The National Football League championship game was 50 years ago Saturday in Cleveland Municipal Stadium — a time when Ohio’s North Coast was ablaze with gridiron talent. ¶ Ticket prices were only $6, $8 and $10, compared with $1,900 to $350,000 for the championship game five weeks from now in Glendale, Ariz.
For the second consecutive season, Joe Haden is a Pro Bowler. The 25-year-old cornerback, in his fifth year in the league, is widely considered one of the better in the NFL. He is the leader of a Browns secondary unit that’s held opposing quarterbacks to the league’s lowest passer rating (71.9) and given up the seventh-fewest passing yards (3,302) this season.
BEREA: Browns undrafted rookie quarterback Connor Shaw acknowledged he’ll battle nerves in his first NFL start Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, although he’s determined to overcome any tension he might feel.
Editor’s note: This is a reprint of the Akron Beacon Journal’s coverage of the Cleveland Browns’ 27-0 victory over the Baltimore Colts in the National Football League’s 1964 championship game at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.
BEREA: Veteran leader Karlos Dansby acknowledges first-round draft picks Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert had disappointing rookie seasons for the Browns, but Dansby asserted Wednesday he isn’t ready to dismiss them as lumps of coal.
BEREA: Browns eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas doesn’t know much about teammate and third-string quarterback Connor Shaw. When the undrafted rookie from the University of South Carolina thrashed Washington’s backups in the preseason, Thomas was distracted.
“I was probably eating a hot dog on the sidelines hiding it,” Thomas said.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.: After rookie Johnny Manziel was knocked out of the Browns’ 17-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers with an injured left hamstring late in the first half Sunday, he hobbled onto a platform for a news conference and attempted to sell himself as the franchise’s quarterback of the future.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.: It would be easy for Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and General Manager Ray Farmer to look at the Browns’ 1-5 swoon since Nov. 16, their four consecutive losses that could stretch to five Sunday at Baltimore, and decide to fire coach Mike Pettine.
What went right: On third-and-6 from the Browns’ 19-yard line, quarterback Brian Hoyer and tight end Jordan Cameron connected for an 81-yard touchdown, the team’s longest play of the season. Cameron broke loose as a result of blown coverage, caught the pass at the Browns’ 38 and ran 62 yards untouched into the end zone for a 13-10 lead with 9:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.