Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sodom -v- Gomorrah

Sodom and Gomorrah meet in the NFL playoffs today when the BaltimoreIndianapolis Colts visit the Cleveland BrownsBaltimore Ravens. No one in Cleveland will be turned into a pillar of salt for watching. Instead, we will be turned into seething little balls of hate, filled to the lips with bile and anger, fueled by the rage of watching eight years of bad Browns football coupled with visions of Art Modell, Bill Cowher, and Bill Belichick holding the Lombarty Trophy high over their heads.

Coming two days after the 20th anniversary of The Drive, it's all just too much.

Apparently we're supposed to feel sorry for Baltimore fans and root for them to get their revenge by whipping the Colts today. After all, then-owner Bob Irsay stole the Colts from Baltimore in the dead of night nearly 23 years. The Mayflower moving trucks used for the late-night theft immediately became a symbol of the screwed-over fan. Baltimore fans cursed their fate.

Thirteen years later, Art Modell moved the Browns there. Baltimore became what it hated, a city that would steal another city's team and have a good laugh about it. There were Art Modell and Maryland governor Paris Glendenning laughing it up on the podium announcing the Browns' move. Now, nearly 13 years after that, the Ravens play host to the team that moved from Baltimore in a playoff game.

Now the Ravens are beloved in Baltimore.

Perhaps if Cleveland stole some other city's teams, such as was rumored with the Minnesota Vikings in the late 1990s, we would be enjoying the success Ravens' fans are enjoying. Maybe if we didn't have to start over and instead nabbed a team like the New Orleans Saints whose owner has long wanted to move we would be back in the playoffs again. Heck, maybe if we made Ozzie Newsome stay here when the Browns left, we'd have a chance to make our second Super Bowl in the 21st century.

But no, we're left out in the cold again. The best we can root for is for Ray Lewis to be arrested on the field at halftime as the murder case in Atlanta in which he was involved seven years ago is reopened. Or for the egg that Peyton Manning bursts from in that Gatorade commercial to roll onto the field, scoop him up, and roll away. Or for Art Modell to suffer a heart attack in the first quarter -- unless the Ravens lose, in which case we want the heart attack to come at the end of the game.

Most likely, this will be the most entertaining playoff game of them all, one that is talked about for decades. It will probably be labeled an instant classic, as the Ravens defense scores a late touchdown, and then Peyton Manning overcomes his troubles to lead the Colts to the winning score at the buzzer.

And all Ravens fans will collapse in a fake malaise, while all Clevelanders continue to suffer in silence.


LargeBill said...

A sloppy game of field goals lost by the Ratbirds. I'll take it. While our team sucks I can take some solace in watching Baltimore be a heavy favorite and lose.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful, hilarious blog.