Going into this year’s draft off the shores of Lake Erie, there was a question that was floating around in my head. Who will Cleveland Browns boo louder, the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Baltimore Ravens? This question was answered pretty quickly on night one of the draft as the boos were out in full force when Pittsburgh was on the clock. However, when Baltimore was on the clock, it didn’t sound like there was much of a reaction.
So what does this mean in terms of the rivalries between the Browns and Steelers and the Browns and Ravens?
It means that Browns fans view the Steelers as the much bigger rival as compared to the Ravens. To a lot of long-time Browns fans, this probably makes sense because Browns vs. Steelers have so much history behind it. However, the Baltimore Ravens are the “old Cleveland Browns” even though the name Browns, the colors of brown and orange and the team history all stayed in Cleveland. But this doesn’t change the fact that Art Modell took the team to Baltimore. However, even with that little caveat, there was clearly more heat towards the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This is very surprising because, for several years, it didn’t feel like there was a rivalry between the Browns and Steelers since Pittsburgh has dominated the season series and the games haven’t meant anything. This seemed to change in Week 11 of the 2019 season with the whole Myles Garrett-Mason Rudolph incident that took place off the shores of Lake Erie at FirstEnergy Stadium. Since then, the games have been a little bit chippy, including the 38-7 Week 6 beatdown at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh last season (Click here to watch a video collaboration between UngarToTheMax and JusBlaze412, and SteelTwins who previewed that game). The Browns seemed to be the team who turned up the animosity and overall intensity in the Week 17 season finale, which should have been flexed into Sunday Night Football, and in the AFC Wildcard game. So perhaps the rivalry is coming back, but the Browns have to show that last season wasn’t a fluke and the games have to mean something.
As stated earlier, many Browns fans consider the Baltimore Ravens to be the “old Cleveland Browns”. But even that isn’t enough to make the Ravens the top rival for most Browns fans in the city of Cleveland, so I guess that puts me in the minority because I view the Ravens as the top rival for the Browns. Had I stayed for all of Round One, I would’ve given a bigger reaction when Baltimore was on the clock instead of Pittsburgh. When the Browns and Ravens have met each other over the past few seasons, the games between the two teams have been exciting and gone right down to the wire. Week 17 of the 2018 season in Baltimore and Week 14 on Monday Night Football from last season. Yes, Baltimore won both games, but the competitiveness and animosity were there.
Clearly, a majority of Clevelanders dislike the Steelers more than they dislike the Ravens. But that doesn’t matter because clearly there’s a rivalry between Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. It’s almost like the Ravens, Steelers and Browns form a rivalry triangle. However, the Steelers and Ravens rivalry has been the bigger rivalry (Click here to read an article I wrote about this topic). So with that being said, why are both home games against the Steelers and Ravens 1:00 kickoffs? Whereas, both games on the road in Baltimore and Pittsburgh are primetime games and that just doesn’t seem right. Week 12 in Baltimore is Sunday Night Football and an 8:20 pm EST kickoff while Week 17 in Pittsburgh is Monday Night Football at 8:15 pm EST.