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Old 11-18-2006, 10:28 PM   #1
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Default Steelers-Browns rivalry is a classic one


Steelers-Browns rivalry is a classic one
Friday, November 17, 2006

The Steelers-Browns rivalry is one of the classic ones in the NFL, dating back to 1950. The two teams have played each other over 100 times, with some amazing games in their storied history. There have been close games and there have been blowouts.

"It's a special game," said head coach Bill Cowher. "There is no question about it. Rivalry is all how you want to view it. You wish both teams were 6-3 playing each other and it would take on more significance. But it is very significant with both teams being 3-6. When you look at the history and rivalry of how many times these teams have played and how some of the games have come down to it."

The distance between the two cities, only about 120 miles, and the passion both cities fans have for their teams, and dislike for the other, has added to the rivalry.

"The cities mirror each other from the standpoint of blue-collar people who have a great passion for their team and identify with their team," said Cowher. "That's the way Cleveland is. That's the way Pittsburgh is. You just have the two-hour distance apart. I think it's a very natural game that a lot of people get into. We understand that."

Cowher may know better than anybody what the rivalry is all about. He started his NFL career as a linebacker and special teams standout with the Browns. He later went on to be an assistant coach with them.

But now, there is no love for the guy who once wore orange and brown and now proudly sports black and gold.

"I've been called traitor many times," said Cowher of the Browns faithful reaction to him now. "I have been quickly reminded of all of the failures I have had in my career. They are very quick to point that out.

"They still get on me. When you play for them they love you, when you leave you become their biggest enemy."

The Steelers will face a challenge this Sunday when they go into Cleveland Browns Stadium to take on the Browns and face the fired-up Browns faithful in the Dawg Pound. Cowher and the Steelers know what to expect.

"It's not like the old Dawg Pound," said Cowher, referring to the section in the old Cleveland Stadium that was right on top of the end zone where the visiting team warms-up and often times dawg bones were tossed from. "At the old place I didn't stand right under the goal post. I think I moved up a little bit to get out of the throwing distance. The old place was pure Dawg Pound. But these fans are very passionate. I have great respect for that city and for those fans. I started my coaching career there and my playing career there. I was there for a long period of time. I understand what that team means for that city. I think it's good for football to have a team in that city."

In the last meeting between the two teams, the Steelers defeated the Browns 41-0 in Cleveland on Christmas Eve. Browns players have been quoted this week saying they haven't forgotten that sound beating and are looking for payback.

"It's a very important game," said Cowher. "It's a divisional game. Certainly where we are we have no margin of error. It's a place where you need to start fast. Once they get started it can make for a long afternoon."

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Old 11-18-2006, 11:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers-Browns rivalry is a classic one

and thats the bottom line cause the Black and Gold say so.

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