The Cleveland Browns have had a pretty dreadful season given lofty expectations after reaching the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs last season. On Sunday, they saw themselves get eliminated from the playoffs before even taking the field in Week 17, which meant their Monday Night Football game in Pittsburgh was only meaningful for the Steelers, beyond the chance for the Browns to play spoiler in Ben Roethlisberger’s likely final game at home.
After a scoreless first quarter that saw neither offense get much going, it was clear that points would be at a premium and both teams would probably need some assistance in getting in the end zone. Luckily for Pittsburgh, Cleveland was happy to oblige with one of the dumbest penalties of the season to extend the Steelers’ first touchdown drive of the game.
On third down, Jadeveon Clowney made a great play on a wide receiver screen to force what should’ve been a long field goal attempt, but after bringing Claypool down, he ripped off the star receiver’s shoe and chucked it towards midfield, earning an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
That naturally led to a touchdown, as Roethlisberger found Diontae Johnson on a slant after being moved into the red zone by the penalty, and the Steelers took the first lead of the game.
Big Ben tosses his 417th career TD! #HereWeGo
— NFL (@NFL) January 4, 2022
It’s, stunningly, not the first time we’ve seen a shoe throwing penalty, as Florida famously lost to LSU after setting up a game-winning field goal with a similar 15-yard penalty after a third down stop. At some point players will finally learn not to do this, but until then, the internet will simply laugh at the stupidity and post Austin Powers GIFs.