Talk about irony; if ever we were provided proof that what goes around comes around, we got it in Cleveland this past Sunday.
When we last parted company with the delicious little Brownies of Cleveland's "Worst Coast," Corey Fuller was verbally accosting Tom Coughlin as they left the field in Jacksonville on Sept. 30. Fuller went out of his way to chide Coughlin for having made a comment to his team Fuller believed disrespected the Browns. Those witness to the postgame confrontation reported Fuller's language to have been a seminar in expletives.
Of course, this followed a game in which Mark Brunell was "earholed" by Browns rookie defensive tackle Gerard Warren. You know the particulars.
All right, let's look at what happened in Cleveland this past Sunday.
Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward put a block on safety Earl Little, who was also a big talker in Jacksonville, that caused Little to be rammed from behind by teammate Dwayne Rudd. The combination of the two blows caused Little to be knocked cold and to suffer a concussion. After the game, the Browns accused Ward of taunting Little following the block.
During the game, Fuller approached the Steelers sideline with some derisive comments. Steelers coach Bill Cowher retaliated verbally. As the teams left the field after the game, Fuller and Cowher exchanged unpleasantries again. Fuller said Cowher used profanity.
The Browns have sent videotape of the Ward-Little play to the NFL office, seeking a fine against Ward for taunting.
Does this sound familiar? Isn't all of this a reverse carbon copy of what happened in Jacksonville? Then, it was the Browns doing the hitting and it was the Jaguars who petitioned the league office for review of Warren's hit on Brunell, which resulted in Warren being fined $35,000.
Browns fans bashed the Jaguars for whining and crying about Warren's hit on Brunell. Browns fans said Brunell should've expected as much following an interception.
Well, who's whining now?
Of course, there is one major difference between the Browns-Jaguars incident and the Steelers-Browns exchange. Yesterday, Cowher offered a public apology to the Browns.
"The first thing that I would like to do is issue an apology for my actions towards Corey Fuller on Sunday," Cowher said at his Tuesday press conference. "I apologized to the team after the game. I was wrong and I certainly don't condone those types of actions."
"It was a clean hit. I've talked to the league as well. Knowing Hines Ward, he did not mean to stand over the guy and he was wrong in doing that. Certainly he was not trying to hurt anybody. It was an emotional game. A lot of things were being said during the course of the game and before the game. Hines was wrong in that action that may have been perceived as him standing over a player who potentially could have been hurt. We're all happy that Earl Little is fine," Cowher said, adding that Ward should've been penalized for taunting.
Fuller offered no apology for his abusive language to Coughlin, Warren expressed no regret for his hit on Brunell or having intentionally walked over the back of Sean Dawkins' leg as Dawkins lie defenseless on the ground near the sideline, and coach Butch Davis made no admissions of unsportsmanlike conduct for his players having jumped up and down on the Jaguars' midfield logo during pregame.