It was a sad ending to the 2011 season for the Cleveland Browns, who hung tough against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their final game of the season but couldn't pull off an upset, losing 13-9 on a snowy, cold day in Cleveland.
The Browns thus finish the season at 4-12, failing to exceed or even match their 5-11 mark from 2010, while their rivals, the Steelers, will move on to postseason play.
There's nothing Cleveland fans loathe more than losing to the hated Steelers, except maybe the fact that the team once again failed to make the playoffs, or even reach the .500 mark.
Our expectations were somewhat tempered this season (as they have been for most seasons in the recent past), as we knew the team was too young and inexperienced to have a shot to contend for a division title or a wild-card spot.
Still, at the start of the year, most of us did expect something better than a 4-12 season fraught with disappointment and controversy beyond anything we expected, even from the Browns, who seem to have a knack for that sort of thing.
But because we've all suffered enough this season, and because the Browns, despite failing to pull off a win today, did play a pretty solid game, I think it best to end the season on a positive note, and focus mostly on what we learned in this game that relates to what went right, rather than what went wrong.
As frustrating as covering the Browns was at times this season, it was still mostly a pleasure for me, as was interacting with the fantastic commenters we have in the Browns community here on Bleacher Report. We may not have one of the NFL's best teams, but we sure have one of the NFL's best fan bases.
Cheers, Dawg Pound faithful! We'll get 'em next year!