Joey Porter and Kellen Winslow Jr. go in for a hug.
Hey Browns fans! Remember that glorious September morning when you woke up at six and cracked open that first Silver Bullet in the Muni Lot, and you took a long pull of God’s glory and raised that icy can to Lake Erie and spent the next five hours dreaming up really creative ways to tell passing Steelers fans that they totally suck? Remember how great that was, at least until the game started? How cathartic it felt? How real
Well Dave Dameshek
, a morning-drive host for ESPN Radio in Los Angeles, wants you to know you were wasting your breath, not to mention all that beer.
Dameshek, a Steelers fan, is one of the guests on Patriots loyalist Bill Simmons’ most recent ESPN podcast.
The two spend much of the show reliving the past glories of their respective boringly successful NFL franchises. Then, at about the three minute mark, the lovingly unpredictable Browns are unceremoniously dragged into the pair’s self-hump fest, when Simmons refers to the Pats and Steelers as “rivals.” Dameshek’s response should make you want to fly to LA and Dame-shank him in the face. But judge for yourself:
I don’t even think rivalry is applicable. It’s sort of like, as a Steelers fans, it’s the equivalent of the way we regard Browns fans. I love it. Wherever I go, people from Cleveland come up to me and they say, 'Oh you’re a Steelers fan? I’m a Browns guy. We’re bitter rivals.' And I say, 'Really? Are we rivals? Because as far as I can tell, rivalry is when you sometimes win. We destroy you whenever it counts and have for the last 40 years.’
By strict definition of the word “rivalry,”
Dameshek’s probably right, and his is a common argument. The spoiled pricks at the rich high school up the street from mine used to make the same argument, which was convenient for them when we started kicking their asses regularly. (And no, I don’t think the fact that it was boy’s volleyball makes our triumph any less sweet).
But the way it’s commonly used, ‘rivalry’ to me simply means two teams that don’t like each other, and really don’t like losing to each other, at least to the degree that such rancor is possible when everyone on the field is so rich they’re wearing diamond-encrusted mouthpieces. How competitive it is seems like an afterthought.
It’s always seemed, at least from watching on TV, that the Browns and Steelers have a little thing going, a little edge on Sundays that doesn’t exist between, say, the Browns and the Rams. Now maybe I’m getting hoodwinked by Television Guys, who, if they could, would make a rivalry out of Browns-Niners or Cavs-Grizzlies or whoever. But I don’t think so. I think there’s a rivalry there. And judging by the tone of Dameshek’s voice – he sounds like a little boy claiming to not care about a girl he secretly loves -- I think he does too. – Joe P. Tone