George Ratterman

George William Ratterman (November 12, 1926 – November 3, 2007) was an American football player in the All-America Football Conference and the National Football League.

George Ratterman
No. 61, 25, 16
Personal information
Born:November 12, 1926
Cincinnati, Ohio
Died:November 3, 2007 (aged 80)
Centennial, Colorado
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:182 lb (83 kg)
Career information
High school:St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio)
College:Notre Dame
NFL Draft:1948 / Round: 16 / Pick: 139
Career history
Player stats at PFR

Early life

He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1944.[1] He played college football at the University of Notre Dame from 1944 through 1946, primarily as a backup to quarterbacks Frank Dancewicz and Johnny Lujack. He was the last of only four students in Notre Dame history to earn letters in four different sports (football, basketball, baseball, tennis). Legendary football coach Frank Leahy called him "the greatest all-around athlete in the history of Notre Dame."

Professional football career

He played professional football with the Buffalo Bills of the AAFC from 1947 to 1949, when the league merged with the NFL. In his first year, 1947, at the age of 20, Ratterman threw 22 touchdown passes, setting a professional football rookie record that stood for more than fifty years until broken by Peyton Manning in 1998. He continued his career with the New York Yanks of the NFL in 1950 and 1951, the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 1951 and finished with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL from 1952 through 1956. He led the NFL in TD passes in 1950 while playing for New York. In 1956, he became the Browns' starting quarterback, succeeding Otto Graham, and was first player in the history of football to wear a radio receiver in his helmet, which allowed Cleveland Coach Paul Brown to call plays using a microphone instead of sending in messenger players for each play. Ratterman was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, October 8, 1956. A leg injury on October 21, 1956, ended his football career.

Post-playing career activities

General counsel for the American Football League Players Association

He earned his law degree in 1956 and was admitted to practice in Ohio and Kentucky. He acted as general counsel for the American Football League Players Association in the mid-1960s, when Jack Kemp was the president of the union.

Campaign for sheriff of Campbell County, Kentucky

On May 9, 1961, while campaigning as a candidate for sheriff of Campbell County, Kentucky, he was drugged with chloral hydrate and put in bed with stripper April Flowers in an attempt to blackmail him and force him to drop from the race. The plot was uncovered, and publicity from the botched frame-up attempt catapulted him and his party to victory in the election. While sheriff, with cooperation from federal agents and personal interest of then-U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, he was able to rid the county, and particularly the city of Newport, of gambling, prostitution and vice businesses that had dominated the area since the Civil War.[2][3]

Confessions of a Gypsy Quarterback

He is the author of a book, Confessions of a Gypsy Quarterback, Coward-McCann, 1962, containing hilarious anecdotes of his experiences and hi-jinks in professional football. In the foreword, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Otto Graham says Ratterman was the "best natural clown and comic I ever saw in professional football." In one story, during a game while Ratterman was in a game for the Browns and stern Coach Brown was sending in the plays from the bench using his messenger guard system, Ratterman told the guard who came in with the play call to "go back and get another one" because Ratterman "didn't like that play." The guard, a rookie named Joe Skibinski, obediently turned to run back to the bench and Coach Brown before Ratterman and other players stopped him.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for county judge and United States Congress in the 1960s.

Broadcasting career

He worked as a color commentator on TV and radio broadcasts of AFL and NFL football games for ABC-TV (1960-1964) and NBC-TV (1965-1973). He was frequently paired with Jack Buck and Charlie Jones on broadcast teams. He had the distinction of providing color analysis to Jim Simpson's play-by-play of Super Bowl I on Sunday, January 15, 1967 for the NBC Radio Network. During half-time of the first NFL-AFL Championship Game at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Ratterman interviewed Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith and San Diego Chargers wide receiver Lance Alworth about their thoughts on the game's first half.


Ratterman died in Centennial, Colorado, on November 3, 2007, from complications of Alzheimer's Disease.[4] He and his wife of 59 years, Anne, had ten children.


  1. ^ "Welcome to the St. Xavier Athletic Hall of Fame". St. Xavier High School. Archived from the original on October 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  2. ^ Woo, Andrea. "George Ratterman, Quarterback". Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  3. ^ Alter, Maxim (2015-01-02). "Then and Now interactive: The rise and fall of Newport's 'Sin City'". WCPO. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  4. ^ Goldstein, Richard (November 10, 2007). "George Ratterman, Football Star and Sheriff, Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2014.

External links

Preceded by
Al Dekdebrun
Buffalo Bills (AAFC) starting quarterback
1947 – 1949
Succeeded by
Franchise ends
1949 Cleveland Browns season

The 1949 Cleveland Browns season was the team's fourth and final season in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The Browns finished the regular season with a 9–1–2 win–loss–tie record and beat the San Francisco 49ers to win their fourth straight league championship. In the season's sixth game on October 9, 1949, the 49ers stopped the Browns' professional football record unbeaten streak after 29 games. The streak started two years before on October 19, 1947, and included two league championship games and two ties.

Cleveland made numerous roster moves before the season, adding tackle Derrell Palmer, linebacker Tommy Thompson and defensive back Warren Lahr, all of whom remained with the team for many years afterward. It was clear even before the season began, however, that the AAFC was struggling and might not survive beyond the 1949 season. The regular season was shortened to 12 games and a new system where the top four teams would participate in a two-week playoff was put into place.

The Browns began the season with a tie against the Buffalo Bills, but won their next four games. Following their loss to the 49ers in the sixth game of the season, the Browns won all but one of their remaining regular-season games, another tie with the Bills. The team finished atop the AAFC standings and faced the Bills in a league semifinal that they won, 31–21. The Browns then beat the 49ers in the championship game, shortly after AAFC and National Football League (NFL) owners agreed to a deal where the Browns, 49ers and Baltimore Colts would merge into the NFL starting in 1950 and the rest of the AAFC teams would cease to exist.

Browns players including quarterback Otto Graham, end Mac Speedie and linebacker Lou Saban were named to sportswriters' All-Pro lists after the season, while head coach Paul Brown was named AAFC coach of the year by Sporting News. Graham led the league in passing for the third time in a row, while Speedie was the league leader in yards and receptions. Fullback Marion Motley was the AAFC's all-time leading rusher. While the Browns were successful in the AAFC, winning all four of its championships, many people doubted that they could match up against NFL teams. Cleveland went on to win the 1950 NFL championship.

1956 Cleveland Browns season

The 1956 Cleveland Browns season was the team's eleventh season, and seventh season with the National Football League.

The 1956 season was the first in the franchise's existence that it missed the playoffs, and its first season with a losing record. The Browns lost seven games in 1956, after having lost a total of only 17 over the previous ten seasons combined.

1960 American Football League Championship Game

The 1960 American Football League Championship Game was the first AFL title game, played on New Year's Day 1961 at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas. With New Year's on Sunday, the major college bowl games were played on Monday, January 2.The game matched the Eastern Division champion Houston Oilers (10–4), against the Western Division champion Los Angeles Chargers (10–4), in the first championship game of the new American Football League. The host Oilers were a 6½-point favorite.The AFL had established a format in which championship games would be alternated each year between the Western Division winners and the Eastern Division. The first game was originally scheduled to be played in the cavernous Los Angeles Coliseum but with the Chargers drawing less than 10,000 a game in the 100,000+ seat coliseum it was feared ABC would pull its contract because of empty seats so the game was moved to the smaller Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, where it drew 32,183. It rained the five days prior to the game.Oilers' quarterback George Blanda had retired after ten seasons in the NFL and did not play during the 1959 season; he threw three touchdown passes (and kicked a field goal and three extra points) to lead Houston to the first AFL title, 24–16.

1961 American Football League Championship Game

The 1961 American Football League Championship Game was a rematch of the first AFL title game, between the Houston Oilers and the San Diego Chargers (formerly the Los Angeles Chargers). It was played on December 24 at Balboa Stadium in San Diego, California, and the Oilers were three-point favorites.

American Football League on ABC

American Football League (AFL) on ABC was a television program that broadcast professional football games of the then fledgling (when compared to the more established National Football League) American Football League on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). ABC broadcast AFL games from the league's very first season in 1960 until the 1964 season, when NBC took over as the league's primary network television broadcaster.

April Flowers

April Flowers may refer to:

April Flowers (film), 2017 US film

April Flowers, a stripper involved in a 1961 attempt to blackmail George Ratterman

Centennial, Colorado

Centennial is a Home Rule Municipality located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 100,377 at the 2010 United States Census. Centennial is a part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. Centennial is the tenth most populous municipality in the state of Colorado and its 2001 city incorporation was the largest in U.S. history. Centennial is ranked as the 15th-safest city in the country.

Dave Mays

David W. Mays III (born June 20, 1949 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He was signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent in 1976. He played college football at Texas Southern.

Mays also played for the Buffalo Bills.

Jeff Christensen

Jeffrey Bruce Christensen (born January 8, 1960) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns. He played college football for the Eastern Illinois Panthers. His son played college football at Iowa and Eastern Illinois.

List of AFL All-Star Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers that broadcast the American Football League All-Star Game during its existence. (After 1969, the AFL merged with the National Football League.)

List of AFL Championship Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers that broadcast the American Football League Championship Game during its existence. After 1969, the AFL merged with the National Football League. Thereafter, the American Football Conference Championship Game replaced the AFL Championship Game.

List of Cleveland Browns starting quarterbacks

The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football team in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division.

Since joining the NFL in 1950, the Browns have had 57 different quarterbacks start in at least one game for the team. Pro Football Hall of Fame member Otto Graham, the team's first quarterback, led the Browns to three NFL championships in their first six seasons in the league. Since resuming operations in 1999 after a three-year vacancy, the franchise has been notable for its futility at the quarterback position. From 1999 through week 4 of the 2018 season, the team had 30 different players start at quarterback. Tim Couch, the Browns' first overall draft pick in 1999, is the only quarterback in that stretch to start all 16 games in a season for the team, having done so in 2001. The Browns have started more than one quarterback in 17 consecutive seasons.

List of NFL on NBC commentator pairings

The first name that's slated is the play-by-play man while the color commentator or commentators are slated second and sideline reporters, if used, are slated last.

List of Super Bowl broadcasters

The following is a list of Super Bowl broadcasters, that is, all of the national American television and radio networks and sports announcers that have broadcast the first four AFL-NFL World Championship Games and thereafter the championship games of the National Football League. It does not include any announcers who may have appeared on local radio broadcasts produced by the participating teams.

Originally alternated between the AFL's broadcaster (then NBC) and the NFL's broadcaster (then CBS), the game is now alternated between the three main broadcast television rightsholders of the NFL—CBS, Fox and NBC. CBS has televised the most Super Bowl games, with Super Bowl LIII as its 20th.

NBC originally had broadcasting rights for the Super Bowl XXVI and CBS for the XXVII, but the NFL allowed the networks to switch the two games in order to allow CBS a significant lead-in to its coverage of the 1992 Winter Olympics. Likewise, NBC was to air the Super Bowl LV and CBS for the LVI, but they agreed to swap the broadcasting rights, therefore CBS will benefit from holding rights to the Super Bowl and the 2021 NCAA Final Four, whereas NBC will be abled to pair its Super Bowl coverage with the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Paul McDonald (American football)

Paul Brian McDonald (born February 23, 1958) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of Southern California.

Terry Luck

Terry Lee Luck (born December 14, 1952) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He played for the Cleveland Browns. He played college football for the Nebraska Huskers.

Todd Philcox

Todd Philcox (born September 25, 1966 in Norwalk, Connecticut) is a former NFL quarterback.

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Key figures
NFL Championship
Super Bowl
Pro Bowl

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