Did anybody expect fireworks from the Browns in their season debut on "Monday Night Football"? OK, maybe coach Eric Mangini did in his world of delusion, but I doubt anybody who sat in chilled Cleveland Brown Stadium did.
Oh, a touchdown or two would have been nice. It would have relieved the humdrum of a game between the hapless Browns and the struggling Ravens. Yet the closest either team came to scoring points was a missed field goal -- typical for Baltimore -- that the Ravens missed in the first quarter. It sailed wide right.
The rest of the 30 minutes of first-half football was a game that had Ohio State coach Jim Tressel's fingerprints on it. Low-risk football was the order of the night, so neither Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco nor Browns quarterback Brady Quinn, resurrected from the scrap heap, looked as if he was ready to get into an old AFL-like shootout.
So what a national TV audience saw, those people who had their TV sets on and hadn't switched to the movie "Family Plan" on the Hallmark Network or "True Life" on MTV, saw a 0-0 game: no scores, no turnovers but big hits aplenty.
In that regard, it was a win for Browns fans, who didn't come into the game expecting Quinn to fill the air with passes. So if this were a boxing match, the Browns might have won in split decision.
It wasn't, so the sell-out crowd and the TV audience had to wait until the second half in hopes of seeing something that resembles action in a football game.