Top 10 1946 Cleveland Browns season related articles
7 Wide receiver
A wide receiver, also referred to as a wideout, formerly a split end, is a ball-receiver in gridiron football. A key position, it gets its name from the player being split out "wide", farthest away from the rest of the offensive formation.More
10 New York Yankees (AAFC)
The New York Yankees were a professional American football team that played in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) from 1946 to 1949. The team played in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and often played in front of sold-out crowds. They were owned by Dan Topping, who transferred the team from the NFL Brooklyn Dodgers, retaining many of the same players. The team's coach was Ray Flaherty, who had coached the Washington Redskins in the early 1940s. Former NFL player Jim Barber served as an assistant coach under Flaherty.More
The Browns were founded by Arthur B. McBride, a Cleveland taxi-cab tycoon, as a charter franchise in the new AAFC. McBride in 1945 hired Brown, a successful coach at the high school and college levels. Brown, who was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, began to assemble a roster as the team prepared to begin play in 1946. After beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in an exhibition game, Cleveland opened the regular season against the Miami Seahawks at Cleveland Stadium on September 6, winning 44–0. The Browns proceeded to win six more games before losing for the first time in October against the San Francisco 49ers at home by a score of 34–20. Cleveland lost a second game in a row against the Los Angeles Dons the following week, but rebounded to win the final five games of the season, including a 66–14 victory over the Dodgers. Cleveland finished with the league's best record and a spot in the championship game against the Yankees. The Browns won the game 14–9.
Lavelli led the AAFC in receiving with 843 yards and 8 touchdowns, while placekickerLou Groza led the league in points scored, with 84. Graham had the league's best passing average, with 10.5 yards per attempt. His quarterback rating of 112.1 was the highest in professional football history until Joe Montana surpassed it in 1989. Cleveland played all of its home games in Cleveland Stadium. The 1946 Browns set a professional football record with 67 defensive takeaways; the record still stands as of 2021.
1946 Cleveland Browns season Intro articles: 11
4 Brooklyn Dodgers (AAFC)
The Brooklyn Dodgers was an American football team that played in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) from 1946 to 1948. The team is unrelated to the Brooklyn Dodgers that played in the National Football League from 1930 to 1943. The team folded prior to the 1949 season and was merged with the New York Yankees to form the Brooklyn-New York Yankees.More
McBride developed a passion for football attending games at Notre Dame, where his son went to college. In the early 1940s he tried to buy the NFL's Cleveland Rams, owned by millionaire supermarket heir Dan Reeves, but was rebuffed. Having been awarded the Cleveland franchise in the AAFC, McBride asked Cleveland Plain Dealer sportswriter John Dietrich for head coaching suggestions. Dietrich recommended Paul Brown, the 36-year-old Ohio State Buckeyes coach. After consulting with Ward, McBride followed Dietrich's advice in early 1945, naming Brown head coach and giving him an ownership stake in the team and full control over player personnel. Brown, who had built an impressive record as coach of a Massillon, Ohio, high school team and brought the Buckeyes their first national championship, at the time was serving in the U.S. Navy and coached the football team at Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago.
The name of the team was at first left up to Brown, who rejected calls for it to be christened the Browns. McBride then held a contest to name the team in May 1945; "Cleveland Panthers" was the most popular choice, but Brown rejected it because it was the name of an earlier failed football team. "That old Panthers team failed," Brown said. "I want no part of that name." In August, McBride gave in to popular demand and named the team the Browns, despite Paul Brown's objections.
1946 Cleveland Browns season Founding of the Browns in the AAFC articles: 12
1 Arch Ward
Arch Ward was the sports editor for the Chicago Tribune and personal friend of the owner, Robert R. McCormick. He created the MLB All-Star Game, the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), the Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament and the College All-Star Game. Ward was twice offered the job as commissioner of the National Football League. He later feuded with the owners of the league and started the AAFC. He was involved in conservative political causes and as well as the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Ward was considered a dynamo with powerful contacts in American politics, church matters and journalism. In 1990, Thomas B. Littlewood wrote a biography of Arch titled "Arch: A Promoter Not a Poet- The Story of Arch Ward"More
8 The Plain Dealer
The Plain Dealer is the major newspaper of Cleveland, Ohio, United States. According to an analysis of circulation data published in March 2013, the newspaper was among the top 25 newspapers for both daily and Sunday circulation in the United States.More
10 Massillon Washington High School
Washington High School, commonly referred to as Massillon High School or Massillon Washington High School, is a 9th to 12th grade secondary school within the Massillon City School District in the city of Massillon, Ohio, United States. It serves students within the city of Massillon as well as parts of Jackson Township.More
12 Cleveland Panthers
The Cleveland Panthers were a professional American football team. They were an independent team founded in 1919 from the remains of the Youngstown Patricians. The Panthers played, with various degrees of success, continuously from 1919 and eventually, as fewer opponents played them each year after 1926, sputtered to a quiet folding in 1933.More
Almost all of the players Brown signed were war veterans. Gatski hitchhiked to Bowling Green from West Virginia in a military uniform. Once at training camp, the players faced intense competition for spots on the final roster. Rookies who had their college careers cut short by the war faced off against veteran players from NFL teams including the Chicago Cardinals and Chicago Bears. "It was a tough, dog-eat-dog situation, and you really had to hustle," Groza said later. Almost all of the men Brown signed had played for or against his teams at Ohio State and Great Lakes.
Five former Rams players also jumped to the Browns in 1946: centerMike Scarry, tackleChet Adams and backs Gaylon Smith, Tommy Colella and Don Greenwood. Their move gave rise to a legal battle with the Rams, who left Cleveland for Los Angeles shortly after winning the 1945 NFL championship rather than compete with the Browns. Reeves, the Rams' owner, filed an injunction against Adams in federal court after he signed with the Browns, claiming the tackle unlawfully broke his contract to play for the Rams. Adams argued he had no obligation under his contract to play for the Rams because the team had changed to the Los Angeles Rams following the move. At the end of August 1946, federal judge Emerich Freed denied the Rams' injunction, allowing Adams to play for the Browns. The judge rejected the Rams' contention that Adams had signed to play for Reeves, not a specific team. He ruled the Cleveland Rams had ceased to exist, and that Adams therefore was not bound to fulfill a contract with the Los Angeles Rams.
In addition to the players, Brown hired a number of assistant coaches. John Brickels, an Ohio native, was brought in early on to sign players while Brown was still in the Navy. He later served as a backfield coach. Another hire was Blanton Collier, a high school coach for 16 years who had been an assistant to Brown at Great Lakes. Collier succeeded Brown in 1963 as the team's head coach.Fritz Heisler was brought in as a guard coach and stayed with the Browns until the 1970s.
1946 Cleveland Browns season Building a roster articles: 22
4 African Americans
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term African American generally denotes descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States, while some recent black immigrants or their children may also come to identify as African-American or may identify differently.More
1946 Cleveland Browns season Roster and coaching staff articles: 33
26 George Groves (American football)
George Groves was a professional American football guard.More
30 Buffalo Bills (AAFC)
The Buffalo Bills were an American football team, based in Buffalo, New York, that played in the All-America Football Conference from 1946 to 1949. During its first season in 1946, the team was known as the Buffalo Bisons. Unlike the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Colts, the franchise was not one of the three AAFC teams that merged with the National Football League prior to the 1950 season. It was named after Buffalo Bill.More
33 Chicago Rockets
The Chicago Rockets were an American football team that played in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) from 1946 to 1949. During the 1949 season, the team was known as the Chicago Hornets. Unlike the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Colts, the franchise did not join the National Football League (NFL) prior to the 1950 season.More
The Browns' first and only preseason game took place at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio, against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Cleveland won the game 35–20. Brooklyn opened the scoring with a touchdown in the first quarter and another on the first play of the second quarter. Both touchdowns followed interceptions thrown by Otto Graham. Substituting for Graham, Cliff Lewis threw a short touchdown pass to Fred Evans near the end of the second quarter to give the Browns their first points. Cleveland scored again in the second half after John Rokisky picked up a fumble by Brooklyn halfback Glenn Dobbs and ran it 55 yards for a touchdown, giving the Browns the lead. Graham threw a short pass to Mac Speedie for another touchdown in the third quarter, and added a 20-yard pass to George Young in the fourth quarter to widen the lead. In the same quarter, Evans intercepted a Dobbs pass and ran 83 yards for his second touchdown. Brooklyn had a touchdown near the end of the game to make the final score 35–20. Cleveland won the game despite trailing the Dodgers in rushing yards, 93 to 63. After the win, the Browns prepared to face the Miami Seahawks in their first regular-season game the following Friday.
1946 Cleveland Browns season Preseason articles: 3
Glenn Dobbs Jr. was a professional American football player in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). A skilled running back, quarterback, and punter, Dobbs was named the AAFC's MVP in 1946. After sitting out the 1950 season with a knee injury, Dobbs was persuaded to come out of retirement to play with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU), forerunner of the Canadian Football League (CFL). In 1951 Dobbs was named the Most Valuable Player of the WIFU. Dobbs played college football at the University of Tulsa, where he was later head football coach from 1961 to 1968 and athletic director from 1955 to 1970. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1980.More
Ray Terrell 76-yard interception return (Lou Groza kick)
The Browns' first game, against the Miami Seahawks, took place on a warm late-summer evening in September. The crowd was the second-largest ever for a professional football game. The game was well-attended in part because of team owner Arthur B. McBride's promotion of the new team, but also because the Browns' two black players helped draw a large African-American crowd. Miami's team, drawn mainly from the Southern United States, was overmatched by Cleveland. The score was 27–0 at halftime and the final was 44–0. Browns endMac Speedie scored the team's first points on a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterbackCliff Lewis.Otto Graham came in at quarterback in the second quarter and threw a touchdown to Dante Lavelli. Placekicker Lou Groza kicked three field goals, and the Browns had two defensive touchdowns. Miami never advanced past the Browns' 39-yard line.
In their second game, the Browns faced the Chicago Rockets at Soldier Field before a crowd of 51,962 people, an attendance record for a professional football game in Chicago. It was the first of many games during which Cleveland's two black players, Marion Motley and Bill Willis, endured racially charged verbal and physical abuse. Some of their white teammates, including Lou Rymkus, retaliated by dealing their own cheap shots. Motley opened the scoring with a 20-yard run for a touchdown, the first in his career. Lou Groza added two field goals in the third quarter, and halfback Don Greenwood ran for a 41-yard touchdown to make the final score 20–6. Chicago's only points came on a touchdown run by Billy Hillenbrand on the first play of the fourth quarter. Motley later said that racism on the field stopped after opponents saw how well he and Willis played: "They found out that while they were calling us niggers and alligator bait, I was running for touchdowns and Willis was knocking the shit out of them. So they stopped calling us names and started trying to catch up with us."
The Browns next played the Buffalo Bisons in Buffalo, New York. Just over 30,000 people watched the game; while this was a lower total than the Browns' previous two games, it set a professional football attendance record in Buffalo. Playing in 80-degree heat, Browns quarterback Otto Graham threw two touchdowns in the first quarter to John Yonakor and Marion Motley. Cleveland scored for a third time in the first quarter when Cliff Lewis, substituting for Graham, pitched a lateral to Gaylon Smith, who ran it in for a touchdown. After neither team scored in the second and third quarters, the Browns added a fourth touchdown on Chet Adams' fumble return.Al Dekdebrun, Buffalo's second-string quarterback, fumbled at the Bisons' 34-yard line and Adams picked it up and ran for a touchdown. The Bisons were held scoreless despite having more first downs than the Browns. The team played without its primary rushing threat, Steve Juzwik, who was sidelined with a pulled leg muscle.
Cleveland got off to a strong start against the New York Yankees, scoring two touchdowns in the first nine minutes. Interceptions by Don Greenwood and centerMike Scarry set up the scores. The Yankees came back with a touchdown of their own later in the first quarter after recovering a Graham fumble at Cleveland's 14-yard line. Neither team scored in the second and third quarters, but the Browns added to their lead in the fourth. Lou Groza kicked a field goal and Edgar "Special Delivery" Jones ran up the middle for a 43-yard touchdown with less than three minutes left in the game. The final score was 24–7; it was the Yankees' first loss of the season and left the Browns as the only unbeaten and untied team in the AAFC. After the game, Yankees coach Ray Flaherty criticized his team for losing to a "Podunk team with a high school coach". The threat of bad weather kept attendance down, but the gross ticket receipts of $138,673 still marked the third-best take for a professional football game in history.
The Browns won their fifth game in a row against the Brooklyn Dodgers, 26–7. Halfback Don Greenwood scored two touchdowns, one in the first quarter and another in the second. Tommy Colella added a third touchdown in the final quarter on a four-yard rush. Groza added a field goal and made all of his extra points, bringing his season scoring total to 38 and his string of consecutive extra points without a miss to 17. Edgar "Special Delivery" Jones intercepted a pass thrown by Dodgers quarterback Glenn Dobbs, and Lou Saban intercepted two more. Both of Saban's interceptions led to Browns scores. The Browns' defense held the Dodgers to just 37 yards of rushing.Bob Steuber, a Browns halfback, suffered a rib injury in the game and was expected to be out for two weeks.
The Browns won their second matchup against the Yankees 7–0 amid a heavy downpour. The weather kept attendance to 34,252, but raised Cleveland's season attendance total over 300,000 people including its preseason game at the Akron Rubber Bowl. The only score of the game came in the third quarter, when quarterback Otto Graham passed to Dante Lavelli for a 33-yard touchdown. Cleveland won despite being outplayed by the Yankees statistically. The Yankees had 10 first downs to the Browns' five, and had 237 yards of total offense to just 67 yards for the Browns. Cleveland was held to just 24 yards of rushing, and Marion Motley, the team's star fullback, rushed for minus eight yards in six attempts. The Yankees threatened to tie the game at the end of the fourth quarter, driving to the Cleveland 16-yard line. New York's pass attempts failed, however, giving the Browns the victory. It was Cleveland's sixth win in a row.
The Browns next beat the Los Angeles Dons 31–14 in Cleveland to extend their winning streak to seven games. The crowd of 71,134 people who attended the game on a sunny October day was a professional football record. Cleveland got off to a slow start, falling behind 7–3 at halftime. The Browns' only score in the first half came on a 49-yard Lou Groza field goal, then the fourth-longest kick in professional football history. A flurry of scoring at the end of the third quarter and in the fourth quarter, however, won Cleveland the game. Otto Graham passed 36 yards to end Dante Lavelli and then ran in a touchdown with less than three minutes left in the third. It was the first of four touchdowns in 14 minutes of play. Fullback Marion Motley ran in two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, one of them a 68-yard run that tied an AAFC record for a rush from scrimmage. The Browns won despite a strong ground attack by the Dons, who gained 274 yards of rushing. The Dons had 21 first downs compared to Cleveland's 10. Groza made all of his extra point attempts, extending his streak to 22 in a row.
The Browns suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers before a crowd of 70,385 in Cleveland. The 49ers led throughout the game, helped by three touchdown passes from left-handed quarterback Frankie Albert. Albert's main target was Alyn Beals, a former Santa Clara University star who caught two of his passes for touchdowns. Kicker Joe Vetrano added to the 49ers lead with a pair of field goals in the first half. Don Greenwood ran for a Browns touchdown in the second quarter, but the extra point was botched. The snap was high and went into kicker Lou Groza's arms. He tried to run with the ball but suffered a back injury when he was tackled short of the end zone. Cliff Lewis was also injured in the second quarter, twisting his knee badly. He was taken to a hospital. The Browns ran only 24 offensive plays in the first half, and the 49ers were ahead by 14 points by halftime. Despite losing 34–21, the Browns matched the 49ers statistically, with 338 total yards to San Francisco's 357. Marion Motley, who had been the AAFC's leading rusher before the game, was held to 22 yards.
Cleveland next lost its second straight game, against the Los Angeles Dons in Los Angeles. The Dons opened the scoring on the first play from scrimmage after the Browns kicked off. Chuck Fenenbock ran the ball 75 yards for a touchdown. Cleveland came back to build a 16–7 lead at halftime, but Groza missed his first extra point in 24 tries after Bill Lund ran for a touchdown in the second quarter. The missed extra point proved to be the difference in the game. Los Angeles went back on top in the fourth quarter with a Dale Gentry run for a touchdown and a field goal by Joe Aquirre with just 18 seconds left and won by one point, 17–16. A fumble by Browns halfback Ray Terrell at the Los Angeles 35-yard line in the fourth quarter gave the Dons the ball and led to Aquirre's game-winning field goal. Cleveland's running game stalled for the second game in a row; the team gained only 43 yards rushing. Bill Willis, the Browns' defensive star, sat out the entire game with a strep infection. Two other Browns players, Bob Steuber and Alex Kapter, suffered leg injuries and were helped off the field.
The Browns won their rematch with San Francisco 14–7 two weeks after losing to the 49ers at home. Cleveland rebounded from two poor rushing games. Runs by halfback Bill Lund and fullback Marion Motley set up touchdowns in the first half. Lund had a series of successful carries that set up the first touchdown in the first quarter, a short pass to Dante Lavelli from Otto Graham. Motley's 64-yard run in the second quarter was followed by a three-yard touchdown run by Gaylon Smith. Lund, however, turned his ankle in the first quarter and did not return to the game. Motley also suffered a pulled leg muscle in the second quarter and played sparingly thereafter. The 49ers came back in the fourth quarter with strong rushing from fullback Norm Standlee and Earle Parsons. Frankie Albert scored the team's lone touchdown on a one-yard run. San Francisco threatened to tie the game, reaching the Cleveland 19-yard line with five minutes to play, but the Browns defense stood firm and stopped the advance. The win put the Browns two games ahead of the 49ers in the AAFC's western conference with four games to play.
Cleveland beat the Rockets 51–14 at home before a crowd of 60,457, the fourth time during the season that attendance at Cleveland Stadium surpassed 60,000 people. The Browns led from start to finish, and Lavelli and Speedie had two touchdown receptions each. Graham's four touchdown passes helped the Browns reach an AAFC scoring record.Bud Schwenk made his first appearance in the fourth quarter of the game, substituting for Graham as the game turned into a blowout. He threw for a fifth touchdown, a 20-yard pass to Bill Lund. Edgar Jones added to Cleveland's scoring with a touchdown run in the first quarter, and center Frank Gatski scored the team's final touchdown in the fourth quarter after intercepting a pass and running it back 36 yards. It was the only touchdown of Gatski's 12-year career. Groza made a 51-yard field goal, the longest of the year in either the National Football League or AAFC, and kicked through six of the team's seven extra points. The seventh extra point was blocked, only the second time he missed a conversion in 33 tries. The Rockets managed two touchdowns, the first by Elroy Hirsch on an 81-yard drive in the second quarter and the second on a 76-yard punt return in the third quarter.
Cleveland clinched first place in the AAFC's western division and earned a spot in the championship game by beating the Bisons 42–17. The Browns fell behind 10–7 in the first quarter, but subsequently scored 35 unanswered points. Edgar Jones scored two touchdowns, while Motley ran 76 yards for another score.Al Akins and Bud Schwenk had their only touchdowns of the season, playing in the fourth quarter after the Browns amassed a large lead. Despite the Browns' large margin of victory, the game was evenly matched; Cleveland's scores came mostly on breakaway plays. The Bisons had 19 first downs, nine more than the Browns, although the Browns out-gained the Bisons with 455 total yards. The game was marred by numerous penalties against both teams for unnecessary roughness, and the Bisons' kicker Lou Zontini and Browns halfback Ray Terrell were ejected after getting into a fight at midfield in the second quarter. A total of 37,054 people attended the game, the lowest figure for a Browns home game at that point in the season.
Despite traveling without key players Marion Motley and Bill Willis because of Florida's segregation laws, Cleveland beat Miami in a shutout for the second time in the season, winning 34–0. Fueled by the ire the entire team felt because of leaving friends behind, Otto Graham opened the scoring with a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown and the Browns never looked back. Three other Browns players – Edgar Jones, Gaylon Smith and Gene Fekete – ran for touchdowns. Fekete's touchdown was the only one of his short professional career. Groza kicked two field goals, giving him 12 on the season and tying the all-time professional record set in 1926 by Paddy Driscoll. Cleveland led Miami in all phases of the game, amassing 159 yards rushing to Miami's eight and 233 yards of total offense. Miami gained a total of 46 yards rushing and passing. As the Browns prepared to face the Dodgers in the last game of the regular season, they looked ahead to a matchup in the AAFC championship in Cleveland on December 22 with the New York Yankees, the winners the eastern division.
The last game of the Browns' regular season was a 66–14 win over the Dodgers. Nine different Cleveland players scored touchdowns in the game. The Browns' point total set an AAFC scoring record. Groza kicked a field goal to reach 13 for the season, exceeding Driscoll's all-time record. He also kicked four extra points, bringing his total for the season to 45 and beating the previous professional record of 42. Groza, however, injured his left ankle in the third quarter while making a tackle and had to be carried off the field. Substituting for Groza, Chet Adams kicked through five more extra points. Otto Graham played less than half of the game as Cleveland built a large lead, and Cliff Lewis and Bud Schwenk substituted for him in the second half. The Browns ended the game with several injured players at key positions. In addition to Groza, halfbacks Ray Terrell, Don Greenwood and Al Akins had to sit out because of injuries. The win gave Cleveland a 12–2 record as they prepared to face the Yankees in the championship game.
1946 Cleveland Browns season Schedule articles: 50
2 1946 Chicago Rockets season
The 1946 Chicago Rockets season was the inaugural season for both the Chicago Rockets and the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in which they played. The Rockets compiled a 5-6-3 record, were outscored by a total of 315 to 263, and finished in last place in the AAFC's West Division.More
6 1946 Buffalo Bisons season
The 1946 Buffalo Bisons season was their inaugural season in the All-America Football Conference. The team finished 3-10-1, failing to qualify for the playoffs.More
9 Al Dekdebrun
Allen Edward Dekdebrun was an American Football quarterback and politician from Buffalo, New York. As a professional football player, Dekdebrun was a career journeyman, playing in the All-America Football Conference, National Football League, Interprovincial Rugby Football Union, and Ontario Rugby Football Union, changing teams on an annual basis. He played college football at Cornell University, where he was also a member of the Quill and Dagger society, and high school football at Burgard High School in Buffalo. He attended Columbia for his freshman year before transferring to Cornell.More
10 Steve Juzwik
Stephen Robert Juzwik was an American football running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins. He also played in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) for the Buffalo Bisons/Bills and the Chicago Rockets. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame and was drafted in the 21st round of the 1942 NFL Draft. He wed Rosemary Brady and together they had three children—Kathy, Ellen, and Steve. He is the grandfather to Rosemary Kremkau, Paul Brunner, Laura Tomase, Patrick Brunner, and Julie Thuline.More
11 1946 New York Yankees (AAFC) season
The 1946 New York Yankees season was their inaugural season in the All-America Football Conference. The team finished 10–3–1, finishing first in the East Division and qualifying for the playoffs. The team, however, lost to the Cleveland Browns in the AAFC Championship.More
12 Spec Sanders
Orban Eugene "Spec" Sanders was an American football running back, quarterback, and punter in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and a defensive back in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Yanks. He was a one-time Pro Bowler in 1950, his final season, when he led the NFL with a then-record-tying 13 interceptions.More
14 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers (AAFC) season
The 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers season was the first season for the Brooklyn Dodgers football team and also the inaugural season of the All-America Football Conference. The team compiled a 3–10–1 record.More
17 1946 Los Angeles Dons season
The 1946 Los Angeles Dons season was their inaugural season in the new eight-team All-America Football Conference. Led by head coach Dudley DeGroot, the Dons finished 7–5–2, third in the West division, and failed to qualify for the playoffs.More
19 Charlie O'Rourke
Charles Christopher "Chuckin' Charlie" O'Rourke was an American football player and coach. He played college football as a quarterback at Boston College and professionally with Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) and the Los Angeles Dons and Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). O'Rourke quarterbacked the Boston College Eagles football team to one of its most famous wins. His 24-yard run late in the fourth quarter gave the 1940 Eagles a 19–13 victory over Tennessee in the 1941 Sugar Bowl, staking BC's claim to a national championship. O'Rourke served as the head football coach at University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) from 1952 to 1959, compiling a record of 21–39–4. In 1972, he came the first Boston College player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.More
20 1946 San Francisco 49ers season
The 1946 San Francisco 49ers season was the inaugural season of the San Francisco 49ers and the first season of the All-America Football Conference. Led by head coach Buck Shaw, the team compiled a 9–5 record and finished second in the AAFC West Division. The 49ers also had the second best scoring offense in the AAFC.More
22 Alyn Beals
Alyn Richard Beals was a professional American football end/defensive end in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and the National Football League (NFL). He played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers from 1946 through 1951. Beals led the AAFC in receiving touchdowns all four years of the league's existence and in 1949 he was the AAFC leader in overall touchdowns (12) and points scored (73). When the AAFC folded at the end of the 1949 season, he was the league's all-time scoring leader with 278 points.More
24 Len Eshmont
Leonard Charles Eshmont was an American football running back and defensive back for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL) and the San Francisco 49ers, then in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC).More
25 Don Durdan
Donald Edgar Durdan was a professional American football and basketball player.More
28 Chuck Fenenbock
Charles Bernard Fenenbock was an American football player who starred in college at UCLA, and professionally in the Pacific Coast Professional Football League (PCPFL), the National Football League (NFL), the All America Football Conference (AAFC), and the Canadian Football League (CFL). Notably he was a running back for the Detroit Lions in the NFL, and for the Los Angeles Dons in the AAFC where he led the league in numerous offensive categories.More
36 Steve Nemeth
Steve Nemeth is a Canadian retired ice hockey player. He played 12 NHL games for the New York Rangers. He was part of the Canadian team that was disqualified from the 1987 World Juniors for their involvement in the Punch-up in Piestany.More
38 Vic Kulbitski
Victor John Kulbitski was an American football fullback who played two seasons with the Buffalo Bisons/Bills of the All-America Football Conference. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the 1944 NFL Draft. He first enrolled at the University of Minnesota before transferring to the University of Notre Dame and later transferring back to the University of Minnesota. Kulbitski attended Red Wing High School in Red Wing, Minnesota.More
39 Lou Zontini
Louis Rogers "Red" Zontini was an American football fullback and halfback.More
40 Fay King
Henry Lafayette King was an American football player who played four seasons in the All-America Football Conference. "Fay" King played college football at the University of Georgia.He was drafted by the Rams of the National Football League in the seventh round of the 1946 NFL Draft.More
42 1946 Miami Seahawks season
The 1946 Miami Seahawks season was the inaugural one for the franchise and the first for the All-America Football Conference. Head coach Jack Meagher led the team to a 3–11 finish, fourth out of four teams in the Eastern Division.More
49 Phil Martinovich
Philip Joseph Martinovich was an American football player who played two seasons in the National Football League with the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. He played college football at the University of the Pacific and attended El Dorado High School in Placerville, California. He was also a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers of the All-America Football Conference.More
50 Charlie Armstrong (American football)
Charles Andrew Armstrong was an American football halfback and fullback.More
A week before the championship game, three Browns players were arrested after a confrontation with Cleveland police. Team captain Jim Daniell, end Mac Speedie, tackle Lou Rymkus and halfback Edgar Jones were drinking and waiting for Speedie's wife to arrive on a flight from Utah. They dropped Jones off and came up behind a police car that was blocking their way. Daniell, who was driving the car, honked the horn, and an argument ensued that ended with the arrest of all three men. Daniell was booked on public intoxication, and Speedie and Rymkus were charged with creating a disturbance. Paul Brown fired Daniell after the incident, saying he had "a special obligation to be exemplary in his behavior" because he was the team captain.
The first-ever AAFC championship took place on December 22, 1946, at Cleveland Stadium before a crowd of 41,181. Temperatures were in the 30s, which contributed to the low attendance numbers compared to other Browns home games, but the championship game drew more people than all but three NFL championship games up to that point. The Yankees were in close competition with the Browns as the AAFC's leading team, and finished the season by winning seven of their last eight games. The Browns and Yankees had different styles of play: while the Browns used a T formation offense, the Yankees had a single-wing formation. New York's roster included Spec Sanders, who led the AAFC with 709 yards of rushing and 12 touchdowns.
The championship game was largely a defensive battle with little scoring from either team. New York scored the game's first points in the first quarter on a 21-yard field goal by Harvey Johnson, but the Browns went into the lead in the second quarter when Marion Motley ran for a touchdown after a 70-yard drive. The Yankees retook the lead in the third quarter, marching 80 yards down the field for a Sanders touchdown. Cleveland reached the New York 18-yard line at the end of the third, but the drive stalled and Lou Groza missed a short field goal, his third failed attempt of the game. Groza had suffered a sprained left ankle, and Chet Adams substituted for him. Adams, however, missed another field goal in the fourth quarter. The Browns took the lead again in the fourth quarter when Graham passed to Lavelli for a 16-yard touchdown. Groza came back in and kicked the extra point, giving Cleveland a 14–9 advantage with 4:31 to play in the game. Sanders returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards, and the Yankees started the drive at the Browns' 45-yard line. The Yankees appeared poised for a comeback, but Graham intercepted a pass on a third down and Cleveland was almost able to run out the clock. Time expired after a Tommy Colella punt and one short Yankees completion.
Graham had 213 yards of passing in the championship game. Lavelli registered 87 receiving yards, and Speedie had 71. Motley was the team's leading rusher, with 98 yards on 13 carries. Cleveland's defense was able to hold Sanders and New York quarterback Ace Parker in check. Parker had only 81 yards of passing, and Sanders ran for just 55 yards.
1946 Cleveland Browns season Final standings articles: 4
1 Harvey Johnson (coach)
Harvey Paul Johnson was an American football player and coach. He served two separate stints as the head coach for the Buffalo Bills, first in the American Football League (AFL) and then in the National Football League (NFL).More
3 Single-wing formation
In American and Canadian football, a single-wing formation was a precursor to the modern spread or shotgun formation. The term usually connotes formations in which the snap is tossed rather than handed—formations with one wingback and a handed snap are commonly called "wing T" or "winged T".More
Graham had an average of 10.5 yards per passing attempt, the second-most in history at the time. He had a passer rating of 112.1, setting a single-season record not exceeded until Joe Montana eclipsed it in 1989. Motley finished the season with 601 yards rushing, the fourth most in the AAFC. Edgar Jones was the league's fifth-most-prolific rusher, gaining 539 yards. Greenwood had six rushing touchdowns, tying for the league lead. Lavelli tied for first place in receptions, with 40, and led the league in receiving yards, with 843. His eight receiving touchdowns gave him second place in the league. Speedie, meanwhile, led all receivers in yards per reception, with 23.5. On defense, Colella led the AAFC with 10 interceptions; as a team, the Browns were the league's interception leaders by a large margin, with 41. The Browns had 67 total defensive takeaways, a professional football record that still stands. Groza scored the most field goals and extra points and set a professional football record for a kicker by scoring 84 points. He was the first-ever kicker to make two field goals from beyond 50 yards in a season. A number of Browns players were named to sportswriters' All-Pro teams, including Motley, Speedie, Lavelli, Willis and Mike Scarry.
1946 Cleveland Browns season Season leaders articles: 2
Passer rating is a measure of the performance of passers, primarily quarterbacks, in gridiron football. There are two formulas currently in use: one used by both the National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL), and the other used in NCAA football. Passer rating is calculated using a player's passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns, and interceptions. Passer rating in the NFL is on a scale from 0 to 158.3. Passing efficiency in college football is on a scale from −731.6 to 1261.6.More
All-Pro is an honor bestowed upon professional American football players that designates the best player at each position during a given season. All-Pro players are typically selected by press organizations, who select an "All-Pro team," a list that consists of at least 22 players, one for each offensive and defensive position, plus various special teams players depending on the press organization that compiles the list. All-Pro lists are exclusively limited to the major leagues, usually only the National Football League; in the past, other leagues recognized as major, such as the American Football League of the 1960s or the All-America Football Conference of the 1940s, have been included in All-Pro lists.More