Stories You Should Know: 1964 Cleveland Browns wholesale jerseys
Entering the 1964 Season the Cleveland Browns were already one of the most storied franchises in football history. Founded in 1945, as one of the charter members of the upstart All American Football Conference, they were the dominant team in football from 1945 to 1955. Coached from the beginning by the legendary Paul Brown, whom the team was named after, and led by Hall of Fame Quarterback Otto Graham, they won all four of the AAFC Championships. With the collapse of the league after the 1949 season, the Cleveland Browns joined the NFL in 1950. Confirming that they were the best team in football they captured the NFL Championship their first year competing, defeating the Los Angeles Rams in the Title Game 30-28. They would go on to participate in the next five NFL Title Games, winning the Eastern Division every year. They lost in the Championship Game in 1951, 1952, and 1953, before prevailing in 1954 and 1955 in overwhelming fashion, crushing the Detroit Lions 56-10 in 1954 and easily defeating the Los Angeles Rams in 1955, 38-14.
Their regular season record the first six seasons in the NFL was 58-13-1, by far the best in the NFL for those years. Otto Graham retired after the 1955 Championship, ending their reign as the best team in football. They still remained competitive, primarily because of the arrival of Jim Brown. They would reach the NFL Championship Game his rookie year in 1957 (losing to the Detroit Lions). Brown would lead the league in rushing a record eight times in his nine-year career, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, and over 100 yards a game. Brown would say “Make sure when anyone tackles you he remembers how much it hurts.”
But the early greatness of Cleveland was gradually moving towards one of mediocrity until Paul Brown was fired as head coach in a power struggle with owner Art Modell prior to the 1963 season. Replaced by Blanton Collier, the Browns would have a resurgence as a premier team in the league. Finishing second in 1963 with a 10-4 record they were one of the favorites to win the weak Eastern Division in 1964. Thus began the 1964 NFL season.
Behind Jim Brown’s two touchdowns, the Browns opened with a 27-13 win over the Washington Redskins.
Week 2 saw them settle for a 33-33 tie at home against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Week 3 in Philadelphia, after trailing at the half 13-6, they managed a 28-20 win over the Eagles, with Brown leading the way with 158 total yards.
Quarterback Frank Ryan was the difference maker in week four before 72,062 in Cleveland, passing for 256 yards and three TDs in a 27-6 drumming of the Dallas Cowboys.
Week 6 the Pittsburgh Steelers came in to Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium and before more than 80,000 fans dominated the Browns, handing them their first defeat of the season, 23-7.
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The next week was a rematch with the Cowboys in Dallas. Dallas jumped off to an early lead only to see Cleveland score late on a 54-yard Bernie Parrish interception return for a 20-16 win.
Week 7 was at home, the first meeting with defending Eastern Division winner New York Giants. The Browns broke open a close game late and cruised to a 42-20 victory.
This set up Cleveland’s trip to Pittsburgh for their second meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the only team to beat them this season. After battling to a 10-10 tie in first half, the Browns pulled away, avenging the earlier loss with a 30-17 triumph. Jim Brown ran for 149 yards and caught 5 passes for 37 more in the victory.
Week 9 was an easy 34-24 win over the Washington Redskins. Followed by a 37-21 mauling at home of the Detroit Lions.
Week 11 was a much anticipated match-up in Green Bay against the Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. The temperature was 15 degrees with wind chills around zero. In a tense hard fought game Green Bay handed Cleveland their second loss, 28-21.
Week 12 Cleveland rebounded to again dispatch Philadelphia, 38-24. Setting up a showdown with the second place St. Louis Cardinals. In St. Louis the Cardinals exploded for 21 second quarter points in a convincing 28-19 win.
The loss left Cleveland in need of a win in their final game to secure the Eastern Division Title. They had to travel to New York to face their bitter rival, the New York Giants. With their season on the line the Browns responded with an overwhelming 52-20 beating of the defending Eastern Division Champs.
The win over the Giants catapulted the Browns into the Championship Game at home against the Baltimore Colts (this was football before the Super Bowl and before playoffs, the winners of each division played for the Title). The conditions and the location seemed to favor Cleveland. However, coached by Don Shula, and led by Johnny Unitas, John Mackey, and Lenny Moore, the Colts were heavy favorites. The temperature was 34 degrees and the wind at 25 mph gusting to 35. The second largest crowd ever to see an NFL Championship Game was on hand in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium.
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Dale Earnhardt Jr.excited to meet Jim Brown
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was excited to meet former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown at the Super Bowl.
Earnhardt was successful in his own career path but not as successful as his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr. The Browns have lacked a lot of star power lately. It is neat to see other popular figures get excited to meet a former Brown.
Brown was an NFL Champion in 1964. He recorded 12,312 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns as well as 262 receptions for 2,499 yards and 20 touchdowns.