A Purely Objective Analysis of AFC North Teams

Fan Commentator Danimal busts loose with his first article since clawing his way to a top-tier finish in Commentate-Off 2K2. In his debut entry, Danimal takes a scientific and wholly objective look at the merits of each AFC North team.

It seems to me that every team's fans believe that their team has the best fans and is the best team to like. Each fan's team has the coolest uniforms, the most GQ-worthy stars, and the best chances for success. I feel this is particularly true of fans of the teams in the AFC Central, er, AFC North. Talk to a Raven fan and said fan will jump into a soliloquy how Ogden is Anthony Munoz and how Brian Billick really isn't Satan. A Steeler fan is also likely to suffer from some form of delusion; he may actually try to convince you Terry Bradshaw does not have the IQ of an amoeba. Bengal fans, if you can find them, tend to extol the virtues of Takeo Spikes' speed, neglecting to mention their miserable quarterbacking conundrum or the fact that they're the L.A. Clippers of the NFL.


So, as a completely neutral, objective, and unbiased observer, I will do a service for fans of each of the four teams of the AFC North. With apologies to Nick Bakay, I will elucidate and break down the pros and cons of each team and of being a fan of each team.


Cleveland Browns




-         Tailgating: The closest I will ever get to nirvana or utopia is chilling in the Muni lot with thousands upon thousands of fellow Browns fans devouring food that take years off your life (beer, red meat, beer, and, um, beer). Truly one of the great tailgating venues and atmospheres in the NFL.

-         No logo: Logos are for sissies.

-         It's CLEVELAND BROWNS STADIUM; not 3QualcommDeltaCoorsEnron Stadium

-         Resiliency: Our many heartbreaks have taught us to be resilient and that we can cope with just about anything the world sends our way.

-         Other Browns fans: I can honestly say I have never met a group of fans more knowledgeable and passionate as Browns fans. I learn something new almost every time I visit the forums here, and this web site is an outgrowth of the knowledge and passion we possess.

-         Turkey Jones: It is somewhat gratifying that the signature play of the Browns-Steelers rivalry, the most important rivalry for either team, is that of an average Browns DE using the Steelers best QB of all time as a wrestling dummy.

-         We have a WR named Frisman in camp.




-         We have to keep explaining to dilettantes that, yes, there was an NFL prior to the first Super Bowl, and championships were awarded back then. So, yes, the Browns have won NFL championships before (it would help if we could win a Super Bowl, but hey).

-         Whenever one of the myriad of ESPN stations runs an "NFL's Greatest Games" special, the Drive is usually included.

-         We have to endure quizzical looks from others whenever we say "Let the Mule Plow" or "There's a gleam" or "Da Bang Stick." Those poor saps…if they only knew.


Baltimore Ravens




-         Free syringes for those within Baltimore city limits (the needles may not be clean, and they may not be distributed by a health official, but they are free!)

-         You can be a "family man" even if you're a homicidal porn star

-         You can beam with pride, "Yes, we had the fattest defensive tackle in the NFL"

-         Open try-outs to the public to fill in the defense around the Ray Lewis due to team's salary cap purge



-         Knowing your team is now the Browns' bitch

-         All that history of Amache, Johnny U, Mackey, Curtis, and Berry now resides in Indianapolis, not Baltimore; Trent Dilfer is now the best Baltimore QB ever

-         Erict Rhett, yes, Erict Rhett, calling the owner's son "weird"

-         Team was named after a poem by an LSD-addled lunatic


Cincinnati Bengals




-         Ickey Woods

-         Akili Smith jersey makes for an attractive doormat…or was that Akili himself?

-         Because the team never sells out (except vs. Pittsburgh and Cleveland), Bengal fans in Cincinnati fans don't have to see how bad they really are



-         Those bothersome front office people going to door to door asking for money

-         Concession stands consist of Spamballs and prune juice to save money

-         Star running back takes up significant amount of ink in book "Public Heroes, Private Felons"

-         Those mean and obnoxious Browns fans outnumber Bengals fans at home games


Pittsburgh Steelers




-         Quarterback proves it's OK to cry and to be in touch with your feminine side

-         Mullets

-         At least no matter how ugly you are, you can say there's at least one person in the world uglier than you – the head coach

-         Off-the-chain parties with Plaxico, kind of like the video to Tupac's "I Get Around"



-         Jim Brown's constant cracking on Franco for being a pu…  er, running out of bounds

-         The team's best QB of all time continually embarrassing himself week after week on Fox

-         Chris Berman refers to the team's stadium as "the big ketchup (or is it catsup?) bottle"

-         Jealousy over other cities' dental plans

-         Lame-ass signs like "Amazing Steelers"…gee, how long did it take to come up with that one?

-         Weegie Thompson

-         No firm grasp of the English language (It's Iron city, not Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrn City)

-         West Virginia, Kentucky, Pittsburgh…it's all Appalachia

-         Myron Cope



Clearly, after scientifically pouring over the available evidence, the Browns are indeed the best team to like in the AFC Central, er, North.  Hallelujah!

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