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Filling The Void

Filling The Void: The Marathon By The Lake

Revisit a cold January day when the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets went into a second overtime before a winner was decided in the “Marathon By the Lake”

Cleveland Browns Helmet by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Filling The Void: The Marathon By The Lake

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

“It’s been a while”. That’s a phrase that we can all relate to these days, in more ways than one. More than a month has passed since the world was turned on its head by COVID-19. Here at The Turf, we’ve scoured the annals of the internet to bring you replays of sporting events of yore. We hope you’ve enjoyed our “Filling The Void” series as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing it to you. We’ve released over 50 events – from the remarkable to the mundane. Today’s installment could probably be filed under “remember when…”

Today: 1986 AFC Divisional Playoffs – Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets

Editor’s Note: You will need to watch this game on YouTube, because the NFL hates us.

I put this in the “remember when” category because recent history in the NFL has been pretty cruel to both of these franchises. The sentence would likely read “remember when the Browns and Jets were really good?”. Well, this game might be the memory that encapsulates that sentiment. They squared off in what would be one of the longest games in NFL history. The Browns had come off of one of their more successful seasons, going 12-4. They would win their division behind second-year coach Marty Schottenheimer and hometown hero QB Bernie Kosar.

Head coach Joe Walton and QB Pat Ryan piloted the Jets to a 10-6 record. They would take down the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round to advance and face Cleveland.

A Little Bit of Everything

Early offense gave way to stingy defense. Back and forth play made things stressful for fans of both teams as the clock continued to approach :00 in the 4th quarter. With just over 4 minutes left in regulation, the Jets took a 10 point lead. Their announcer, Charley Steiner, ended up jinxing them – proclaiming “the Jets are gonna win this football game!” Thanks to a couple of penalties and some stingy defense, the Browns were able to draw even and force overtime.

It took almost 3 minutes of the second overtime period before a winner was finally decided. Some of the greatest names for both clubs played in this game. Bernie Kosar, Ozzie Newsome, and Clay Matthews wore the white and brown for Cleveland. Mark Gastineau, Freeman McNeil, and Al Toon donned the green jerseys of the visitors. While both franchises have high hopes for their current rosters, I bet they’d both love having some of those guys be able to suit up for them this season.

See You Tomorrow. Be Safe. Be Smart. Wash Your Hands.

Joe is an actor who grew up eating, living and breathing sports. He spent many an afternoon on the soccer or baseball field in his youth (and even gave several other sports a shot) before a series of events put him on the path to pursuing a performing career. Subsequently, he's worked almost every other type of job you could imagine while trying to support that endeavor. Whenever he's not working any of those jobs, he can often be found watching, playing or discussing sports in some way. Most of that banter revolves around the Mets, Giants, Rangers or Manchester United. His short term goal is to fully convert his fiance into a rabid sports fan, not someone who leaves the room whenever he turns a game on.

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