It was announced today... the Browns will open the 2007 NFL season at home in Cleveland Browns Stadium versus the evil, hated Pittsburgh Steelers on September 9th.
The storied series is tied at 55-55-0 (including playoffs) but the Browns have lost 7 in a row (last winning in 2003), 13 of 14, 14 of 17 since returning to the NFL in 1999, and 20 of 23 since 1994.
The series turns a new page with the (temporary) retirement of Bill Cowher and new Head Coach Mike Tomlin, a new coaching staff/philosophy and the departure of the diabolical Joey Porter. Offensive divas Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward take over on top of Cleveland's Most Hated List for 2007.
The last time the Browns and Steelers opened against each other was September 12, 1999 when the Browns were reintroduced to the NFL to the tune of a 43-0 ass kicking on National TV.
Romeo Crennel could not ask for a better AND worse scenario. Win and he'll equal the division win total of his first two years on the job and instill optimism for the season. Lose and let the cries for his head begin.
Get embarrassed and well, I don't want even to think about it, but it is a very distinct possibility. The Steelers may be beginning a transition into a new era, but they still have a ton of talent and want to prove the 2005 season wasn't a fluke. Most of the current players treat the "rivalry" as joke, and for obvious reasons, as I stated above, losing 20 out of 23 isn't much of a rivalry at all. It fact it's a disgrace.
The question is can the 2007 Browns make the rivalry relevant once again?