December 16, 2007

Snow Joke

BlizzardBowl3.jpg

As soon as we stepped out of the parking garage to walk down to the Stadium from 9th and Lakeside this afternoon, I knew I was short an item of clothing or two. I had the hat and gloves and all, but nothing to cover my face. I was soon wishing I had brought my sunglasses along...just to serve as goggles against the sting of snow pellets, being driven horizontally into my eyes by 40 mph winds. I said in an earlier post that we would be at today's Browns game, "unfazed" by the conditions. Check that.

I have been going to Browns games for 45 years, and for the last 20 seasons I can count the home games I've missed on the fingers of one hand. That's just context for my next statement that I have never seen anything like this before. I have been to several games colder than this one, and to others in which more snow fell on us than came down today. But for sheer viciousness on the part of Mother Nature, combining cold temperatures with wet, sticky snow propelled by high winds, today's game, an 8-0 win over Buffalo, takes the prize.

For some reason, my DVR failed to record the game for me so I couldn't watch the broadcast when we got home, but so far none of the photos I have seen do justice to the actual conditions on the lakefront today.

Some of these video highlights of Jamal Lewis' day give a little bit better feel for the visibility and overall conditions, but no highlights that I have seen so far have captured the plight of fans (okay, me) whose jeans, gloves and shoes were soaking wet before the game even started, and before the already sub-freezing temperatures began to drop like a rock down a mine shaft.

Once the game began, the oddest development was the insistence by both teams that they were going to throw the football in this mess, which they did to the tune of 57 passing attempts for the two teams combined. In the end though, it was Lewis and the Browns' offensive line who collectively took over the game with a punishing ground attack, bringing the Browns closer to a playoff spot than they have been in five years. Here's the AP game story, via ESPN.com.

And more commentary from John Clayton:

"Anderson didn't think the Browns would be in this position after their 34-7 opening loss to Pittsburgh. But to think the Browns would bounce back to win nine of the next 13 and be one win from clinching their first playoff appearance since 2002 is a story Hollywood scriptwriters couldn't sell."

Sort of like what they say about "a snowball's chance..."

UPDATE 12/18: The PD's Mary Kay Cabot spells out all of the possible playoff scenarios for the Browns.

Posted by dan at December 16, 2007 11:03 PM