I mentioned in a thread earlier this week that I had an interesting piece of Browns memorabilia and had a request to post some pictures, so here it is, along with a little background. I checked with my grandfather for a few more details since my last post.
In 1981 I was 10 years old and already a die-hard Browns fan. This affliction is hereditary, after all. The end of the previous season I had also experienced my first real heartbreak at the hands of a Cleveland sports team, "Red Right 88". I can remember jumping up and down on the bed with my little sister that year, playing the 45 of The Ten Days Of A Cleveland Browns Christmas and singing every word along over and over again.
We watched every game in my household. My parents had family and friends over for 'The Game" nearly every week and football had already started to become a religion for me at a young age. I also had already been playing football in school for two years by 1981.
My grandfather was a veteran Cleveland Police officer of almost 30 years in the 80's as well. He had been working security detail for overtime pay at the stadium for several years. This was long enough to have made his way up to the position of escorting the team to and from the locker room for kickoff, halftime and the end of the game. A couple of hours after a 32-10 loss to the Steelers on 11/22/81, my grandfather was one of the only people left in the locker room. He found a binder on a bench and asked a player if he could have it. That binder, along with a football signed by the entire 1981 roster was to be my Christmas present. The binder belonged to Hall Of Fame Offensive Lineman, Joe DeLamielleure.
The Football was a lesson to be learned. Left unprotected the autographs faded away and are now illegible. The binder was put on a bookshelf and forgotten for many years. A few weeks ago while cleaning the basement and doing some organizing, it resurfaced in as good of a condition as the day I unwrapped it in 1981.
It's just a plain old black three ring binder with a white sticker on the front that reads "Joe D Browns VS. Saints". Maybe this was a ploy to throw off someone that might have found the binder before the game, because it's incorrect. The contents are actually the Offensive scouting report and tests for the upcoming game against the Steelers.
The binder contains maybe 50 or so pages and I've scanned a few highlights that I thought were interesting.
First is the Offensive Scouting Report Test page, the first page of the binder. I found point 12. to be interesting - "Best defensive back to work in crucial situations".......#47 Mel Blount. He went to the Pro Bowl in '81 despite it being his 11th season. maybe not a good decision by the Browns coaches........
Here's another page - the depth chart for the defense at the time. I guess your college career follows you in the NFL forever too!
This page is one of the many detailing the Defensive "Fronts" The Offense might see.
Here is a page of coverages
A Blitz Summary from all of The Steelers games to that point
Diagrams of different Blitz packages
Joe D's handwritten notes on the Film study summary
The "Red Right" Offensive package breakdown......Please no more 88!!!
This looks to be a handwritten test - showing the offensive line play against a given defense
And lastly, this was drawn in on the back of one of the pages. I'll let you interpret it's meaning yourself........
Next time you think you can do these guys jobs remember that this is 10 pages of about 40-50 for one weeks game plan. I'm sure things are a lot more sophisticated now, mini-drives instead of binders and lots more video, but still - a ton to remember in a weeks time.
I'm going to track down Joe D. one day soon and see if I can get him to sign this binder for me. He seems pretty accessible in Buffalo I'm not a collector of sports memorabilia, but this item seems a little different. Internet searches for anything similar have turned up nothing even close.
I'll never sell it unless I'm in dire financial straights and I'll always remember the Christmas that my grandfather gave me the binder and ball.
Merry Christmas and Go Browns!