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Is it a rivalry?

November 21, 2012 - Mike McLain
BEREA -- We know that the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is just that -- a rivalry.

Can the same thing be said about the Browns-Steelers rivalry? Some will suggest that it's no longer a rivalry because of the Steelers' dominance. Pittsburgh leads the series, 62-56, which doesn't seem so bad on the surface. However, the Steelers have won 29 of the 33 games dating back to the 1994 season.

“I’ve had people in the community tell me how important it is and what it means to play the Steelers,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “Then playing the games you feel that, whether it be on the sideline or in the crowd, you feel what it means. I know our players know, and our young players are being educated about it, and now I know.”

The rivalry hasn’t been kind to many Browns’ coaches. The last one that left Cleveland with a non-losing record was Chris Palmer, who was 2-2 in 1999-2000. The last coach to have a winning record in the rivalry was Marty Schottenheimer, who was 7-2 from the midpoint of the 1984 season through 1988.

With the Browns’ history of losing in mind, it probably doesn’t make sense to hand out inflatable flags prior to Sunday’s game between the teams. The flags, which are part of a Ticketmaster promotion, happen to be white, which is widely accepted as a sign of surrender in armed conflicts.

Imagine Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday filled with Steelers fans waving gold Terrible Towels after a win, while Browns’ fans are waving white flags? That would be owner James Haslam’s worst nightmare.


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