Sunday, December 28, 2008

My First Browns Game

I went to my first Cleveland Browns game in 1984.

That morning I had played in my football league's all-star game. Throughout the game, one of the fathers was trying to sell his tickets. When no one bought them, he offered them to me and my dad. I had had an MVP day, playing tight end and middle linebacker and scoring a couple of TDs. The tickets were my reward. I could choose between them or an ice cream cone with the team. Uh, not really a choice.

The Browns lost that day. To the Jets. Something like 24-21. At the end of the game, I joined 73,000 other fans in chanting "Good! Bye! Sam!" It was Sam Rutigliano's last game as coach of the Browns. He was replaced the next day by Marty Schottenheimer.

Today, Calvin and I are going to get ready and head to Pittsburgh. I have a rare Sunday off, close to a town where my beloved Browns are playing, in a meaningless game. I hope there will be abundant tickets to score from scalpers for not-too-much. I've never done this before, but it's an opportunity that doesn't come around for us very often, so we're taking it.

Vin has learned a lot about football in the last couple of years, and this will be a fun experience for him. Hopefully we won't get any beer thrown on us by rowdy Stillers fans. And ... in a cosmic roundabout, I fully expect this to be Romeo Crennel's last game as Browns coach, and there has been speculation that he will be replaced by Marty Schottenheimer.


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