The Browns game was all but lost. I had already gone "Zen" with the fact that they were going to lose as has become my custom ever since the Indians loss in the ALCS sealed the worst sports year in sports fan history. You see, I have to just go "Zen" with it because my spiritual being can't possibly handle the downward propulsion that is the Cleveland sports roller coaster any more. So, toward the end of the game as the Ravens were driving and as Matt Stover kicked a 47-yarder to put the Ravens up 30-27, just like he did last year in Cleveland, I had already committed to emotional neutrality. Not to rip off a certain sportswriter who is a Boston homer on ESPN's Page 2, but for me it is like being Ivan Drago in Rocky IV saying "if he dies, he dies" only with more resignation than indifference. I just say to myself, "If they lose, they lose" and try to watch without letting my heart explode.
That emotional neutrality was intact until Phil Dawson's game-tying field goal bounced off the upright, through the goal posts, off the curved center support bar, back through the uprights and into the end zone between the officials. As one official shook his head yes, the other shook his head no. The no's won it, albeit temporarily, and the teams started shaking hands. I came out of my cocoon to start screaming that the ball had gone through and should have been counted as a field goal, much to the surprise of my wife who had already been the recipient of the announcement that I was officially emotionally detached from the outcome of the contest.
The moment of honesty comes now because I was really just guessing that it should have been a field goal. I had no idea whether or not the ball just had to cross the plane of the goal posts like a TD or whether it had to go all the way through and hit dirt below. Turns out that it just has to cross the plane. The field goal counts. The Ravens have to get back on the field. We go to overtime. The Ravens inexplicably kick to Browns MVP Joshua "Soulja Boy" Cribbs and a few plays later the Browns are kicking a game winning field goal.