1953 NFL Championship Game

The 1953 National Football League championship game was the 21st annual championship game, held on December 27 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.[1][2][3][4]

The defending NFL champion Detroit Lions (10–2) of the Western Conference were led by quarterback Bobby Layne and running back Doak Walker, and the Cleveland Browns (11–1) of the Eastern Conference were led by head coach Paul Brown and quarterback Otto Graham. The game was a rematch of the previous year, which was won by the Lions, 17–7.[5][6] This was the Browns' fourth consecutive NFL championship game appearance since joining the league in 1950, and they were favored by three points.[7]

The Lions were attempting to become the third team in the championship game era (since 1933) to win two titles in a row, following the Chicago Bears (1940, 1941) and Philadelphia Eagles (1948, 1949).[4]

The home underdog Lions rallied in the fourth quarter with a late touchdown and conversion to win by a single point, 17–16.[2][8] The two teams met the following year for a third consecutive title match-up.

1953 NFL Championship Game
Cleveland Browns Detroit Lions
16 17
1234 Total
Cleveland Browns 0376 16
Detroit Lions 7307 17
DateDecember 27, 1953
StadiumBriggs Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
RefereeRonald Gibbs
TV in the United States
AnnouncersHarry Wismer and Red Grange
Radio in the United States
AnnouncersEarl Gillespie, Chris Schenkel
Detroit is located in the United States
Location in the United States

Game summary

The Lions struck first with a Doak Walker touchdown, and both scored field goals in the second quarter and the Lions led at halftime, 10–3. The Browns scored thirteen straight points in the second half to take the lead.

Trailing 16–10 with four minutes and 10 seconds of play remaining, the Lions started from their own 20-yard line and fought their way 80 yards in eight plays, the touchdown coming on a 33-yard pass from Bobby Layne to Jim Doran in the end zone, and Walker's extra point gave the Lions the lead.

Trailing 17–16, the Browns had one last chance; Ken Carpenter started the drive with a run to his own 28, but an Otto Graham pass intended for Pete Brewster was deflected by rookie defensive halfback Carl Karilivacz, intercepting the throw, clinching the Lions their third title. [1]

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 27, 1953
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. EST

  • First quarter
    • DET – Doak Walker 1-yard run (Walker kick), 7–0 DET
  • Second quarter
    • CLE – FG Lou Groza 13 yard, 7–3 DET
    • DET – FG Walker 23 yard, 10–3 DET
  • Third quarter
  • Fourth quarter
    • CLE – FG Groza 15 yard, 13–10 CLE
    • CLE – FG Groza 43 yard, 16–10 CLE
    • DET – Jim Doran 33-yard pass from Bobby Layne (Walker kick), 17–16 DET


  • Referee: Ron Gibbs
  • Umpire: Sam Wilson
  • Head Linesman: Dan Tehan
  • Field Judge: Carl Rebele
  • Back Judge: James Hamer [1][2]
  • Alternate: John Glascott
  • Alternate: Yans Wallace [9]

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

Players' shares

The gross receipts for the game, including radio and television rights, were just under US$359,000. Each player on the winning Lions team received $2,424, while Browns players made $1,654 each, the highest to date.[3][4][8]


  • You Tube – 1953 NFL Championship Game – game footage (without audio)


  1. ^ a b Strickler, George (December 27, 1953). "Browns, Lions meet for title". Chicago Sunday Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
  2. ^ a b c Strickler, George (December 28, 1953). "Lions win in last 3 minutes, 17 to 16". Chicago Daily Tribune.
  3. ^ a b Sell, Jack (December 28, 1953). "Lions retain NFL title; edge Browns, 17-16". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 12.
  4. ^ a b c "Lions capture pro title 17-16". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. United Press, Associated Press reports. December 28, 1953. p. 2B.
  5. ^ Prell, Edward (December 29, 1952). "Lions win pro crown; beat Browns, 17-7". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 3.
  6. ^ Sell, Jack (December 29, 1952). "Lions defeat Browns for NFL title, 17-7". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 18.
  7. ^ "Browns, Lions clash today". Youngstown Vindicator. Ohio. Associated Press. December 27, 1953. p. D1.
  8. ^ a b Livingston, Pat (December 28, 1953). "Detroit's rally keeps NFL title". Pittsburgh Press. p. 14.
  9. ^ "Wallace, Rebele, Hamer to work in title game". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 24, 1953. p. 12.

[2] Harold Sauerbrie, "Browns Lose Title Game, 17–16", Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 27, 1953, Browns history database retrieved December 12, 2007

Coordinates: 42°19′55″N 83°04′08″W / 42.332°N 83.069°W

1953 Detroit Lions season

The 1953 Detroit Lions season resulted in the Lions winning their second consecutive and third overall National Football League (NFL) championship. In their fourth year under head coach Buddy Parker, the Lions compiled a 10–2 record during the regular season, outscored opponents 271 to 205, finished in first place in the NFL's Western Division, and defeated the Cleveland Browns, 17–16, in the 1953 NFL Championship Game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.

The 1953 Lions ranked fifth in the NFL in scoring offense. The offense was led by quarterback Bobby Layne who compiled 2,431 yards of total offense (2,088 passing, 343 rushing) and 16 passing touchdowns. Halfback Doak Walker totaled 839 yards from scrimmage, (337 rushing, 502 receiving) and was the team's leading scorer with 93 points on five touchdowns, 12 field goals, and 27 extra points. For the fourth year in a row, Bob Hoernschemeyer was the team's leading rusher, contributed 764 yards from scrimmage (482 rushing, 282 receiving) and scored nine touchdowns.

The team also ranked second in the NFL in scoring defense. Defensive back Jack Christiansen led the NFL with 12 interceptions and 238 interception return yards. Eight members of the 1953 Lions were selected as first-team All-NFL players for the 1953 season: middle guard Les Bingaman, Christiansen, offensive guard Lou Creekmur, Hoernschemeyer, Layne, defensive tackle Thurman McGraw, guard Dick Stanfel, and Walker. Seven members of the team, Christiansen, Creekmur, safety Yale Lary, Layne, linebacker Joe Schmidt, guard Dick Stanfel, and Walker, were later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

1953 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1953 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 21st in the league. The team improved on their previous output of 7–5, going 7–4–1. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

1953 in Michigan

Events from the year 1953 in Michigan.

1954 NFL Championship Game

The 1954 National Football League championship game was the league's 22nd annual championship game, held on December 26 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Billed as the "1954 World Professional Football Championship Game," the turnover-plagued contest was won by quarterback Otto Graham and the Cleveland Browns, who defeated Bobby Layne and the Detroit Lions by a score of 56 to 10.

Browns–Steelers rivalry

The Browns–Steelers rivalry is a National Football League rivalry between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. With 134 meetings, it is the oldest rivalry and the most storied in the American Football Conference. The two divisional foes have a natural rivalry due to the commonalities between the cities, proximity, etc. It is sometimes called the Turnpike Rivalry or Turnpike War because the majority of the driving route between the two cities are via the Ohio and Pennsylvania Turnpikes.

Cloyce Box

Cloyce Kennedy Box (August 24, 1923 – October 24, 1993) was an American football player and businessman. He played five years in the National Football League (NFL) with the Detroit Lions, was a member of NFL championship teams in 1952 and 1953, was selected as a second-team All-Pro in 1950 and a first-team All-Pro in 1952, and played in the 1951 and 1953 Pro Bowl games. On December 3, 1950, he set Detroit team records with 12 catches, four touchdown receptions, 24 points, and 302 receiving yards. He later became a successful businessman in the oil and gas business in Texas.

Dick Stanfel

Richard Anthony Stanfel (July 20, 1927 – June 22, 2015) was an American football player and coach with a college and professional career spanning more than 50 years from 1948 to 1999. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player in 2016. He was also named to the National Football League (NFL) 1950s All-Decade Team.

A native of San Francisco, Stanfel served in the United States Army and later played college football on both offense and defense at the University of San Francisco from 1948 to 1950. He was selected as a first-team All-Coast defensive guard in 1950.

Stanfel was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 19th pick in the 1951 NFL Draft, missed the 1951 season due to injury, and then played seven seasons as an offensive guard for the Detroit Lions from 1952 to 1955 and Washington Redskins from 1956 to 1958. He was a key offensive player on the Lions' 1952 and 1953 NFL championship teams and was named the Most Valuable Player on the 1953 team. He was selected by the Associated Press as a first-team All-NFL player in five of his seven NFL seasons and played in five Pro Bowls.

Stanfel also spent more than 35 years as a football coach, principally as an offensive line coach. His coaching career included stints with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1959–1962), California Golden Bears (1963), Philadelphia Eagles (1964–1970), San Francisco 49ers (1971–1975), New Orleans Saints (1976–1980, 1997-1998), and Chicago Bears (1981–1992). Bears head coach Mike Ditka called Stanfel the best offensive line coach in football after the Bears led the NFL in rushing three straight years and won Super Bowl XX.

Doak Walker

Ewell Doak Walker II (January 1, 1927 – September 27, 1998) was an American football player. He played college football as a halfback at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1948. Walker then played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Detroit Lions for six seasons, from 1950 to 1955.

Walker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. The Doak Walker Award, awarded annually since 1990 to the top running back in college football, is named after him.

Don Steinbrunner

Donald Thomas Steinbrunner (April 5, 1932–July 20, 1967) was an American football offensive tackle who was one of only two American professional football players to die in the Vietnam War.

History of the Detroit Lions

The history of the Detroit Lions, a professional American football franchise based in Detroit, Michigan, dates back to 1929 when they played in Portsmouth, Ohio as the Portsmouth Spartans. In 2019, they will begin their 90th season, continuing to be one of the National Football League's oldest franchises.

Jim Doran

James Robert Doran (August 11, 1927 – June 29, 1994) was a National Football League (NFL) wide receiver for the Detroit Lions (1951–1959) and the Dallas Cowboys (1960–1961). He played college football at Iowa State University. He was a two-way player, playing both on offense and defense. He played 94 games as a defensive lineman, usually defensive end, and 115 games as a tight end.

List of surviving DuMont Television Network broadcasts

The DuMont Television Network was launched in 1946 and ceased broadcasting in 1956. Allen DuMont, who created the network, preserved most of what it produced in kinescope format. By 1958, however, much of the library had been destroyed to recover the silver content. Most of whatever survived was loaded onto three trucks and dumped into Upper New York Bay in the mid-1970s. Since then, there has been extensive research on which DuMont programs have episodes extant.

Due to the possibilities that various unknown collectors may be in possession of programs and/or episodes not listed here, and that the sources below may actually hold more than what is listed (for example, through a mislabeled film can), this list is very likely incomplete.

For a list of program series aired on DuMont, see List of programs broadcast by the DuMont Television Network.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs football

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Yale Lary

Robert Yale Lary Sr. (November 24, 1930 – May 11, 2017) was an American football player, businessman, and politician.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979 and was also selected for the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team. He has also been inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

Lary played 11 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), all with the Detroit Lions, from 1952 to 1953 and from 1956 to 1964, missing the 1954 and 1955 seasons due to military service as an Army second lieutenant in Korea. He played at the safety, punter, and return specialist positions, appeared in nine Pro Bowl games, and was a first-team All-NFL player five times. He led the NFL in punting three times, and at the time of his retirement in 1964, his 44.3 yard punting average ranked second in NFL history, trailing only Sammy Baugh. He also totaled 50 NFL interceptions for 787 return yards, both of which ranked fifth in NFL history at the time of his retirement.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Lary played college football at Texas A&M University from 1949 to 1951 and was selected as a first-team defensive back on the 1951 All-Southwest Conference football team. He also played baseball at Texas A&M, led his team to the 1951 College World Series, and set a Southwest Conference record for doubles.

Detroit Lions 1953 NFL champions
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