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On Sunday, the Seahawks pay a visit to the surprising Cleveland Browns. At 4-3, the Browns have surprised teams in the league. I joked in the gambling guide a few weeks ago that by giving New England a game, the city probably held a festival.
In all honesty, its nice to see the Browns do well. As an NFL fan, I have a soft spot for Cleveland, mostly because if anyone's fans deserve to watch a decent club, it's Cleveland fans. Not many fan bases in the league have suffered quite like Browns' fans.
For the first time since 2003 (the last time the two teams faced off) I will not be secretly pulling for the Browns. But, I'm going to be honest here: I am pulling for Joe Jurevicius.
He only played one season for the Seahawks, and yet for me, 'the Vicious' left a lasting impression. His 10 touchdowns that year are a career high. When his NFL career is over, Jurevicius' last press conference probably won't be televised and no one will start the five year counter to when he'll be inducted to the Hall of Fame.
And yet, every week, I look forward to watching him play. Maybe it was that he's clutch. He had a knack for coming up with big catches when the occasion called for it. Passes that Seahawks almost always dropped in the past were now finding their way into the ever secure hands of Jurevicius.
Maybe its that he's likable. When he scored two touchdowns in 2005 in St. Louis, his celebrations were both tributes to his son, one where he drew his initials in the field turf behind the endzone. It was not a "look at me" showing that many receivers in the NFL do upon scoring. Instead, it was a touching, fitting display of affection for his son who had received medical treatment in St. Louis.
When Jurevicius departed Seattle after one season, it was for all the right reasons. He wanted to play for his hometown Browns, to play in front of the crowds he was a part of growing up and to help turn around a franchise.
So far this season, Cleveland appears to be headed in the right direction. Jurevicius has been his usual quiet but productive self, earning 14 first downs and 3 touchdowns. And every Sunday, after he makes another catch, I still find myself yelling, "the Vicious!" just as he did when he played in Seattle.
While I hope I don't see a big game out of Jurevicius on Sunday...I doubt I'll mind it either.
Here's to an old friend.
[Comments taken in SeahawkBlue Forums]