Golden Football Magazine
NFL Championship Games
1952: Detroit Lions @ Cleveland Browns
This series covers the history of the NFL through the prism of its yearly championship games.
Note: The gray boxes contain asides that provide interesting material but could be skipped without losing the continuity of the article.


Paul Brown


Otto Graham


Doak Walker


Bobby Layne and Buddy Parker


Cloyce Box


Mac Speedie


Jim David


The National Football League was not the juggernaut in 1952 that it is today. No better evidence can be adduced to bolster that fact than what happened to one of the league's franchises that year.
  • After his team went 1-9-2 in 1951, New York Yankees owner Ted Collins threw in the towel and turned his franchise over to the league.
  • The NFL awarded the team to an ownership group in Dallas. However, the Dallas Texans didn't last even one season.
  • The tone was set when only 17,499 fans showed up at the Cotton Bowl for the opening game, a 24-7 loss to the Giants. Attendance continued to dwindle until only 10,000 showed up for a November 9 game against the Los Angeles Rams, the most exciting team in the league
  • Unable to meet payroll or get financial support from area businessmen, Giles Miller returned the team to the league, which moved the franchise's operations to Hershey PA and assigned the Texans' last two home games to Akron OH and Detroit. The team somehow managed to win one game in twelve tries.
  • The NFL abolished the franchise after the season.

The rules changes for 1952 were these.

  • Offensive players will not be called for illegal motion as long as they do not move forward prior to the snap.
  • The penalty for offensive pass interference is 15 yards from the previous spot, unless the result on a fourth down play is a touchback.
  • A player who commits a major unfair act will be ejected from the game.
  • All teams must conform to this numbering system: 0-49 backs, 50-59 C, 60-69 G, 70-79 T, 80-89 E.

No team dominated the league.

  • At Thanksgiving, three teams were tied for the top spot in the American Conference: Cleveland, New York, and Philadelphia. But both the Giants and Eagles lost two of their last three while the Browns won two of three to finish 8-4 and earn their seventh straight trip to their league's championship game.
  • But Paul Brown's team was not as strong as in previous years. The '51 Browns had outscored the opposition 331-152. The margin in '52 was only 310-213.
  • Fortunately, QB Otto Graham had another banner year. He led the league in passing yards (2,816), TD passes (20), and Passing Rank.
  • Cleveland's veterans, some of whom had played in their league's championship game every year, wondered why their contracts didn't reflect the success the franchise had had. Graham took the position that each player should calculate his salary with postseason money practically guaranteed.
  • The squad got its ounce if not its pound of flesh when they voted to exclude assistant coaches and clubhouse personnel from the 1952 playoff money. This action deeply disturbed the head coach, who insisted the front office make up the difference for the excluded personnel.
  • All in all, the Browns were not as hungy as in the past.

Paul Brown and the nine original '46 Browns still on the team:
Kneeling - Dante Lavelli, Lin Houston, Frank Gatski, George Young
Standing - Marion Motley, Otto Graham, Mac Speedie, Lou Groza, Bill Willis

After three straight seasons atop the West/National Conference, the Los Angeles Rams didn't return to the title game, although it took a playoff to eliminate them.

  • The defending champions led the NFL in points with 349 while the Detroit Lions had the stingiest defense (192 points) and also the #2 offense in points scored (344).
  • The Lions beat the Rams both times they played in the regular season: 17-14 at LA in Week 2 and 24-16 at home in Week 4. The latter loss put Joe Stydahar's club in a 1-3 hole, but they proceeded to win their last eight games to tie Buddy Parker's team for the top spot in the National Conference.
  • So the championship game was delayed a week to allow the Rams and Lions to settle their score in Detroit. The home team jumped out to a 24-7 lead and held on, 31-21.
  • Detroit QB Bobby Layne didn't have as good a year as in 1951, when he lead the circuit in attempts, completions, yards, and TD passes. But with RB Bob Hoernschemeyer adding 457y to the 411 Bobby gained on the ground and E Cloyce Box finishing second in the league with 90 points, the Lions won their conference for the first time since 1935.

Despite being the visitors, the Lions were favored by four points thanks to a 17-6 home victory over the Browns in the regular season.

  • This would be the first of Brown's seven championship games in which his club was the underdog.
  • The clash pitted the Lions, a team "representing a perfect blend of youth and experience," against the Browns, "top-heavy with veterans" but with their offensive unit crippled. Brown announced that, on advice of the team physician, E Mac Speedie and HB Dub Jones would miss the game because of injuries. This really hurts us, said Brown. There is the crux of our pass offense all shot to pieces. We'll be without our top scoring threats. Both Speedie and Jones would suit up but would be used only in the late stages of the game if needed to pull out a victory. Horace Gillom and Pete Brewster would replace Speedie at LE while Rex Bumgardner and rookie Ray Renfro would split time in Jones' HB spot. Another original Brown, FB Marion Motley, had replaced in midseason by Chick Jagade.
  • Lions coach Buddy Parker expressed doubt that Speedie and Jones would miss the game. I'll believe it when I see it. Even without them, Parker rated the game "even-stephen." He had an injury report of his own. Rookie OG Dick Stanfel was doubtful because of a bruised side suffered in the playoff game against LA.
  • A half dozen of Detroit's offensive starters were in their third season of pro football, and it was Parker's opinion that players hit their peak at age 25.
  • The Browns would test the Lions secondary, which included two rookies, Jim David and Yale Lary.
  • Cleveland's defense would have to perform much better than they did in the season finale, a 37-34 loss to the New York Giants, not one of the league's powerhouse offenses.
    In Parker and Layne, Detroit had a pair to match Brown and Graham in skill if not temperament.
    • Buddy had played on the last Lions championship team in 1935 as a HB. Since that time, five men, including legendary Bo McMillin, had tried to return the franchise to the throne room without success before Parker took over in 1951. McMillin had made one deal that enabled his successor to reach the championship game in just his second year. Bo traded fan favorite Bob Mann - the team's first black player - to the New York Bulldogs for Bobby Layne. McMillin also drafted two Heisman Trophy winners in Doak Walker of SMU and Leon Hart of Notre Dame.
    • Parker had a special affinity for his fellow Texan Layne. He was a case of don't do as I do, but do as I tell you. He was a one-man team who went against all the rules. But, by golly, it worked. Buddy was referring to Bobby's legendary lifestyle that has been called "the best ongoing party in football." Layne believed that the team that drinks together wins together. When he had a drink, everyone had to have one. Bobby was the temperamental opposite of Browns QB "Automatic Otto" Graham. Graham studied his coach's game plan and executed the precision passing it required. By contrast, Layne's passes often wobbled, and he often stupefied his coaches with his play calling and improvisation. But he excelled in the fourth quarter, and no one would challenge the assertion that the Lions would not have won their conference without him. Jerry Izenberg described the Detroit QB like this: Layne was a pudgy quarterback out of Texas with a rifle-quick arm, a keen brain, and, most important of all, great leadership ability.
1952 Cleveland Browns

1952 Detroit Lions
# Player Pos. Hgt. Wgt. College Exp.
1 Jim Hardy QB/DB 6-0 180 USC 7
14 Bob Hoernschemeyer HB 5-11 195 Indiana 7
19 Tom Dublinski QB 6-2 190 Utah 1
22 Bobby Layne QB 6-1 190 Texas 5
23 Jug Girard HB/DB 5-11 175 Wisconsin 5
24 Jack Christiansen DB 6-1 180 Colorado A&M 2
25 Jim David DB 5-11 172 Colorado A&M 1
28 Yale Lary DB 5-11 180 Texas A&M 1
33 Ollie Cline FB 6-0 200 Ohio State 5
34 Pat Harder FB 5-11 202 Wisconsin 7
37 Doak Walker HB 5-11 173 SMU 3
40 Bob Smith P/DB 5-1 195 Tulsa/Iowa 4
44 Don Doll S 5-10 185 USC 4
45 Byron Bailey HB 5-10 185 Washington State 1
48 Jim Hill DB 6-0 188 Tennessee 2
51 Vince Banonis C/LB 6-1 235 Detroit 9
53 LaVern Torgeson LB 6-0 210 Washington State 2
60 Dick Flanagan LB 6-0 215 Ohio State 5
62 Jim Martin G/K 6-2 220 Notre Dame 3
63 Dick Stanfel G 6-3 240 San Francisco 1
65 Les Bingaman MG 6-3 285 Illinois 5
67 Stan Campbell G 6-0 215 Iowa State 1
70 Gus Cifelli T 6-4 240 Nevada-Reno 3
73 Thurman McGraw DT 6-5 235 Colorado A&M 3
74 Bob Miller T 6-3 235 Virginia 1
75 John Prchlik DT 6-4 235 Yale 4
76 Lou Creekmur T 6-4 230 William & Mary 3
80 Cloyce Box E 6-4 220 La Tech/W.Tex.A&M 3
81 Bill Swiacki E 6-2 195 Columbia 5
82 Leon Hart E 6-5 262 Notre Dame 3
83 Jim Doran DE 6-2 195 Iowa State 2
85 Sherwin Gandee E 6-1 210 Ohio State 1
86 Blaine Earon DE 6-1 195 Duke 1
1952 Cleveland Browns
# Player Pos. Hgt. Wgt. College Exp.
14 Otto Graham QB 6-1 195 Northwestern 7
15 Bert Reichichar LB 6-1 200 Tennessee 1
16 George Ratterman QB 6-0 185 Notre Dame 6
20 Ken Carpenter DB 6-0 190 Oregon State 3
22 Rex Bumgardner HB 5-11 193 West Virginia 5
24 Warren Lahr DB 5-11 185 Western Reserve 4
26 Ray Renfro HB 6-1 185 North Texas 1
32 Chick Jagade FB 6-0 210 Indiana 3
34 Walt Michaels LB 6-0 230 Washington & Lee 2
36 Marion Motley FB 6-1 238 S. Car. St./Nevada 7
40 Dub Jones HB 6-4 205 LSU/Tulane 7
42 Tommy James DB 5-10 185 Ohio State 5
44 Don Shula DB 5-11 190 John Carroll 2
50 Hal Herring LB 6-1 210 Auburn 4
52 Frank Gatski C 6-3 240 Marshall 7
54 Tommy Thompson LB 6-1 220 William & Mary 4
60 Bill Willis DL 6-2 215 Ohio State 7
62 Lin Houston G 6-0 215 Ohio State 7
64 Abe Gibron G 5-11 240 Valparaiso/Purdue 4
65 Joe Skibinski G 5-11 220 Purdue 1
68 Ed Sharkey LB 6-3 240 Duke 5
70 John Kissell DT 6-3 247 Boston College 5
72 Derrell Palmer DT 6-2 235 TCU 7
74 Bob Gain DT 6-3 245 Kentucky 1
76 Lou Groza T 6-3 235 Ohio State 7
78 John Sandusky DT 6-1 250 Villanova 4
79 Jerry Helluin DT 6-2 290 Tulane 1
80 Len Ford DE 6-4 235 Morgan St./Michigan 5
82 George Young DE 6-3 215 Baldwin-Wallace/Georgia 7
83 Warren Brewster E 6-3 210 Purdue 1
84 Horace Gillom E 6-1 225 Ohio State/Nevada 6
86 Dante Lavelli E 6-0 192 Ohio State 7
88 Mac Speedie E 6-3 205 Utah 7
Rosters from Cleveland Plain Dealer the day of the game.
With network TV now covering the entire country, the title game would be viewed by more people than ever before.
  • The Dumont network again televised the clash while Mutual provided the radio broadcast.
  • Sunday, December 28, dawned sunny but cold. The thermometer just missed rising to the freezing mark,and a strong wind added to the misery.
  • Nevertheless, 50,934 turned out, the best crowd by 10,000 for a title game in Municipal Stadium going back to the Cleveland Rams in 1945.
  • Commissioner Bert Bell ordered the field lights to be turned on before kickoff despite the sunshine.
  • Many Browns came out in basketball shoes for pregame warmups but quickly changed to football cleats The field was frozen hard at the beginning but thawed out as the game progressed. The footing was slippery between the hash marks but otherwise in acceptable shape.
  • Both Dub Jones of the Browns and Dick Stanfel of Detroit watched the game in street clothes from the sidelines.
  • Among the celebrities in the stands were Bill Veeck, owner of the St. Louis Browns who attended as the guest of Cleveland Indians' GM Hank Greenberg, Indian stars Larry Doby and Bob Feller, and Monte Irvin of the New York baseball Giants.
  • The crowd booed Lions FB Pat Harder when he was introduced because he had broken Len Ford's jaw two years earlier.



Cleveland Plain Dealer cartoon day of championship game


Lou Groza


Bob Hoernschemeyer


Pat Harder


Layne runs for yardage.


Leon Hart


Jim Doran


Marion Motley


Dante Lavelli

  • Quarter 1
    Detroit won the toss and elected to receive. Lou Groza kicked off to Yale Lary on the goal line. He returned up the middle to the 20. Hoernschemeyer gained 5 at LG, but three plays later, Bob Smith punted. Ray Renfro took it on his 30, returning 10y.
    Otto Graham pitched out to Renfro around RE all the way to the Detroit 48. On a delayed buck, bowling ball FB Chick Jagade gained 8 through the center. After an offside penalty moved the ball back to the 45, Jagade rumbled around LE, bowling over tacklers as he cut back to the middle for 19y to the 26, just short of a first down. So on 3rd down, Chick pushed straight ahead on a power play to the 21. Two plays later, Graham was snowed under for a 10y loss to 28. Jagade gained 7 on a trap play. So on 4th and 10, Groza tried a FG that sailed wide left - the start of a miserable day for the usually reliable kicker.
    Bobby Layne fired a pass to Hoernschemeyer for 12 and a 1st down. On the next snap, Layne went back to pass, then tore up the middle for 19 to the Cleveland 49. Shortly afterward, the former Longhorn connected with SMU's Doak Walker for 8 and a 1st down. After tackles Bob Gain and Derrell Palmer smothered Layne for a loss of 8, the redoubtable Lion QB made up for the loss and more with a 16y heave to big E Leon Hart to the 32. But after three plays netted only 2y, Pat Harder's 37y FG fell short.
    Cleveland started from the 20 with a play that almost turned into a disaster. RE Jim Doran narrowly missed batting down a long pitchout, but Carpenter caught it in stride and swung wide left for 5. Jagade then rammed for a first down on the 31. But that's where the advance bogged down. Pushed back to the 29 after three plays, Horace Gillom punted only 21y out of bounds at midfield.
    Layne threw to Cloyce Box to the 40 to move the chains. Then Bobby spun away from onrushing linemen for a first down on the 27 as the period ended.
    Browns 0 Lions 0

  • Quarter 2
    Harder gained 9 on a trap, and Walker got the first down on the 16. From there, Doak took a lateral running left and threw a pass into the EZ just beyond Box's outstretched hands. Bobby threw a low liner down the middle to E Bill Swiacki at the 3. After a 5y offside penalty, Walker regained the yardage around RE. Layne took the snap and sneaked standing up into the EZ to draw first blood. Harder booted the PAT with just 1:42 elapsed in the period.
    Lions 7 Browns 0

    Layne scores first TD on QB sneak.
    Marion Motley took the Harder's kickoff on the 10 and returned 30y. But Cleveland went backwards from there. After two runs lost 5, the rush sacked Graham for another -5. Lined up to punt, Gillom had to handle a poor pass, but with the Lions rolling back for the return, got off a tremendous punt from his 10 that rolled dead on the 12. Officially, 68 yards!
    On third down, RE Len Ford bottled up Walker for -2. Facing 4th and 2 on the 20, Smith spiraled a punt to Renfro on his 38. Ray was dropped after a 6y run back.
    Graham dropped back and lobbed a screen pass to Motley, who shook off one Lion before being pushed out of bounds after a 5y gain. Marion again, on a "delay" (called a "draw play" in later years) to the Detroit 43. The big FB went down in part because he slipped in the mud in the middle of the field. Otto gave the pigskin to Motley again for 6 more. Then 285 lb MG Les Bingaman leapt and deflected Graham's pass, causing it to fall short of Renfro. The Browns QB went back to his favorite - the screen pass, this time to Renfro. But Ray lost his footing attempting to cut back on the 39. On 4th-and-9, Groza tried a FG from the 44. But the try was low and off to the left.
    Starting from the 20, Harder rolled over RT for 7. But Detroit soon had to punt.
    From his 34, Graham threw to Renfro over the middle for 18 to the Lion 47. Then two more screen passes to Motley in the right flat gained 8, then 6 for a first down. But the stout Lion D drew the line there and drove the Browns backwards. Groza made it three-for-three in FG failures, this one from the 47 as time expired.
    The games had gotten chippy in the last minutes, and officials had to separate combatants several times. John Sandusky of the Browns would be ejected in Q4 for punching an opponent.
    Lions 7 Browns 0

  • Quarter 3
    Rex Bumgardner snared Harder's kickoff on the 15 and ran up middle to the 34. Graham-to-Renfro gained 7 over the middle. Jagade darted 18y on a bone-rattling quick opener to the Detroit 40. After a 15y penalty set the Browns back, Chick delayed a second, took Graham's handoff, and thundered through the secondary, knocking over everyone in his wake, including some of his interference, for 30y and a first down on the 25. But Cleveland's hopes for a tying TD crashed when Graham's pass on a button hook pattern bounced off Carpenter's fingertips to Jim David, who was nailed on the 19.
    On second down, Layne kept on an option play for 4 to the 25. Bobby ran the same play to the left but was stopped inches short of the first down mark. So Smith punted to Renfro, who returned 5y to his 33.
    Graham's pass to Ken Carpenter gained a first down. Shortly afterward, on 3rd-and-2, the Lions stopped Jagade cold. So Gillom got off another beauty. Christiansen took it on his 11 and weaved back to the 30 where Gillom stopped him.
    Harder took a handoff around LE for a short gain. Then lightning struck the Browns. Layne faked to Harder and handed to Walker. Meanwhile, LE Cloyce Box flared far to the left, taking two defenders with him. Walker sliced through the line, bounced off LB Bert Rechichar, eluded two tacklers, and angled to his left. Box, who had not been known for his blocking, bumped both Rechichar and Tommy James as the speedy Walker sailed down the sidelines and outran DB Warren Lahr to the EZ to complete the 67y play. Amazingly, it was Walker's first TD in a season in which he was hampered by injuries. Harder converted. Lions 14 Browns 0
    Motley returned Harder's kickoff 13y to the 23. Graham threw a down and out to Dante Lavelli who made his first catch of the day and stepped out after a 9y gain. After being set back by a 15y penalty for offensive interference on Lavelli, Graham fired to Brewster for 20. Then another aerial to Gillom gained 5 for a first down. The Graham-Lavelli combo struck again down the middle to the Detroit 32. Graham went back to pass but decided to run, gaining another first down on the 20. Otto next tossed in the right flat to Renfro for 8. With receivers spread wide to both sides, the Brown signal-caller dropped to pass. Finding no one open, he made it back to the line of scrimmage, thrown out of bounds. Carpenter on a power play dove for the first down at the 7. Jagade took a pitchout around RE, cut back, and slammed across the goal with DT Thurman McGraw and S Don Doll hanging on. Groza finally scored a point with the PAT with 2:30 left.
    Lions 14 Browns 7
    Starting from his goal line, Lary swung to the left before being stacked up just short of the 20. Walker, on the same play on which he scored, broke loose for 16 to the 34. After a gain of 2, Layne tried the option but was dropped for loss of 3. So Bobby took to the air, connecting with Harder for 7 - not enough for the first down to end the quarter.
    Lions 14 Browns 7

  • Quarter 4
    Smith punted to Renfro, who was snowed under on the 17. Graham flipped to Bumgardner for 15 to the 32. Then Otto targeted Lavelli again, Dante ducking down on the 40. Graham-Lavelli yet another time to the 46. Otto took the next snap, delayed to let his blockers clear a path, and scooted up the middle to the Lion 46. 1st down. Graham spun completely around and tossed a deep pitch to Motley around LE. Returning to the form from two years earlier, the 238lb FB broke free into the secondary and headed down the left sideline with three Lions in pursuit for 41y before Doll pushed him out of bounds at the 5. The tackle would prove to be one of the most crucial of the afternoon. Motley tried the other side on the next snap but ran into a stone. He tried to bounce outside only to have LB LaVern Torgeson upend him for a loss of 5. Graham backed up to pass but couldn't get it away as three Lions led by Lou Creekmur threw him down 12y behind the line. With no choice but to pass again on third down, Otto slipped while attempting to pass and just made his way back to the line of scrimmage. Brown decided to go for it on 4th down, but LB Dick Flanagan knocked down Graham's pass over the middle intended for Motley.
    With the shadows engulfing the playing field, Detroit played it close to the vest to protect the lead. Three runs gained only 8y but ran off several more minutes. Smith punted to Carpenter, but the ball went through his arms. G Jim Martin took the ball on the hop and was downed immediately on the Cleveland 24. With a chance to ice the game with a FG, the Lions suffered a 15y personal foul penalty to the 39. But a third down flare pass to Harder gained 10 to the 29, close enough to let Pat give it a try. Outdoing the more famous kicker on the Browns, Pat booted the ball through the uprights from the 36 with less than six minutes left. Lions 17 Browns 7
    Renfro took the kick on the bounce on the 10 and ran it back to the 28. After a 15y penalty, Motley slammed through the line for 5. Then Graham went back to his old standby against the furious Lions rush - the screen pass. Bumgardner hauled it in for 10 to the 39. Lavelli speared the next aerial on the 46, sidestepped a defender, and rambled 33y to the 35. Time for another screen to Bumgardner for 9 A QB sneak picked up the yard needed for first down plus 2 more. Motley took a pitch and charged to the 8. Graham went back to pass, ran out to the right to avoid the rush, and threw on run incomplete in the EZ. If Brown's decision to go for it on 4th down earlier in the period was controversial, this time he had no choice. Graham rolled right and threw back to Brewster in the EZ for an apparent TD. However, Renfro had tipped the ball at the 2 before Brewster caught it, a violation of the rule prohibiting two receivers from touching a pass. The pass would have been complete under college rules.
    So the Lions took possession on the 20 with little time left and Cleveland out of timeouts. Walker over LT for short yardage. Less than minute to go. Two more runs put the pigskin on the 26. As the Lions lined up in punt formation, the gun went off. C Vince Banonis, the oldest Detroiter in terms of service, picked up the ball and ran across the field with it.

Hundreds of Lions fans waited at the dugout entrance as their heroes came off the field. The jubilant victors pounded up the runway and burst into the clubhouse, shouting all the way.

Video of the 1952 Championship Game
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Lions rejoice
Final statistics:
  • First downs: Lions 10 Browns 22
  • Yards rushing: Lions 34-199 Browns 34-227
  • Passing: Lions 10-7-0/59 Browns 36-20-1/157
  • Return yardage: Lions 3-57 Browns 10-102
  • Fumbles-Lost: Lions 0-0 Browns 1-1
  • Penalties: Lions 3-25 Browns 7-65
  • Punting average: Lions 6-40.8 Browns 3-43.3

The Browns won the statistical battle but also led in turnovers (one that led to 3 points) and penalties.

  • Layne threw only nine passes and Walker, one. But Bobby completed seven of his tosses for 68y.
  • After the Lions got the big play from Doak to take a 14-0 lead, they sat on the ball, confident their defense could hold the less-than-100% Brown offense.
Postgame
  • Parker: Our defense won it for us. The Browns outgained us, but our line was terrific when they were inside the 30. I never saw anything like it. On the Q4 stop when the Browns had first-and-goal at the 5 but went backwards: That was the turning point, but it was a battle right up to the finish. We were reaching into the bottom of the barrel because a few of our defensive men were out with injuries. We had it in the clutch, you might say.
  • Walker talked about his 67y TD run. After I got past the line of scrimmage, I felt I had a chance to go all the way. They really opened up a big hole, didn't they?
  • Former Brown Jim Martin proclaimed the game the toughest he had ever played. The Browns are rugged. They played a good, hard game.
  • Commissioner Bell praised Detroit as possibly the best team the pro game has ever seen. His exaggerated paean no doubt reflected the happiness of the old guard that a team like the fun loving squads of the 1930s and '40s had won the title over Paul Brown's Cleveland machine with its playbooks, movie reels, and stifling organization.

The Browns licked their wounds for the second straight year.

  • Brown referred to the TD that was nullified by double touching: We can't even get the points when we do score. See what I mean - a football championship hinges on little things. But he praised the opposition. We lost to a great team. I thought we played a pretty good game under the circumstances, but it just wasn't good enough. I've been saying all along that Detroit had the best club i the league. I guess this proves it. When asked if he contemplated breaking up his team, Brown showed his sense of humor. Why, haven't you heard? I just fired all 33 of 'em. When shown the statistics that his team dominated, Paul said, Hard to believe. Only getting seven points out of an effort like that. He made no mention of absence of three regulars, Speedie, Jones, and T John Kissell. Instead, he praised the replacements. I thought Brewster and Renfro handled themselves very well.
  • The Cleveland coach ended the press conference early because he had three hours to board a plan to Mobile AL where he would coach the North team in the annual Senior Bowl game the following Saturday. Before he left, he walked around the dressing room, shaking hands with all his players.
  • It was learned that Lou Groza had played with a torn cartilage in his ribs after taking a novocaine injection before the game. But he said the injury was not responsible for his three missed FGs. It was just a lousy day. He explained the footing was bad and that he kept slipping on his second step, putting him so far behind the ball that he topped it.
  • G Abe Gibron had confided to friends that the title game would be his last even though he was only 26. But afterwards he said he had changed his mind. I'll be back at Hiram next August if Paul wants me.
The players split 70% of the net receipts of $248,635, a new record for the second straight year.
  • Each Lion earned $2,275.
  • Each member of the losing team took home $1,713.
References: Championship: The NFL Title Games plus Super Bowl, Jerry Izenberg (1970)
Pro Football Championships before the Super Bowl: A Year-by-Year History, 1926-1965, Joseph S. Page (2011)
The Gridiron's Greatest Quarterbacks, Jonathan Rand (2004)
Paul Brown: The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Football's Most Innovative Coach, Andrew O'Toole (2008)
Paul Brown: The Man Who Invented Modern Football, George Cantor (2008)

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