Friday, December 11, 2009

Priceless "Cold Delight"

Ecclesiastes 7:8 states that patience is better than pride. Last night Browns fans' patience paid off!

They had a rare opportunity to see a Cleveland win over the Steelers. Cleveland fans who showed up in the sub-zero wind chill also had the priceless gift of telling the many Pittsburgh guests present at Browns Stadium to enjoy the late-night trip home. And they can carry the news that this year, Pittsburgh's season will end at exactly the same time Cleveland's will.

Living out of town for many years, I saw it courtesy of the NFL Network. It looked like a typical, pre-2000 game with plenty of emotion from the home team, defensive muscle-flexing, and the Browns finally taking advantage of their home cooking with only their second win in 2009, still assuring them of very high draft choices in 2010.

In the what-have-you-done-for- me- lately world of American sports, and just about everything else, I'm not sure there's anything of learning value here. Or is there? Last year's Champion has been dethroned by a 2-11 team, and knocking them off has made the Browns' season better in a way that beating any other team could not.

No love lost with Pittsboigg. As a team, city, and fan-dom, they refused to honor Cleveland's 1995 going- away- black- arm- band- party that dark year. So much for the special place we think we have in our rival's heart. More recently some Steelers have whined about Cleveland-Pittsburgh not really being a rivalry, with games being lopsided in their favor since 2000.

But it was never about the last few years only. It is about shared history, which has shown eras of dominance from either team and many, many close finishes. And it's in the long view that last night's brawl is priceless. Some things only patience can appreciate.

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