Recently, when I thought about the upcoming rematch between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns, an incident that happened during my college years instantly came to mind.
Back in the day, I was visiting Lincoln University with a few of my buddies from Temple to attend a Curtis Mayfield concert. Right before the doors opened to the event, there was a confrontation between a brother who stood about 6’5” and 270 pounds, and a brother who was approaching “dwarf size” at about 4’10’’ and weighing about 150 pounds soaking wet. The disagreement was about a girl (no s—t, Sherlock). The big fella was busy yackety-yakking. The little fella kept saying, “I don’t want any trouble.” All of a sudden and I’m not kidding, the big guy charged the little guy and the little guy went up under him, picked him up and slammed him. The big guy looked a bit woozy like he was about to become a “sleeping giant.” The little guy left with the girl.
Right now, no one in their right mind seems to give the Cleveland Browns a snowball’s chance in hell as far as coming into Heinz Field on Oct. 28 and escaping with anything more than their lives, let alone a victory over the surging and rested Steelers. Well, I guess I am on my way to the “nuthouse” because in my crazy opinion, this may be one of the toughest games that the men in black and yellow may play this year. Last week was the Steelers’ bye week. They began their week in third place in the bloodthirsty AFC North Division. They ended their vacation in first place by a few percentage points without playing one snap because the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals both lost. If it weren’t for the nasty “tie” suffered in Cleveland at the hands of the Browns in the 2018 season-opener for both teams, the Steelers would have a little more breathing room at the top spot.
Pittsburgh cannot afford to overlook the Browns but they also have to take a sneak peek at their upcoming schedule because each remaining game represents a division title, wild card or even a possible bye week when planning for the postseason. The Browns are ranked 29th against the pass and the run. The Steelers began this week 18th against the pass and sixth against the run. On paper it appears to be advantage Steelers. When you factor in home-field advantage for the Black and Gold, it appears that the Browns may have to wait another Sunday to notch another victory onto their almost “notch-less” belt, but alas, for all those that haven’t learned a lesson in the past, beware of the little guys.
This is not just a game for the Cleveland Browns, this is a classic case for resurrection. This is the game that the “Lazarus”-led Browns plan to exit the tomb of incompetence and remove the “death shroud” of losing from the city and their fans. Don’t forget that the 21-21 tie with the Steelers might as well be considered a victory for Cleveland, especially if Pittsburgh loses the division by a half-game. And don’t forget, Cleveland defeated Baltimore earlier this season and only allowed them to score 9 points! If Cleveland lucks out and wins this upcoming game, you might as well say that the Browns were 2-0 against the Steelers in 2018. If I were the Steelers, I wouldn’t schedule a premature celebration with “lady victory” just yet because she might just have another lover on the side.
(Aubrey Bruce: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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