Posted on January 08 2020
In 1944, the team referred to as the Cleveland Browns came into existence courtesy of an All-American Football Conference franchise acquired by Arthur B. McBride. The hiring of Paul Brown was McBride's first act. He had the right kind of history as a general manager, service and college coach, and high school coach.
Following World War II, for 10 years, the Cleveland Browns were considered to be the league’s best. Some truly illustrious players for the Browns included Lou Groza (tackle-kicker), Marion Motley (fullback), and Otto Graham (quarterback). The team amassed a 42-4-3 record and won four AAFC championships. After the 1949 season, however, the AAFC folded.
Let's see what else is included in the history of the Browns.
Joining the NFL
The Baltimore Colts, San Francisco 49ers, and the Browns joined the NFL due to the AAFC- NFL settlement. Now playing against established NFL teams, many did not expect Cleveland to do well. They were soon proved wrong! Over the Philadelphia Eagles (defending NFL champs), they were victorious and ended with a 35-10 1950 season. Furthermore, in 1955, 1954, and 1950 they won NFL titles. From 1950 to 1955, they were the Eastern Conference champs in the NFL.
Jim Brown Gained, Paul Brown Lost
Syracuse running back, Jim Brown, joined the team in 1957, the same year the Browns won another divisional title. He rushed for 12,300 yards in his nine-season career – a long-held record.
In 1962, coach Paul Brown was replaced by Blanton Collier, his former assistant. Courtesy of Collier, in 1964, the Browns won what would be their last NFL championship against the Baltimore Colts by a score of 27 to 0.
In their first 40 NFL years, postseason playoffs were enjoyed by the Browns no less than 22 times. In addition to the championships listed above, they also won AFC Central Division Championships in 1989, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1980, and 1971; NFL Century Division Titles (3); and NFL American/Eastern Conference Championships (11).
For $4 million, an unheard-of price in 1961, the Browns were purchased by Arthur B. Modell. Though a progressive leader, his decision in 1995 to move the franchise to Baltimore was less than popular with many. But in 1996, that's exactly where the "Cleveland franchise" was scheduled to play.
As stated, the decision to move the team to Baltimore was not a popular one among devoted Cleveland Browns fans. For that reason, a revolt ensued to block the move through an orchestrated grassroots campaign by city officials and fans. Working with those same city officials, the NFL quickly went to work developing a solution that would prove to be unique. No later than 1999, the team would return to Cleveland, and a new state-of-the-art stadium would be provided for them. To the new owner of the suspended franchise, Modell agreed to surrender the history, colors, and "Browns" name.
In Baltimore, Modell created the Ravens, which he sold in 2004 for approximately $600 million!
Since the 1999 return to Cleveland, the Browns have appeared in playoffs one time only, in 2002. In 56 seasons, they enjoyed 16 playoff appearances. Famous fans of the Cleveland Browns include commentator/wrestler Jerry "the King" Lawler, Elvis Pressley, Hank Aaron (baseball legend), Drew Carey, Arsenio Hall, Lebron James, and more.
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