Oh, if only the struggling Browns offense could do the same when it comes up just short on a third-down attempt.
In an attempt to avert the club's first home TV blackout of the expansion era – and the first since 1995 – the Browns late Thursday afternoon extended the deadline by 24 hours, until 4 p.m. Friday, for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers to be sold out and shown locally.
According to the Browns, "a few thousand tickets" remain in the 73,200-seat facility for the contest, which begins at 4:05 p.m.
Per NFL rule, a blackout can be enacted if a game is not sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff, which in this case was 4 p.m. Thursday. Teams have the power to extend the deadline if they wish, but they must get league approval to do so, which the Browns obviously did.
If the blackout is lifted, then the game will be shown in the Cleveland area on WOIO, Channel 19.
The nationally-televised game against the Pittsburgh Steelers next Thursday night is a virtual sellout, but tickets remain for the final two home contests, against the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 27 and versus the Jacksonville Jaguars on Jan. 3 in the season finale.
Tickets for those games, and the one against the Chargers, can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com; by calling Ticketmaster's toll-free automated numbers at (800) 745-3000 or TTY (800) 359-2525; at all local Ticketmaster locations; or at the Cleveland Browns Stadium box office from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday.
The last time a Browns home game failed to sell out and was blacked out locally was the final contest in Cleveland of the original franchise before its move to Baltimore, on Dec. 17, 1995 against the Cincinnati Bengals. A raucous – and tearful – crowd of 55,875 turned out to see the Browns win 26-10.
Since then, 84 Browns home games over 11 seasons, dating back to the 1999 expansion campaign, have sold out and were televised in the Greater Cleveland area.
The current Browns team is 1-10 and coming off a 16-7 loss to the Bengals last Sunday, their sixth defeat in a row. The Chargers are 8-3 and have won six straight.
The Browns have won 84 consecutive times when it comes to filling up its stadium. We'll see shortly if they're able to do it again.