Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Best Show in Football: The 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns

In 2012, the Browns have the current streak for most consecutive games without a win, and may set a franchise record for the same thing on Sunday.  But the Browns weren't always a pit of despair!  The Browns were once the most feared team in professional football:  four straight championships from the team's inception in the the All American Football League, including an undefeated season in 1948.  Once the Browns entered the NFL, they were again dominant from the very beginning, winning the championship in their first year.  All in all, the team won 7 championships in the 10 years from 1946-1955, making the championship game in the other 3 years.  All in all, this makes a strong case for that era's Browns being "Pro Football's Greatest Dynasty", the core argument of The Best Show in Football: The 1945-1955 Cleveland Browns, a recent book by Andy Piascik.

I can't claim the book is full of exciting and well-written prose; at times its even a bit dull.  But it did educate me about Paul Brown and the team's best players in the era, like Otto Graham, Marion Motley, and Mac Speedie.  It certainly establishes that the team has a legacy to be proud of, and puts into even more stark contrast the depths to which the franchise has fallen since the "new" Cleveland Browns appeared over a decade ago.

No comments: