Heinz Field. A real house of horrors for Browns’ fans, a place where the pain has festered and grown with every loss. Depending on how old you are, you might not remember the Browns ever winning in Pittsburgh. The last time the Browns won a game in Yinzer land was back in 2003 when Tim Couch was the QB, Finding Nemo was in theaters, and In Da Club by 50 Cent was the song of the year. Since that win, the Browns have lost 16 games in a row when traveling east on the turnpike, a whole seasons worth of games. Yet, in every game, there is a painful memory attached to Heinz Field.
Some will point out that James Harrison speared Browns players like Colt McCoy and Mohamed Massaquoi with his helmet. Other people will say Spencer Lanning getting kicked in the face by Antonio Brown, or how Big Ben won a game he wasn’t supposed to play in after his back up got injured. There’s always the December tradition of firing the head coaches after games in Pittsburgh. Even 0-16 was cemented at Heinz Field by a dropped pass by Corey Coleman against their 2nd and 3rd Stringers. First Energy Stadium might be the factory of sadness, but Heinz Field has been the house of pain.
The Browns’ ineptitude and futility have been paired with the Steelers bashing their brains in at Heinz Field. Year after year, it has been something we expect. That is why the Browns need to steal a win in Pittsburgh, not just for playoff implications, but for the statement it would make. It might not erase the years of losing in that building, but it will say that change is coming that the Browns are now finally a team to respect in the AFC North.
If Stefanski and the Browns want to show the world this isn’t the “Same Ole’ Browns”, winning in Pittsburgh is a requirement. It won’t just signal that you’ve changed to the fanbase, but the NFL world will take notice. That is why winning in Heinz Field is essential, it’s not just winning against a division rival, but it’ll show that the lovable losers are ready to contend.