Best Show in Football: The 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns: Pro Football's Greatest Dynasty

Overview

For ten years the Cleveland Browns compiled a better record and won more championships than any team in pro football history. They dominated an upstart league and then silenced their detractors by doing the same to the NFL. The Browns were led by Paul Brown, a football visionary who changed pro football—most important among his innovations was the leading role the franchise played in the integration of pro sports.

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The Best Show in Football: The 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns - Pro Football's Greatest Dynasty

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Overview

For ten years the Cleveland Browns compiled a better record and won more championships than any team in pro football history. They dominated an upstart league and then silenced their detractors by doing the same to the NFL. The Browns were led by Paul Brown, a football visionary who changed pro football—most important among his innovations was the leading role the franchise played in the integration of pro sports.

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Editorial Reviews

Alan H. Levy
Well-grounded in the boisterous economic optimism of post-'45 America, Piascik's work shows how the Cleveland Browns combined savvy management and marketing, social innovativeness, brilliant coaching, and raw athletic talent to unite an already football-crazed region and create one of the most successful sports organizations in history. Were the '46-'55 Browns the greatest football dynasty ever? Piascik says yes. Let the debate begin.
Mike Brown
Pro football began in Ohio, and Cleveland had a pro football identity long before the 1946 Browns. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that the original Browns made pro football the integral part of the Cleveland sports scene that it remains today.
The original Browns had magnificent players. A half dozen players on the very first Browns team went on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They were a special group of men. It is fitting that their story be told. Today's fans need to be reminded of the great impact the early Browns team had on pro football and how they influenced the game we all enjoy today.
Charles K. Ross
Piascik's meticulous look at the success of the Browns during their first ten years of existence, and the impact that black players had in making that success possible, should be read by any fan of pro football.
Jack Clary
The Best Show in Football makes a solid case that from 1946 thru 1955, the Cleveland Browns were the greatest team in pro football history and proves beyond any reasonable doubt that they had some of the sport's greatest players and its greatest coach, Paul Brown.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589795716
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/16/2010
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,393,584
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xi

Notes on Terms xiii

Introduction 1

1 The Beginning 5

2 Willis, Motley, and the Fall of the Color Line 31

3 The First Season 45

4 Two Championships in a Row 69

5 Jet Age Passing Attack 85

6 Perfect 105

7 Last Hurrah for the AAFC 123

8 Taking the NFL by Storm 151

9 The AAFC, the NFL, and the 1946-1949 Browns: Comparison and Evaluation 187

10 Continued Greatness and a Championship Game Loss 219

11 Lake Erie Rivalry 237

12 Groza and Gillom 255

13 Big Changes and a Third Straight Championship Game Loss 263

14 Willis and Motley Depart 287

15 A Defense for the Ages 291

16 Back on Top 305

17 Seven Championships in Ten Years 327

18 The Browns and Other Dynasties Compared 345

19 The End of an Era 365

Cleveland Browns Composite Roster, 1946-1955 369

A Key to the Nicknames 371

Sources 373

Index 381

About the Author 397

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