Why I Am A Browns Fan - "It Was In The Fall Of 1951..."

It was in the fall of 1951 when I listened to my first Browns game on the radio. I was five and lived in Erie. It was the Browns second season in the NFL. Paul Brown was coach, Marion Motley was in his last year. The roster included Otto Graham, Dub Jones, Mac Speedy (love that name), Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, and Don Shula was in his rookie year at DB! They were 11-1. I was in love.

Being able to be a Browns fan in their heyday of the ‘50s and ’60s meant I was a Browns fan forever. Watching Jim Brown bowl over defenders and end up at the bottom of a pile. Then he would just lay there for a few seconds and your heart would stop. But he’d always slowly get back up, return to the huddle and do it again. He was magic itself to watch.

Probably the saddest Browns day for me was the summer Ernie Davis died. He was an awesome halfback from Syracuse (Jim Browns’ alma mater) and was the first black Heisman Trophy winner. He was the number 1 pick in the 1962 draft by the Redskins but immediately asked to be traded to Cleveland because of race issues with the Redskins. A backfield with Brown and Davis would have been historic. Unfortunately for football fans, Davis was diagnosed with leukemia that summer and died the next spring never having played an NFL game.

Bottom line, I remain a working class kid at heart with working class values and the Browns and the Dawg Pound are that, especially now that Hue and Gregg are helming the team.

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