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Cleveland is really pissing me off

The Browns and their fans still can't seem to let go of the end of the 2007 season. Apparently, it is Tony Dungy's fault that the Browns screwed up, again, and didn't make the playoffs. I will be the first to admit that, when it comes to dealing with things like these, Tony Dungy is a better man than me. And after reading this article, forwarded to me by TheSportsGuru, my opinion on Dungy is reinforced:

Colts coach Tony Dungy is aware that he's not the most popular person in Cleveland. He approached me outside a meeting room in the NFL headquarters hotel and said, "What did people in Cleveland want me to do, keep Peyton (Manning) in with a 30-0 lead?"
He was referring to the Colts' 16-10 loss to Tennessee in the last game of the regular season. The Tennessee win knocked the Browns out of the playoffs.

I told Dungy that Browns fans, hurt by their team's loss to Cincinnati the week before, wanted Dungy to play Manning long enough to get a lead and then play defense to win.

"That's what I wanted," Dungy said. "But we went downfield on our first drive and lost the ball."
Manning actually played in two series and was removed in the second quarter after getting a field goal on the board.

Dungy is a good man and doesn't deserve the abuse he's taken in emails and voicemails I've received. He knows he'll be booed when the Colts visit Cleveland this season.

"I just hope it's not in the second week of the season," Dungy said.


"Because it will be fresh in their minds that early," he replied.

Tony D is a good man to reach out to Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and articulate his concerns. This is why he has such a great reputation around the league. If this were me, I'd tell the loser Cleveland fans still whining about 2007 that it is not the responsibility of the Colts to ensure the Browns make the playoffs. Had Cleveland beat Cincinnati in Week 16, the Browns would have made the playoffs. They didn't. Yet, somehow, it's not Romeo Crennel's crappy coaching or Derek Anderson's putrid QB play down the stretch that's the culprit. It's Tony Dungy's decision to rest starters in a meaningless game. Here's some of the wonderful comments to the article by Browns fans:
But it's still a load of garbage the way the Colts finished the season. Karma came back and bit them anyway. Look at the Giants......they were already locked into their playoff spot, but w/ an undefeated Patriots team coming to town, they went all out. Why? For PRIDE. I think Karma gave them the super bowl.

Football is the only sport where every game matters. It takes away from the game when teams pull that bull.

Ah yes, the pride and joy of the Mistake By the Lake, displaying all their magnificent wisdom on the subject of football. I particularly love how "karma" did in the Colts, undoubtedly a result of not playing starters so Cleveland would be assured a playoff spot.

It is truly amazing a stupid people can be.

Now, obviously, other fans in the talk-back comments disagreed with this yutz and seemed to have common sense. There's nothing wrong with Indy resting starters before a playoff game, especially if the team is not healthy. The argument for keeping starters in to build "momentum" is silly because if no one is healthy, momentum is kind of a problem. Even using the NY Giants as an example is stupid. The Giants didn't win it all because they played the Patriots tough in Week 17. They won it all because they were the best team of 2007. Period. It is literally that simple. It wasn't momentum, karma, Jessica Simpson, or little green men dressed in Tiki Barber jerseys that helped them win the Lombardy. The NY Giants were the best in the NFL, and they proved it. That is why they won. Their QB is one clutch muthaf*&ker. Their pass rush is sick! Their running game is solid. And their defensive coach is one of the best in the league. It also didn't hurt them to play a banged up Tampa Bay team in the Wild Card and a Wade Phillips-coached team in Round 2. Those, in my humble opinion, had a bit more to do with them winning and building "momentum" than the meaningless Week 17 Pats game.

Regarding the Colts, injuries were the reason Indy lost to San Diego, not a lack of momentum. I'm really getting tired of explaining this to people who simply do not understand basic, simple reality. Remember, the Colts came out smoking hot at the beginning of the playoff game and were dominating San Diego. Then, after halftime, they simply ran out of players, and out of steam. Robert Mathis, Raheem Brock, and Marvin Harrison were still hurt, and did little to help the effort as they limped all over the field. Reggie Wayne, Joseph Addai, and Dallas Clark went down in the game as well.

So please Cleveland, spare me the whine and cheese. If you want to make the playoffs, WIN! It is that simple. If any Cleveland fan is still complaining about that Week 17 game, that fan is a Grade A loser and his or her opinions mean about as much to me (and anyone else) as a Bill Simmons article on the greatness of Boston sports. Let. It. Go. Cleveland.

Because if you don't, karma will indeed come back to bit you big time when the Colts smoke your sorry ass during the 2008 season.

Update [2008-4-3 10:50:18 by BigBlueShoe]: I exclude Chris from this article because I truly believe he and the fans of Dawgs By Nature have moved on.