This one's for you, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ...
Straight from the W.W. Jacobs files of "be careful what you wish for" comes this year's Browns-Steelers game. Remember his story "The Monkey's Paw" that we all read in ninth grade? (Well, all of us outside Pittsburgh. They were still working on their McGuffey's Readers in high school.) In case you don't, here's the summary, using small words to help Steelers fans understand. Whoever possesses a certain monkey's paw talisman is granted three wishes. Mr. and Mrs. White receive the paw and all their wishes have horrible consequences, including the death of their son.
It looks Browns fans received their wish this season, W.W. Jacobs fashion. "Please, please, please God, make us as good as those awesome Pittsburgh Steelers!" we prayed. "If only we could be as good as a Super Bowl champion. It's all we've ever wanted!"
Wish granted, Browns fans! Suddenly the Browns are just as good as the Steelers. Of course you expected Rod Serling to appear and deliver the cruel twist of fate, didn't you? The Browns are finally as good as the Steelers BECAUSE THE STEELERS SUCK!!!!
Yes, this year's first Browns-Steelers game is a battle for last place. And who can't get excited about that, especially the day after the Greatest Game of All Time© is played in Columbus? Well, other than Braylon Edwards? Sure, the Steelers have beat the Browns nine out of the last 10 times. Sure, the Steelers have shut out the Browns three times since our return to the NFL in 1999. Sure, the Browns haven't scored more than 12 points in a home game against the Steelers since the turn of the century. None of that matters. God has granted us our wish.
Things are so bad that Steelers head coach Bill Cowher is talking about retiring. See what happens when the Browns catch up with you? Let's check out the scoreboard heading into Sunday's matchup: same record (3-6), our Evel Knievel wannabe is second in the league in receptions while theirs is 22nd in the league in passer rating, and the Browns have given up less points than the Steelers so far this year (184-207). Who wouldn't want to retire staring at all that, Super Bowl trophy in hand or not.
And here you thought God hated Cleveland sports.