Frank Geib `15
The Cleveland Browns scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:40 left on the clock and took a 26-14 lead. They went up two scores with Jason Campbell finding Jordan Cameron wide open in the endzone. However, the game was not over there and that in fact was not the game-winning touchdown. The announcers on CBS were discussing how the Patriots sideline was doing ‘Math Gymnastics’ to figure out how they could win this game. I’m pretty sure the announcers meant to say something else but Bill Belichick and crew figured something out. The Patriots scored with a minute remaining to cut the lead to 26-21 and on the touchdown pass the Browns were called for unsportsmanlike conduct on a helmet to helmet hit. However, replay showed that the hit was shoulder to shoulder and the penalty proved costly to Cleveland. The Pats were now kicking an onside kick from midfield and of course the kick was executed perfectly as Browns running back Fozzy Whittaker missed the recovery. Tom Brady had the ball on the Browns 40 yard line with a minute left. On a streak pattern down the right sideline, the ball fell out of the reach of receiver Josh Boyce who was covered by Leon McFadden. Just when you get the feeling that our defense may be able to get a stop after what was fantastic coverage, a yellow flag could be seen on the ground. McFadden was called for Pass Interference and the ball was placed at the one yard line. All of Cleveland erupted at the call and immediately every fan began to blame the refs. Some said it was the worst officiating they had seen ever. The refs were poor but the Browns needed one more play to win the game in the last 2:40 and they could not get it. However, the Browns got the ball back with 30 ticks of the clock left after a 1 yd touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. Jason Campbell got the offense going and spiked the ball with one second left. Billy Cundiff came on to try a 58 yard field goal and it looked good but in typical Cleveland fashion, the ball fell short and the Patriots won 27-26.
This loss symbolizes in the best (and worst) way possible that Cleveland truly is the Factory of Sadness. After losing 7 of their last 8, you start to wonder if the Browns will ever win more than 5 games. But hey, the loss means a better draft pick and a chance to continue the ‘rebuilding’ process. The fan support will always be there but there comes a time when a man must ask the question: ”Does God hate Cleveland??”