AMERICA'S Team played Everyman's Team in Monday Night Football on prime time last night.
is back in the NFL
America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys, lost to Everyman's Team, the Cleveland Browns, 20-17, in overtime.
While some might dispute the Cowboys' claim, few will argue that the Browns have had perhaps the National Football League's most rabid fans.
Even Elvis Presley was said to have rooted for the Browns.
Now they're back. The Browns, not "The King."
Clearly, no one was a more fervent to see that the NFL return to Cleveland than league commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
He pushed for the Browns to return and they have, making it one of the most remarkable comebacks in NFL history.
So it wasn't mere coincidence that the Browns:
Celebrated their rebirth in Canton, Ohio, pro football's birthplace.
Played before a national television audience on Monday Night Football instead of Saturday afternoon in conjunction with the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
Had the high-profiled Dallas Cowboys as their opponents, ensuring high TV ratings.
Even Cowboys coach Chan Gailey was caught up with the Browns, an expansion team with a history:
"I have a hard time thinking the Cleveland Browns are new. That doesn't sound right. It seems like there ought to be some special name or exotic name for an expansion team."
Despite the rich tradition of the Browns in Cleveland, even the most rabid Dawg Pound fans, who bleed orange and brown, must realize that Cleveland is an expansion team, so don't expect miracles.
Still, it's great to see them back in Cleveland where they belong after a three-year absence.
You've got to root for a team named the Browns, who had two famous Browns in their franchise history - coach Paul Brown and running back Jim Brown.
Interestingly, there are two Browns starting at tackle for Cleveland - Lomas Brown and Orlando Brown.
But most of all, it's nice seeing the plain orange helmets back on the football field.
IT was interesting watching the Denver-San Diego game Down Under last Saturday.
What struck me the most was what wasn't mentioned during the entire telecast: June Jones.
Despite frequent closeups of the Chargers' new coach, Mike Riley, there was no mention of his predecessor, who left to take the head coaching job at the University of Hawaii.
Too bad. It would have been nice if the Rainbow football program had a little national publicity.
And, wouldn't you know it? The 25-second clock on the scoreboard at the $500 million Stadium Australia, site of the 2000 Olympics, went on the blink.
It's nice to know that Aloha Stadium isn't the only place with a malfunctioning clock.
ALOHA (means goodbye) Stadium: Who would have thought that the last time anybody would see Detroit's Barry Sanders run might have been at last February's Pro Bowl - which marked the final game for Reggie White and John Elway.
We knew it was going to be White's aloha game at Aloha Stadium. Elway hadn't decided at the time, but retired soon afterwards.
Now Sanders, the Lions' nonpareil running back, has retired.
If indeed it's so, the last Pro Bowl really should be called the Aloha Pro Bowl.