1950 NFL Championship Game

The 1950 National Football League Championship Game was the 18th National Football League (NFL) title game, played on Sunday, December 24th at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.[1][2]

In their first NFL season after four years in the rival All-America Football Conference, the Cleveland Browns defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 30–28.[3][4] The championship was the first of three won by Cleveland in the 1950s under head coach Paul Brown behind an offense that featured quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley, and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie.

Cleveland began the season with a win against the Philadelphia Eagles, who had won the previous two NFL championships. The Browns won all but two of their regular-season games, both losses coming against the New York Giants. Cleveland ended the season with a 10–2 win–loss record, tied with the Giants for first place in the American Conference. The tie forced a playoff that the Browns won, 8–3. Los Angeles, meanwhile, finished the season 9–3, tied with the Chicago Bears for first place in the National Conference. The Rams won their playoff, setting up the championship matchup with the Browns, in which the Browns were four-point favorites at home.[5][6]

The game began with a long touchdown pass from Rams quarterback Bob Waterfield to halfback Glenn Davis on the first play from scrimmage, giving Los Angeles an early lead. Cleveland tied the game later in the first quarter with a touchdown from Graham to Dub Jones, but the Rams quickly went ahead again on a Dick Hoerner touchdown run. Cleveland scored two unanswered touchdowns in the second and third quarters, retaking a 20–14 lead. A pair of Rams touchdowns in the third quarter, however, gave Los Angeles a two-possession advantage going into the final period. Cleveland responded with a diving touchdown catch by Rex Bumgardner in the final minutes of the game, followed by a field goal by placekicker Lou Groza with 28 seconds left to win, 30–28.

Lavelli set a then championship-game record with 11 receptions, and Waterfield's 82-yard pass to Davis on the first play of the game was then the longest scoring play in championship history. Los Angeles had 407 total yards to Cleveland's 373, but Cleveland had five interceptions, compared to just one for the Rams. The Browns' Warren Lahr had two interceptions in the game. After the game, NFL commissioner Bert Bell called Cleveland "the greatest team ever to play football".

1950 NFL Championship Game
Los Angeles Rams Cleveland Browns
28 30
1234 Total
Los Angeles Rams 140140 28
Cleveland Browns 76710 30
DateDecember 24, 1950
StadiumCleveland Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
RefereeRonald Gibbs
Attendance29,751
TV in the United States
NetworkABC
AnnouncersHarry Wismer, Red Grange
Cleveland is located in the United States
Cleveland
Cleveland
Location in the United States

Background

Before the 1950 season, the NFL added three teams from the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), a competing league that went out of business as part of a peace deal negotiated in 1949.[7] After the addition of the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and San Francisco 49ers, the NFL reorganized its Eastern and Western divisional structure into the American and National conferences.[7][8] The Browns were placed in the American Conference with a group of teams mostly from the old Eastern Division, while the 49ers and Colts went into the National Conference with teams from the old Western Division.[8] Under NFL rules at the time, the teams with the best records in each conference after the 12-game regular season were to play each other in the NFL championship to determine the winner of the league.[9]

The 1950 season ended with ties for first place in both the American and National conferences, forcing two playoff games for spots in the championship.[10] The Browns tied with the New York Giants for the best record in the American Conference, while the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears tied atop the National Conference.[10] It was the first time in league history that both of the NFL's conferences (or divisions) ended in a tie for first place.[11] The Browns defeated the Giants 8–3 in their playoff, and the Rams beat the Bears 24–20 to set up a Rams-Browns championship.[12]

Cleveland Browns

The Browns had been the AAFC's most dominant team, winning all four of its championships between its founding in 1946 and 1949 under head coach Paul Brown.[13] The team, however, was seen by some NFL owners and sportswriters as merely the best squad in an inferior league.[14] NFL commissioner Bert Bell scheduled a matchup between the Browns and the two-time defending champion Philadelphia Eagles in the first game of the season, played a day before the league's other games.[15] A crowd of 71,237 people saw the game, an attendance record in Philadelphia and the ninth-largest in professional football history at the time.[16] After Cleveland won the game, NFL commissioner Bert Bell named Browns quarterback Otto Graham the game's most valuable player and gave him a trophy, calling the Browns "the greatest team to ever play the game".[17]

Cleveland lost for the first time in the third week of the season against the Giants.[18] That was followed by victories over the Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers, but Cleveland lost again to the Giants in the sixth week of the season.[18] The team proceeded to win all of its remaining games, however, thanks in large part to an offense led by Graham, fullback Marion Motley, ends Mac Speedie and Dante Lavelli, and tackle/placekicker Lou Groza.[19] Cleveland's offense was fourth in the NFL in scoring, with 310 points.[20] The defense, meanwhile, finished second in points allowed, with 144.[20] Cleveland played all of its games against American Conference opponents, aside from two matchups against the other former AAFC teams, the Colts and the 49ers.[20]

Cleveland's record was 10–2 at the end of the regular season, leaving the team tied with the Giants and forcing a playoff to determine the conference winner.[20] The Browns won a coin toss to determine home-field advantage.[21] The game, played in cold weather at Cleveland Stadium, was a low-scoring affair that the Browns won 8–3 on a pair of Groza field goals and a safety.[22]

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams began the season with a loss to the Chicago Bears.[23] Victories over the New York Yanks and 49ers followed, but the team fell to 2–2 with a loss to the Eagles in the fourth week of the season.[23] Los Angeles then went on a six-game winning streak that included a 70–27 blowout of the Colts and a 65–24 win over the Detroit Lions.[23] The Rams lost the second-to-last game of the season, again against the Bears, and finished with a 9–3 record.[23] That tied the Rams with the Bears atop the National Conference, forcing a playoff that Los Angeles won, setting up a championship matchup with the Browns in Cleveland.[24][23]

The Rams, who left Cleveland after the 1945 season for Los Angeles, were making their second straight appearance in an NFL title game.[24] The Rams had one of the most potent offenses in NFL history in 1950 under head coach Joe Stydahar.[24] It featured Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin at quarterback, Tom Fears and Bob Boyd at end, and Elroy Hirsch at halfback.[24]

The Rams averaged 309 passing yards per game, a record that stood until 1984.[24] The team's running unit, led by Dick Hoerner, Vitamin Smith, and Dan Towler, averaged more than 140 yards a game.[25] Los Angeles averaged 38.8 points per game in 1950, an NFL record that still stood as of 2018.[24] Los Angeles ended the regular season first in the NFL in points scored, with 466.[23] The team was ninth of 13 teams in points allowed, however, with 309.[23]

Game summary

While the Rams were unmatched offensively, the Browns' defense gave up half as many points during the regular season.[25] Cleveland coach Paul Brown announced before the game that he would employ an umbrella defense against the Rams, similar to the one the Giants had used effectively against the Browns.[26] His plan was to show Los Angeles the umbrella formation at first but switch back to the team's usual formation soon after.[26] He abandoned the umbrella defense after the Rams scored a touchdown on their first play.[26]

1 234Total
Rams 14 0140 28
Browns 7 6710 30
  • Date: December 24
  • Location: Cleveland Stadium
  • Game start: 1:30 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 29,751
  • Game weather: dry, 29 °F (−2 °C), 28 mph (45 km/h) wind,
  • Referee: Ronald Gibbs

The championship game took place on Christmas Eve in Cleveland a week after the conference playoffs.[27] The weather was dry, with 28 mph (45 km/h) winds and a temperature of 29 °F (−2 °C).[2][3] On the Rams' first play after the opening kickoff, Waterfield passed to Glenn Davis for an 82-yard touchdown, giving Los Angeles an early 7–0 lead.[26] Martin was covering Davis, but slipped on the slick turf, leaving the receiver open.[26] Graham and the Browns' offense responded with a drive later in the first quarter that evened the score, but the Rams went ahead again by a touchdown on a three-yard Hoerner rush.[26] Cleveland scored a second touchdown in the second quarter, this time a 37-yard pass from Graham to Lavelli.[26] Groza's extra point attempt failed, however, because of a high snap, putting the Browns behind by one point.[26] Waterfield missed a 15-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half, leaving the score at 14–13 at halftime.[26]

Cleveland took the lead again in the third quarter on a 39-yard touchdown pass to Lavelli, his second of the day.[28] The Rams responded with a touchdown run by Hoerner and another touchdown quickly thereafter when Motley fumbled and Los Angeles's Larry Brink took it into the end zone.[28] Down 28–20 as the fourth quarter began, Cleveland was helped by interceptions by Thompson and Lahr that put its offense in good field position.[28] On a drive with 10 minutes left to play, Cleveland went for it on fourth down three times and made the necessary yards each time, advancing to the Los Angeles 14-yard line.[28] From there, Graham threw a touchdown pass to Bumgardner, who dove to catch it in the corner of the end zone.[28] After several more defensive stands, the Browns had the ball back and drove toward the Rams' end zone as the game drew to a close.[28] Graham fumbled, however, and the Rams recovered with three minutes left.[29] Cleveland's defense held, and Los Angeles punted, giving the Browns the ball back at their own 31-yard line with 1:49 left in the game.[29] Graham scrambled up the middle for 16 yards on the first play, and then turned to his receivers.[29] A pass to Bumgardner and two to Jones on the sidelines, followed by another to Bumgardner, put the ball at the Los Angeles 11-yard line.[29] Graham ran a quarterback sneak on the next play to place the ball at the middle of the field in preparation for a field goal.[30] After a time out, Groza came in and kicked the field goal with 0:28 left on the clock to put Cleveland ahead 30–28.[30] The Rams fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Browns recovered, appearing to seal the victory.[30] The officials ruled that Groza had kicked prematurely, however, and Los Angeles returned his rekick to their 46-yard line.[30] An interception by Lahr on a sideline pass stopped the drive and gave Cleveland the win.[31]

After the game, Bert Bell called the Browns "the greatest team ever to play football."[31] Brown later remembered it as the best game he ever saw, pointing to the success both teams had passing the ball at a time when the emphasis was shifting across the league from running to passing.[31] Cleveland and Los Angeles played again in the 1951 championship, which the Rams won, 24–17.[32] The Browns went on to appear in each championship game between 1952 and 1955, including a win over the Rams in 1955.[32]

Officials

  • Referee: Ronald Gibbs
  • Umpire: Samuel Wilson
  • Head Linesman: Charlie Berry
  • Field Judge: Lloyd Brazil
  • Back Judge: Norman Duncan [1]

The NFL added the fifth official, the back judge, in 1947; the line judge arrived in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.

Final statistics

Lavelli caught 11 passes, which set a NFL championship record that stood for eight years.[31] He had 128 yards and two touchdowns.[31] The Rams' Fears also had a strong game, with nine receptions for 136 yards.[33] While Waterfield threw four interceptions, he otherwise performed well, completing 18 passes for 312 yards and a touchdown.[33] His touchdown pass on the first play of the game to Davis was the longest score ever in a championship at the time.[33] Graham, meanwhile, had 22 completions for 298 yards and four touchdowns.[31]

Despite a high score, both defenses played well.[33] Los Angeles was able to hold Motley, Cleveland's most dangerous rusher, completely in check.[33] The Browns had five interceptions, including two by Lahr, and managed to stop the Rams from building a large lead in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to Len Ford's disruptive play at defensive end.[33]

Team statistics

Source: Pro Football Reference Cleveland
Browns
Los Angeles
Rams
First downs 22 22
Rush attempts–yards 25–116 36–106
Rushing touchdowns 0 2
Pass completions–yards 22–298 18–312
Passing touchdowns 4 1
Total yards 373 407
Interceptions–return yards 5–54 1–11
Fumbles–lost 3–3 0–0
Turnovers 4 5
Penalties–yards 3–35 4–48
Sacked–yards 5–41 1–11
Punts–average 5–38.4 4–50.8

Individual statistics

Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TD INT
Cleveland Browns
Otto Graham 22 33 298 4 1
Los Angeles Rams
Bob Waterfield 18 31 312 1 4
Norm Van Brocklin 0 1 0 0 1
Rushing
Player Att Yds TD
Cleveland Browns
Otto Graham 12 99 0
Marion Motley 6 9 0
Dub Jones 2 4 0
Rex Bumgardner 5 2 0
Los Angeles Rams
Dick Hoerner 24 86 2
Vitamin Smith 4 11 0
Glenn Davis 6 6 0
Bob Waterfield 1 2 0
Ralph Pasquariello 1 1 0
Receiving
Player Rec Yds TD
Cleveland Browns
Dante Lavelli 11 128 2
Dub Jones 4 80 1
Rex Bumgardner 4 46 1
Horace Gillom 1 29 0
Mac Speedie 1 17 0
Marion Motley 1 −2 0
Los Angeles Rams
Tom Fears 9 136 0
Glenn Davis 2 88 1
Vitamin Smith 3 46 0
Elroy Hirsch 4 42 0
Defense
Player Int Yds FumR Yds TD
Cleveland Browns
Warren Lahr 2 14 0 0 0
Ken Gorgal 1 33 0 0 0
Hal Herring 1 7 0 0 0
Tommy Thompson 1 0 0 0 0
Los Angeles Rams
Fred Naumetz 1 11 0 0 0
Larry Brink 0 0 1 6 1
Kick returns
Player Ret Yds TD Lng
Cleveland Browns
Ken Carpenter 3 58 0 28
Los Angeles Rams
Vitamin Smith 3 59 0 28
Jerry Williams 1 35 0 35
Tommy Kalmanir 1 32 0 32
Punt returns
Player Ret Yds TD Lng
Cleveland Browns
Cliff Lewis 2 22 0 16
Los Angeles Rams
Glenn Davis 1 14 0 14
Tony Kalmanir 1 0 0 0
Kicking
Player FG FG Att XP XP Att Punts Yds
Cleveland Browns
Lou Groza 1 1 3 3 0 0
Horace Gillom 0 0 0 0 5 192
Tommy James 0 0 0 1 0 0
Los Angeles Rams
Bob Waterfield 0 1 4 4 4 203

Players' shares

The gross receipts for the game, including about $45,000 for radio and television rights, was under $158,000. Each player on the winning Browns team received $1,113, while Rams players made $686 each.[34]

References

  1. ^ a b Prell, Edward (December 25, 1950). "Browns win title in final 20 seconds". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 4.
  2. ^ a b "Browns win pro title; Groza's kick thriller". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. December 25, 1950. p. 25.
  3. ^ a b Sell, Jack (December 25, 1950). "Groza's field goal beats Rams, 30-28". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 32.
  4. ^ Marthey, Larry (December 25, 1950). "Groza gives Browns last-minute 30-28 triumph". Toledo Blade. Ohio. p. 26.
  5. ^ "Rams, Browns battle for NFL title". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 24, 1950. p. 19.
  6. ^ "Browns 4-point pick for title". Toledo Blade. Ohio. Associated Press. December 24, 1950. p. 1, section 4.
  7. ^ a b Piascik 2007, p. 141.
  8. ^ a b "National Grid League Really Gobbled AAC". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Philadelphia. Associated Press. March 4, 1950. p. 10. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  9. ^ "History: NFL Champions". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Piascik 2007, pp. 173–174.
  11. ^ Piascik 2007, p. 174.
  12. ^ Piascik 2007, pp. 175–176.
  13. ^ Piascik 2007, pp. 62–64, 81–83, 118–120, 144–146.
  14. ^ Piascik 2007, pp. 153, 157, 160, 162.
  15. ^ Piascik 2007, p. 160.
  16. ^ Piascik 2007, p. 163.
  17. ^ Piascik 2007, p. 165.
  18. ^ a b Piascik 2007, p. 168.
  19. ^ Piascik 2007, pp. 169–173.
  20. ^ a b c d "1950 Cleveland Browns Statistics & Players". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  21. ^ Piascik 2007, p. 173.
  22. ^ Piascik 2007, pp. 174–175.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g "1950 Los Angeles Rams Statistics & Players". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  24. ^ a b c d e f Piascik 2007, p. 176.
  25. ^ a b Piascik 2007, p. 177.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i Piascik 2007, p. 178.
  27. ^ Jones, Harry (December 24, 1950). "Groza's Field Goal Is Signal for Celebration". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  28. ^ a b c d e f Piascik 2007, p. 179.
  29. ^ a b c d Piascik 2007, p. 180.
  30. ^ a b c d Piascik 2007, p. 181.
  31. ^ a b c d e f Piascik 2007, p. 182.
  32. ^ a b "Cleveland Browns Franchise Encyclopedia". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  33. ^ a b c d e f Piascik 2007, p. 183.
  34. ^ "Financial score". Toledo Blade. Ohio. December 25, 1950. p. 26.

Bibliography

  • Piascik, Andy (2007). The Best Show in Football: The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns. Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58979-571-6.

External links

Coordinates: 41°30′22″N 81°42′00″W / 41.506°N 81.700°W

1951 NFL Championship Game

The 1951 National Football League Championship Game was the 19th NFL championship game, played December 23 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.It was a rematch of the previous year's game in Cleveland, with the Los Angeles Rams (8–4) of the National Conference meeting the defending league champion Cleveland Browns (11–1) of the American Conference. In the league championship game for the third straight year, the Rams were seeking their first NFL title since moving to California in early 1946 (the Cleveland Rams won the 1945 title, then left a month later). The Browns were favored to win this title game on the road by six points.This was the first NFL championship game to be televised coast-to-coast, and was blacked out by the league in the southern California area. The DuMont Network purchased the championship game TV rights from the NFL in May for five years (1951–55) for $475,000.The home underdog Rams upset the Browns 24–17 for their second NFL championship before a then-record crowd for the title game of 59,475. The "World Championship" banner awarded to the Rams was given as a gift to Tom Bergin after the game in gratitude for hosting the post-game dinner. As of 2016 it still hangs in the Tom Bergin's Irish pub in Los Angeles, the only one in private ownership. This was also the first time that the Browns under Paul Brown did not finish the season with a championship after 4 wins in the AAFC and a championship in their first NFL season in 1950.

As of 2018, this remains the Rams' only NFL championship as a California team. The Rams won their first NFL championship during their final season in Cleveland, and also won a Super Bowl during their time in St. Louis.

1951 Pro Bowl

The 1951 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's inaugural Pro Bowl which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1950 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 14, 1951, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 53,676 fans. The American Conference squad defeated the National Conference by a score of 28–27. The player were selected by a vote of each conferences coaches along with the sports editors of the newspapers in the Los Angeles area, where the game was contested.The National team was led by the Los Angeles Rams' Joe Stydahar while Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns coached the American stars. The same two coaches had faced each other three weeks earlier in the 1950 NFL Championship Game in which Brown's team had also defeated Stydahar's. Both coaches employed the T formation offense in the Pro Bowl.Cleveland Browns quarterback Otto Graham was named the game's outstanding player.

All-America Football Conference

The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was a professional American football league that challenged the established National Football League (NFL) from 1946 to 1949. One of the NFL's most formidable challengers, the AAFC attracted many of the nation's best players, and introduced many lasting innovations to the game. However, the AAFC was ultimately unable to sustain itself in competition with the NFL. After its folding, three of its teams were admitted to the NFL: the San Francisco 49ers, the Cleveland Browns and the original Baltimore Colts (not to be confused with the later Baltimore Colts team, now the Indianapolis Colts).

The AAFC was the second American professional football league (the first being the third American Football League of 1940–1941) to have its teams play in a double round robin format in the regular season: each team had a home game and an away game with each of the other AAFC teams.

The Cleveland Browns were the AAFC's most successful club, winning every annual championship in the league's four years of operation.

Bob Waterfield

Robert Stanton Waterfield (July 26, 1920 – March 25, 1983) was an American football player and coach and motion picture actor and producer. He played quarterback for the UCLA Bruins and Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. His No. 7 jersey was retired by the Los Angeles Rams in 1952.

Born in Elmira, New York, Waterfield moved to Los Angeles as an infant. He played college football for the UCLA Bruins in 1941, 1942, and 1944. In 1942, he led UCLA to a Pacific Coast Conference championship and was selected as the quarterback on the All-Pacific Coast team.

From 1945 to 1952, he played quarterback for the Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams in the National Football League (NFL). He led the Rams to NFL championships in 1945 and 1951 and was selected as the NFL's most valuable player in 1945. He was the first-team All-Pro quarterback in 1945, 1946, and 1949. Known as one of the best passers, punters, and place-kickers in the NFL, he set NFL career place-kicking records with 315 extra points and 60 field goals, as well as a single-season record with 54 extra points in 1950, and a single-game record with five field goals in a game.

Waterfield was married to movie actress Jane Russell from 1943 to 1968. During the 1950s, Waterfield also worked in the motion picture business, initially as an actor and later as a producer. He remained involved in football as an assistant coach during the 1950s and served as the head coach of the Rams from 1960 to 1962.

Cleveland Stadium

Cleveland Stadium, commonly known as Municipal Stadium or Lakefront Stadium, was a multi-purpose stadium located in Cleveland, Ohio. It was one of the early multi-purpose stadiums, built to accommodate both baseball and football. The stadium opened in 1931 and is best known as the long-time home of the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball, from 1932 to 1993, and the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL), from 1946 to 1995, in addition to hosting other teams, sports, and being a regular concert venue. The stadium was a four-time host of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, one of the host venues of the 1948 and 1954 World Series, and the site of the original Dawg Pound, Red Right 88, and The Drive.

Through most of its tenure as a baseball facility, the stadium was the largest in Major League Baseball by seating capacity, seating over 78,000 initially and over 74,000 in its final years. It was superseded only by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from 1958 to 1961, while it was the temporary home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and by Mile High Stadium in 1993, the temporary home of the expansion Colorado Rockies. For football, the stadium seated approximately 80,000 people, ranking as one of the larger seating capacities in the NFL.

Former Browns owner Art Modell took over control of the stadium from the city in the 1970s and while his organization made improvements to the facility, it continued to decline. The Indians played their final game at the stadium in October 1993 and moved to Jacobs Field the following season. Although plans were announced to renovate the stadium for use by the Browns, in 1995 Modell announced his intentions to move the team to Baltimore citing the state of Cleveland Stadium as a major factor. The Browns played their final game at the stadium in December 1995. As part of an agreement between Modell, the city of Cleveland, and the NFL, the Browns were officially deactivated for three seasons and the city was required to construct a new stadium on the Cleveland Stadium site. Cleveland Stadium was demolished in 1996 to make way for FirstEnergy Stadium, which opened in 1999. Much of the debris from the demolition was placed in Lake Erie to create an artificial reef.

Dick Hoerner

Lester Junior "Dick" Hoerner (July 25, 1922 – December 11, 2010) was an American football player. He played fullback for the University of Iowa in 1942 and 1946 and for the Los Angeles Rams from 1947 to 1951. He helped lead the Rams to three consecutive National Football League championship games from 1949 to 1951, played for the 1951 Los Angeles Rams team that won the 1951 NFL Championship Game, and was selected to play in the inaugural 1951 Pro Bowl. He was the Rams' all-time leading rusher at the end of his playing career with the team. He concluded his professional football career as a member of the Dallas Texans in 1952.

Ed Champagne

Edward J. Champagne (December 4, 1922 – June 15, 2003) was a professional American football player who played tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for the Los Angeles Rams. He attended Louisiana State University, where he played college football for the LSU Tigers football team. He played in 39 games for the Rams from 1947 to 1950. He scored the only touchdown of his NFL career—an eight-yard touchdown reception thrown by quarterback Norm Van Brocklin—in the first week of his final season.After the 1950 NFL Championship Game, Champagne signed a contract with the Calgary Stampeders. He played one season in Canada but injured his neck and retired from pro football.

Fred Gehrke

Clarence Fred Gehrke (April 24, 1918 – February 9, 2002) was an American football player and executive. He played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Cleveland / Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Cardinals from 1940 through 1950. To boost team morale, Gehrke designed and painted the Los Angeles Rams logo in 1948, which was the first painted on the helmets of an NFL team. He later served as the general manager of the Denver Broncos from 1977 through 1981. He is the great-grandfather of Milwaukee Brewers left fielder, and 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich.

Joe Stydahar

Joseph Lee Stydahar (March 17, 1912 – March 23, 1977), sometimes listed as Joseph Leo Stydahar, and sometimes known by the nickname "Jumbo Joe", was an American football player and coach. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972.

A native of Kaylor, Pennsylvania, Stydahar grew up in West Virginia and played college football and basketball for the West Virginia Mountaineers. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1936 NFL Draft and played nine seasons as a tackle for the Bears from 1936 to 1942 and 1945 to 1946. He was selected as a first-team All-Pro five consecutive years from 1936 to 1940 and helped the Bears win NFL championships in 1940, 1942, and 1946 NFL Championship Games.

After his playing career ended, Stydahar was the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams during the 1950 and 1951 seasons and the Chicago Cardinals during the 1953 and 1954 seasons. His 1950 and 1951 Rams teams both advanced to the NFL Championship Game, and the 1951 team won the championship. He also served as an assistant coach for the Rams (1947–1949) and Bears (1963–1965).

Len Ford

Leonard Guy Ford Jr. (February 18, 1926 – March 14, 1972) was an American football player from 1944 to 1958. He played college football for the University of Michigan and professional football for the Los Angeles Dons, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976 and the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 1996.

Ford was an all-city athlete at his high school in Washington, D.C., and attended Morgan State University after graduating in 1944. After a brief stint in the U.S. Navy the following year, he transferred to Michigan, where he played on the Michigan Wolverines football team as an offensive and defensive end. He played for Michigan from 1945 to 1947 and was a member of the undefeated 1947 team that has been selected as the best team in the history of Michigan football.

Ford was passed over in all 32 rounds of the 1948 NFL Draft, but was selected by the Los Angeles Dons of the rival All-America Football Conference (AAFC), where he played for two seasons as an offensive and defensive end. After the AAFC dissolved in 1949, Ford played eight seasons as a defensive end for the Cleveland Browns. During those eight seasons, the Browns advanced to the NFL championship game seven times, won three championships, and allowed the fewest points in the NFL six times. Ford was one of the dominant defensive players of his era, having a rare combination of size and speed that helped him disrupt opposing offenses and force fumbles. He was selected as a first-team All-NFL player five times and played in four Pro Bowls.

Ford was traded to the Packers in 1958, but played there just one season before retiring. He worked for the Detroit recreation department from 1963 to 1972. He suffered a heart attack and died in 1972 at age 46.

Mel Hein

Melvin Jack Hein (August 22, 1909 – January 31, 1992), sometimes known as "Old Indestructible", was an American football player and coach. In the era of one-platoon football, he played as a center (then a position on both offense and defense) and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963 as part of the first class of inductees. He was also named to the National Football League (NFL) 50th and 75th Anniversary All-Time Teams.

Hein played college football as a center for the Washington State Cougars football team from 1928 to 1930. He led the 1930 Washington State team to an undefeated record in the regular season and received first-team All-Pacific Coast and All-American honors.

Hein next played 15 seasons in the NFL as a center for the New York Giants from 1931 to 1945. He was selected as a first-team All-Pro for eight consecutive years from 1933 to 1940 and won the Joe F. Carr Trophy as the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1938. He was the starting center on NFL championship teams in 1934 and 1938 and played in seven NFL championship games (1933–1935, 1938–1939, 1941, and 1944).

Hein also served as the head football coach at Union College from 1943 to 1946 and as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) from 1947 to 1948, the New York Yankees of the AAFC in 1949, the Los Angeles Rams in 1950, and the USC Trojans from 1951 to 1965. He was also the supervisor of officials for the American Football League from 1966 to 1969 and for the American Football Conference from 1970 to 1974.

Milan Lazetich

Milan "Sheriff" Lazetich (August 27, 1921 – July 9, 1969) was an American football player in the 1940s. He played college football for the University of Montana and University of Michigan. He was a first-team All-Big Ten tackle and second-team All-American in 1944 for the Michigan Wolverines. He later played professional football for the Cleveland Rams and Los Angeles Rams. He played on the 1945 NFL Championship team as a rookie and was an All-Pro guard/linebacker for the Rams in 1948 and 1949.

NFL playoff records (team)

This is a list of playoff records set by various teams in various categories in the National Football League during the Super Bowl Era.

Pro Bowl

The Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League (NFL). From the merger with the rival American Football League (AFL) in 1970 up through 2013 and since 2017, it is officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference (AFC) against those in the National Football Conference (NFC). From 2014 through 2016, the NFL experimented with an unconferenced format, where the teams were selected by two honorary team captains (who are each in the Hall of Fame), instead of selecting players from each conference. The players were picked in a televised "schoolyard pick" prior to the game.Unlike most major sports leagues, which hold their all-star games roughly midway through their regular seasons, the Pro Bowl is played around the end of the NFL season. The first official Pro Bowl was played in January 1951, three weeks after the 1950 NFL Championship Game (between 1939 and 1942, the NFL experimented with all-star games pitting the league's champion against a team of all-stars). Between 1970 and 2009, the Pro Bowl was usually held the weekend after the Super Bowl. Since 2010, it has been played the weekend before the Super Bowl. Players from the two teams competing in the Super Bowl do not participate.

For years, the game has suffered from lack of interest due to perceived low quality, with observers and commentators expressing their disfavor with it in its current state. It draws lower TV ratings than regular season NFL games, although the game draws similar ratings to other major all-star games, such as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. However, the biggest concern of teams is to avoid injuries to the star players. The Associated Press wrote that players in the 2012 game were "hitting each other as though they were having a pillow fight".Between 1980 and 2016, the game was played at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii except for two years (2010 and 2015). On June 1, 2016, the NFL announced that they reached a multi-year deal to move the game to Orlando, Florida as part of the league's ongoing efforts to make the game more relevant.

Tony Adamle

Anthony "Tony" Adamle (May 15, 1924 – October 7, 2000) was a professional American football linebacker and fullback in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and the National Football League (NFL). He played his entire career for the Cleveland Browns before retiring to pursue a medical degree.

Adamle grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and was a star fullback on his Collinwood High School football team. He attended Ohio State University in 1942, but his college career was cut short by World War II. After a stint in the U.S. Air Force, Adamle returned to finish his education at Ohio State in 1946. He soon dropped out of school, however, and joined the Browns. Cleveland won AAFC championships in each of Adamle's first three years, after which the league folded and the Browns were absorbed by the more established NFL. Cleveland continued to succeed in the NFL, winning the 1950 championship and advancing to the 1951 championship but losing to the Los Angeles Rams. Adamle left the Browns after the 1951 season to pursue a medical degree, but he came out of retirement briefly in 1954 as the Browns won another NFL championship.

Adamle left football for good after the season, earning a medical degree from Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1956. He settled with his family in Kent, Ohio, where he ran a medical practice until his death in 2000. He was a team physician for his local high school and for Kent State University for more than 35 years. Adamle's son Mike played in the NFL as a fullback in the 1970s before retiring and becoming a sports broadcaster.

Scoring summary
1LARGlenn Davis 82-yard pass from Bob Waterfield (Bob Waterfield kick)LAR 7–0
1CLEDub Jones 27-yard pass from Otto Graham (Lou Groza kick)7–7
1LARDick Hoerner 3-yard rush (Bob Waterfield kick)LAR 14–7
2CLEDante Lavelli 37-yard pass from Otto Graham (kick failed)LAR 14–13
3CLEDante Lavelli 39-yard pass from Otto Graham (Lou Groza kick)CLE 20–14
3LARDick Hoerner 1-yard rush (Bob Waterfield kick)LAR 21–20
3LARLarry Brink 6-yard fumble return (Bob Waterfield kick)LAR 28–20
4CLERex Bumgardner 14-yard pass from Otto Graham (Lou Groza kick)LAR 28–27
4CLELou Groza 16-yard field goalCLE 30–28
Cleveland Browns 1950 NFL champions
Franchise
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Playoff appearances (28)
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NFL Championship Game
(1933–1969)
AFL Championship Game
(1960–1969)
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Pro Bowl
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