Thanks to a controversial drop in the end zone (by Cleveland native Lee Evans) and a botched chip shot field goal (by former Brown Billy Cundiff), the Baltimore Ravens fell to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game today, 23-20. It was all part of a heartwarming tribute to the 25th anniversary of “The Drive,” in which the franchise now known as the Ravens was painfully edged out by the same 23-20 score in a game that also sent its winner to a Super Bowl matchup with the New York Giants.
“We did what we came here to do, wooo!” shouted a predictably sanctimonious Ray Lewis after the game. “I am a scholar of this game, and that’s the kind of heartbreak this great franchise was founded on. This one was for you, Ozzie!”
Indeed, Ravens GM and former Cleveland Browns tight end Ozzie Newsome confirmed to reporters after the game that his team was paying homage to its Cleveland roots. “I actually was hoping Cundiff would make the field goal but have it erroneously called no good,” he said. “That would have been a nice twist on 1987, when that f%#@er [Denver Broncos kicker Rich Karlis] clearly pushed that overtime kick wide and they called it good anyway.”
Surprisingly, current Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner (speaking from a loge at some limey soccer match) was quick to criticize the Ravens’ kindly re-enactment of a key piece of Browns history.
“I think the whole thing was extremely misguided,” he said, “considering that the Ravens are not the Browns. Did they forget that Cleveland retained the colors and history of the original Browns franchise? The Baltimore Ravens have no connection to the Cleveland Browns or that gloriously soul-crushing part of Browns lore.”
“Nah, that’s a bunch of bullshit,” countered Newsome. “First of all, I was there… for all of it. And I’ll put it to you like this. Remember the movie Old Yeller, when the kid has to shoot his beloved old dog in the face, and then the adults reward him with some new ‘replacement’ puppy that’s supposed to make him forget about it? Well, no matter how much you try to gloss over it, the current Cleveland Browns are that stupid imposter puppy. And Old Yeller is still alive and kicking in Baltimore, Man. We got your dog, Cleveland. But we’re taking good care of him, don’t worry.”
For Newsome, part of that quality pet care means letting an old dog do what comes naturally to it, such as focusing on defense, the running game, and losing AFC Championships in heartbreaking fashion.
“After all those years in Buffalo, this was probably my one and only chance to get to a Super Bowl,” said Lee Evans, sounding surprisingly chipper after having a potentially game-winning touchdown catch stripped from his hands in the final moments. “But the fact is, I’m much more grateful to be experiencing what my heroes like Webster Slaughter and Brian Brennan experienced back in the ‘80s. This is the kind of stuff you dream about as a kid in Cleveland—getting within an arm’s reach of the top of the mountain, only to have someone come out of nowhere and tear your arm away, leaving you hanging on the edge, then slipping and falling to your eventual doom in front of millions of horrified spectators. I am living the dream!”
“It’s better than being Scrappy Doo,” said all remaining Browns fans.
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