PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WJW) — Is one of the most storied rivalries in the NFL heating up again? Cleveland and Pittsburgh fans seem to think so.
Despite a steady downpour and dreary weather in Pittsburgh, around 8 o'clock Sunday morning a group of Browns fans who drove to Heinz Field for the big game were busy setting up their orange Browns tent as they prepared to tailgate.
It wasn't ong before the group, and many other Browns fans who showed up in Steelers country, all broke out into chants of "Here we go Brownies, here we go."
Meanwhile Pittsburgh fans tailgating nearby bragged that their team has beaten the Browns many times in recent years.
But, Cleveland fans said they see the Browns improving in the coming years, making it a meaningful rivalry once again.
“We renewed the rivalry. We have a much improved run game now. Now we’ve got to compete and win. So let’s go Browns," said one Browns fan.
Fans from both cities also say the ugly on-field fight between Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph that occurred in Cleveland two weeks ago contributed to the rivalry reigniting and getting more intense.
The fight broke out when Rudolph kicked and punched Garrett, who sacked him with just a few seconds left in the game; the Steelers were also down by 14 points.
Garrett retaliated by grabbing Rudolph's helmet and slamming it over the quarterback's unprotected head.
The NFL suspended Garrett indefinitely and at least for the rest of the season.
That fight has started a blame game between players and fans from both teams. The debate is still continuing over which player started the fight.
"The rivalry has escalated. It’s escalated to a whole new level,” said another Browns fan.