In the woulda, coulda, shoulda spirit of Browns fandom, we're game for this P-F-R counterfactual replay of the strike-torn 1987 season.
In a nutshell, labor unrest resulted in the cancellation of Week 3, followed by three weeks of replacement players. But what if that strike had never happened?
The cancelled Browns game was a home Monday nighter against the Broncos. Given that Earnest Byner was healthy and the team was not drained by a double-OT thriller the week before, it's plausible that Cleveland would've won that rematch of the previous season's AFC Championship (aka "The Drive").
That very well could've led to another conference title matchup against Denver, but this time at home, rather than in the Mile High City, site of "The Fumble."
Maybe it's better if I let the author (a Jets fan) take it from here:
[T]he Browns fielded perhaps their best team since the merger in '87, and home field advantage may have been enough to send them to the Super Bowl.
Take a step back and imagine the hype for a Cleveland-Washington Super Bowl. ...
The Browns were the better team, and it's easy to envision them winning Super Bowl XXII.
That leads to an entertaining shark-jumping exercise on how such a wrinkle in football history might have become a full-fledged shredding of everything we thought we knew about the nature of the sport -- i.e., that the Browns must deliver only heartbreak. Indeed, the post is tagged both "History" and "Insane ideas," and ultimately backs off from what started as a reasonable alternative course of history.
Man. Can't even win in the rewrite.