FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Sterling Moore #29 of the New England Patriots breaks up a catch intended for Lee Evans #83 of the Baltimore Ravens late in the fourth quarter during their AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
As the ball was knocked out of Baltimore Ravens WR Lee Evans' hands after a perfectly placed pass by QB Joe Flacco, the Ravens saw their chance to win the AFC Championship Game right then and there slip out of what should have been their firm grasp. A play later, placekicker Billy Cundiff shanked an easy field goal and the AFC Championship Game to the New England Patriots loss was official.
Not only did the players and the fans feel the pain, but there was one other person who felt it like a knife lodged deep into his heart. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome felt that same pain long ago as a tight end on the Cleveland Browns, who lost three AFC Championship Games in a four-year span. Those losses were significant enough to be immortalized in one-word terms, "The Drive" and "The Fumble."
A pass in the game's waning seconds aimed for Newsome was intercepted and Ozzie says to this day that he remembers the sinking feeling. A story on The Akron Beacon Journal Online recounts the moment as Newsome met with media and fans to talk about the Browns past, including both those losses as well as the team's move to Baltimore.
It mentions how after the Ravens devastating loss to thePatriots, Lee Evans sought out Newsome for advice on how to handle the knowledge that had he held onto the ball, things could have been very, very different. Read the story to see Newsome's response and advice.