Kevin Stefanski missed Browns' crazy first play live, but knew from family's reaction it was good

Frank Schwab
·2 min read

Every sports fan has had it happen: You’re watching a game, a bit behind the live feed for whatever reason, when you get a spoiler alert for a big play. Maybe it’s a text or a mobile alert, but you know something good happened before it shows up on the screen.

It’s just not common for that happen to an NFL head coach.

The Cleveland Browns started their wild-card playoff game in a crazy way. The Pittsburgh Steelers sailed a shotgun snap over Ben Roethlisberger’s head and into the end zone, where the Browns recovered for a touchdown after a scramble. They led 7-0 just seconds into the game and it kept getting better from there in the win.

Here’s a story that fits this crazy season: Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, watching in his basement due to COVID-19, missed the play live because his feed was behind. But he had an idea something good was about to appear on his screen.

Kevin Stefanski missed Browns’ first TD live

Stefanski saw the Browns’ first playoff touchdown in 18 years just like most people, on his television. Unlike many Browns fans, he didn’t experience it live.

Stefanski said his feed was about 45 seconds behind, because he might have pressed pause before that first play from scrimmage. But he heard a lot of commotion from his family.

“I heard my kids going crazy upstairs,” Stefanski said. “I had an inkling something good was going to happen on that first play.”

It’s not the way Stefanski wanted to experience that memorable play. But it’s a unique story he’ll remember for a while.

Cleveland Browns strong safety Karl Joseph (42) recovers a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Cleveland Browns strong safety Karl Joseph (42) recovers a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Browns got a big playoff win

The Browns took the momentum from that first play and had a 28-0 lead before the first quarter was over. After decades of frustration, the Browns had their big playoff moment.

It says something about the Browns, and also improvements to the organization Stefanski has made in just one season, that they could go on the road and win a playoff game without their head coach.

Stefanski will likely be back for the Browns’ next playoff game, which comes against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Browns are expecting other players and coaches back who missed the Steelers game. Battling through the adversity of the past week and winning has to increase their confidence.

This time Stefanski will be able to see any big plays his team makes live, without any delays.

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