immortalized below.  What Don Criqui called "this moment of tremendous pain" is really just one in a series of moments.  Perhaps the high--or low--point, but certainly not unique in Clevelanders' hearts.

It's this fire--fueled by moments like thirteen winters ago--that keeps us going, that keeps us focused, that will be extinguished only by a championship.


PS I am hoping with all my being that the Jets beat the Steelers then lose to the Bears.  Give me something.  And the Plain Dealer also pulled together a nice (if that is the right word) revisiting to the losses to the Broncos.