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Old 11-19-2009, 02:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: hey RBA...

(cont.)

Well, it's right. That's what is so vexing about Modell's decision to forsake the city. In any number of ways Cleveland is better than it has ever been, and this has much to do with professional sports. The Indians, who won the American League pennant this fall after 41 years of futility, play in jam-packed Jacobs Field, across from the Cavaliers' glittering Gund Arena. "They've taken a Rust Belt city from the outhouse to the penthouse," says Lavelli. "And the Browns in a renovated Cleveland Stadium would have added to that glory."

In fact, rusting, 64-year-old Cleveland Stadium looks even more abject now that it slouches next to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum—a grand glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei that since its opening on Sept. 1 has hosted 2,000 visitors a day, seven days a week, all year long. And yet, says Ken Johnston of Toledo, while visiting the hall last week, "I'd rather have the Browns than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

And who in northern Ohio would disagree? Jim Brown vs. James Brown? It's no contest, as Mayor White is well aware. And that visibly angers him. How could it fail to? The war in Bosnia was resolved last week at an Air Force base in Ohio, for god's sake, and still all conversation around Cleveland circled back to the Browns. So White devotes virtually all of his hours to the Browns.

With nearly $1 billion in new developments downtown and the Browns' having been promised a rent-free future at Cleveland Stadium, it is not so much an economic loss that the mayor mourns but an emotional one. "This community has been wronged," says White. "We've loved this franchise for 50 years. These fans are the most loyal of the most loyal of the NFL. And what they got for 50 years of loyalty was a kick in the teeth."

It is on that apt note—a kick in the teeth—that we come to one of the toughest s.o.b.'s ever to play pro football. If anyone can offer a sober assessment of this mess, it is Lou (the Toe) Groza. This is one grown man who does not cry.

He was raised above his father's saloon, across the street from a steel mill in Martins Ferry, Ohio. In the early summer of 1945, the Toe was on Okinawa, steeling himself to storm the Japanese mainland, when he read in his Army division's newsletter that a new pro football league, the All-America Football Conference, was being formed. Soon after, he received a contract from Paul Brown, the coach and general manager of the Cleveland franchise. Again: This was on Okinawa, during the war. And though he was not yet 21—the deal would not be legally binding—Groza signed to become an original Cleveland Brown. On one condition: that he return to the States alive.

It is an absurd story, no less so for being true, but Groza made it back and became a Hall of Fame offensive tackle and placekicker whose field goal in 1950 won the championship of the NFL in the Browns' first season as a member of that league. Now over lunch in the Cleveland suburb of Berea, five minutes from the Browns' headquarters, he stares down the broad avenue of this century and places this impending move in perspective.

"You look back on your life," says the Toe, "and where you came from and all that has happened since, and I suppose that something like this...well, it becomes just another incident in a lifetime." He is reflecting over a Reuben sandwich, trying to make sense of it all.

An hour later he is home, surrounded by mementos of his career, and it emerges that the looming demise of the Cleveland Browns is more than just another incident in Lou Groza's lifetime. Of course it is.

"Our first home game was against the Miami Seahawks," Groza recalls, gazing out on his backyard. "It was an exciting time, right after the war. The last time I had played football was in a freshman game at Ohio State in front of maybe 500 people. I never played in a varsity football game. So to come down that tunnel at the Stadium and to run out of the dugout and have 60,000 people cheering...." He smiles at the memory. "God, it made you feel about this small." Two thick fingers are held an inch apart. "It was thrilling," says the Toe. "And the crowds have been like that for 50 years."

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Old 11-19-2009, 02:04 AM   #17
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Default Re: hey RBA...

(cont.)

He has long been a part of those crowds, a Brown season-ticket holder for more than three decades. He, too, must have been bewildered when Modell announced the move, no? The Toe doesn't answer. But Jackie, his wife of 45 years, does.

"We could have cried," she says.

It turns out they did. The Toe was asked to accompany Mayor White as he presented the Browns with the city's financial proposal that had been in the works for months. Afterward, speaking at a press conference, Groza felt the tears quicken, and he could not continue for the lump in his throat. It was an epochal moment—almost literally the melting of a polar icecap—and a stark sign that an era had passed in Cleveland, whatever becomes of the Browns.

An Ohio State flag flies above the Groza garage. A winter gloom gathers outside the window. But the Toe remains silent, lost in his thoughts of pro football in Cleveland. His eyes go slick as freshly Zambonied ice. "It's like a fire has just burned out," he says at last. "And all you're left with is ashes."

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Old 11-19-2009, 02:26 AM   #18
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Default Re: hey RBA...

Here are some really cool videos of the final game that THE REAL BROWNS (now known as the Ravens) played in Cleveland...

NFL Films feature on the game and what happened after

Radio broadcast and accompanying video of the final moments of our great franchise

Fans tearing apart the stadium and the players thanking the fans as the final game ends

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Old 11-19-2009, 03:47 AM   #19
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Default Re: hey RBA...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBlackAttack
I am old enough to remember all of that, I was in high school, but I was still too young and ignorant to really grasp the impact of it all...it really is tear jerking, even for non-Browns fans...

When you have lived for something like that for so long it becomes part of you, and the browns history goes DEEP...if Jerry sold the Cowboys, i would really crush me inside...it is more than just a game for fans, and more important than money...

you are making hate Modell...f*ck that dude, ripping the heart ou of an entire city/fan base like that...that really blows...
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: hey RBA...

also for some reason I just have alot of memories of Michael Jackson...the reciever...although I am pretty sure that might have alot to do with just his name being Michael Jackson...
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:44 PM   #21
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Default Re: hey RBA...

Being from Pittsburgh the rivalry between our two teams run deep but I really respect Browns fans for their loyalty and commitment to the team.

RBA- What do you think the Browns should do with their first round pick this season?
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:14 AM   #22
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Default Re: hey RBA...

they should take Bradford...

http://www.footballsfuture.com/2010/nflmockdraft.html

don't know that much about Locker, but I know Bradford is acurate as hell, unlike Quinn or Anderson...




^^^ future NFL stud, no question about it...
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:52 AM   #23
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Default Re: hey RBA...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailblazers7
Being from Pittsburgh the rivalry between our two teams run deep but I really respect Browns fans for their loyalty and commitment to the team.

RBA- What do you think the Browns should do with their first round pick this season?
I actually like Bradford a lot. I think he is the best QB in this class by far. He has a strong arm and is accurate, but the most amazing thing to me about the guy is his quick release. It may be the best release I have seen since Dan Marino.

If we are going in the direction of a QB, I'd go with him. That said, there are so many holes to fill. You could put a prime John Elway on this team and our offense would still stink. We have no playmakers at RB or WR or TE and the right side of our line is atrocious.

The defense actually isn't bad. They just consistently get worn down because the offense can't move the ball. We need to go offense... The question is where?
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:37 PM   #24
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Default Re: hey RBA...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBlackAttack
I actually like Bradford a lot. I think he is the best QB in this class by far. He has a strong arm and is accurate, but the most amazing thing to me about the guy is his quick release. It may be the best release I have seen since Dan Marino.

If we are going in the direction of a QB, I'd go with him. That said, there are so many holes to fill. You could put a prime John Elway on this team and our offense would still stink. We have no playmakers at RB or WR or TE and the right side of our line is atrocious.

The defense actually isn't bad. They just consistently get worn down because the offense can't move the ball. We need to go offense... The question is where?

Yeah that really is the question. Trading Braylon left the team with no playmakers to build an offense around. If you dont draft Bradford it would prob be best to just go with the best avaiable at WR or RB. Dez Bryant and I think an explosive playmaking runner can be gotten in the 2nd or 3rd rounds such as CJ Spiller, Joe McKnight, DeMarco Murray, etc. My favorite out of those backs has to be CJ Spiller and McKnight. Both very explosive, McKnight in particular has impressed me a lot this year.

The player I really look forward to entering the NFL is Jaquizz Rodgers. He is small but he is so quick and elusive. I'm very excited to see how he pans out as an NFL player.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:07 PM   #25
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:24 PM   #26
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Epic bump by porn spammer.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:57 AM   #27
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Default Re: hey RBA...

Thought this might be the appropriate thread to bump with this news...

Art Modell has been hospitalized and is gravely ill. His death appears closer to hours than days away. Interesting moment for Browns fans everywhere. How will he be remembered?

News just broke on Cleveland's NBC affiliate, btw.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:04 AM   #28
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RIP
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