Before Myles Garrett swung Mason Rudolph’s helmet with eight seconds left in the game, the Browns were set to complete a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, something that hasn’t happened since 2014.
The Browns dominated all three aspects of the game, fueled by outstanding performances from Baker Mayfield and Joe Schobert.
But within those dominating performances, the Browns and Steelers rivalry was renewed.
I’ve been a Browns fan for my entire life.
I was at the game in Heinz field where DeShone Kizer’s pass fell tragically through Corey Coleman’s arms, resulting in an 0-16 season.
I’ve attended games at FirstEnergy Stadium with my dad, where Terrible Towels surrounded our season ticket seats, watching our home team get routed by the enemies from the east.
I’ve lived through James Harrison virtually ending Mohamed Massaquoi’s career with a brutal hit. I’ve seen Harrison snap Josh Cribbs and Colt McCoy, then dance and celebrate, puffing his chest over their lifeless bodies.
Still today, I’m forced to watch the highlight of Antonio Brown cleating Spencer Lanning in the face, a clip that the NFL still, for some reason, uses for promotional videos.
When Garrett clocked Rudolph at the end of Thursday night’s showdown, I didn’t celebrate the same way that Pittsburgh fans did when Harrison would deliver a ferocious blow. I felt embarrassed for Garrett, for the Browns. I couldn’t believe what just happened.
Rudolph, by the way, thankfully walked away from the scuffle unscathed.
He also will not be suspended, and is set to face the Browns again in two weeks at Heinz Field. This is probably best for Cleveland, who capitalized on the rookie’s four interceptions in the route.
Alas, the Browns versus Steelers rivalry is back. With the two fanbases clashing on social media, it seems as if Thursday’s scuffle has fueled debates between fans again. Also, the “hatred” between teams is undoubtedly back, based on comments made at press conferences by both parties since the incident.
The Steelers felt as if they were “bullied” by the Browns. Finally. After years of being the punching bag, the Browns aren’t going to just roll over any longer.