It feels surreal even just to type this: the Cleveland Browns won a game of football. Hard to imagine, I know. But here we are, in the year of our lord, 2018, watching the team that is the Hard Knocks-est of the Hard Knocks actually chalk up a win.
The victory came on the coattails of the Browns earning their first non-loss since 2016 two weeks ago—after a tie gave the team its best start since 2004. But the tie became an afterthought Thursday night, as the Browns took on the New York Jets and by some kind of miracle secured a 21-17 win.
In the first half, the Jets capitalized on some sloppy plays by the Browns offense, but also felt the wrath of a surprisingly talented Browns defense. Then Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor was injured in the waning moments of the second quarter and on came rookie Baker Mayfield. Mayfield found a rhythm with his offense, namely with wide receiver Jarvis Landry—including a sneaky two-point conversion with Landry finding Mayfield in a role reversal—and erased a 14-3 halftime deficit to help the Browns pull off the comeback win in his NFL debut.
But a standard summary can't just encapsulate the beauty that was this game. No, there are too many gems from this one to put a tidy bow on it. Take, for example, Isaiah Crowell taking a premature ass-wipe celebration for Browns fans (browns—get it?) after scoring his second touchdown of the night.
The celebration would later come back to... bite him on the ass.
The winner of the day, however, proved to be the Browns' Carlos Hyde. Not only did the running back celebrate his 28th birthday, but he spent his game day bouncing back and forth between the hospital and the gridiron, as his wife went through labor, induced the night before. Despite showing up late to pregame, Hyde snagged two rushing touchdowns, including the game-winner. And then welcomed a child to the world shortly after:
Now that's a helluva 24 hours.
And, understandably, mayhem ensued off the field, too. It was a drought that long deserved a drenching, and so Browns fans were treated to their beloved victory fridges—fridges packed with Bud Light that had wifi-based locks set to open after the team's first (prospective and now very real) win:
The sweet taste of victory even had the Fuzz getting in on the occasion:
Bars erupted in pandemonium:
Including some, uh, perhaps premature celebrations about being "champions:"
A possum even showed up to the game:
And the heralding of a new Cleveland legend in the streets:
One Browns fan doctor was treated to cake because of the win:
The spectacle also produced vintage JR Smith, and was enough to have him promise to bum-rush the streets and take off his shirt (though not hard to make that happen):
Small wonder that Cleveland schools weren't canceled for the day.