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The best football team ever? Look to 1948

inmate running the asylum

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February 17, 2008

By Jerry Green

The best football team ever? Look to 1948

The coach was a perfectionist, dour and sour, with a creative mind and a disdain for those who weren't as smart as he was. He sent in plays to a championship-quality quarterback with a knack for rallying his team and grabbing late victories.

The team was perfect -- and to many of us who relish history, it was the greatest pro football team that ever played.

These champions were the Cleveland Browns of 1948. They were unbeaten. They were the first perfect team in the history of pro football.

But their history has been shredded and ignored. The NFL refuses acknowledge that the Browns of 1948 ever put on their high-topped cleats and orange helmets and went 15-0.

Paul Brown was the Bill Belichick of his era. He coached with ingenuity. He was not particularly popular with his fellow coaches nor the media. A media gimmick was just starting to sweep America. It was called television.

Star-studded upstarts

Brown's quarterback played with plenty of swagger. The Browns' roster was loaded with star athletes.

And Otto Graham was the Eli Manning, or Tom Brady, of his time. Graham was a talkative guy with a penchant for connecting with his receivers in the knick of time.

The standard for quarterback excellence today is winning four Super Bowl championships. Brady, with his three clutch Super Bowl victories, has many seasons left to reach this elite achievement and match Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.

Graham won seven league championships. But the haughty NFL credits him with winning only three.

The Browns played in the All-America Conference, which NFL statistics-keepers refuse to admit existed.

It existed. I'm a witness. I saw the Cleveland Browns play when Paul Brown built the first dynasty in the history of pro football.

No doubt that the Browns had some great players, but I just can't see any teams that far back, beating modern teams. I mean you have offensive linemen in the Hall of Fame back then, who only weighed 240 lbs! I believe Jerry Kramer was one? The players today for the most part are just bigger and faster than these old time players.

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I really don't think you can compare eras. Rules change, equipment changes, size changes, etc.
Agreed but you can compare dominance and the there were none more dominating ever.:)
Otto Graham later became the coach of the Washington Redskins. I can remember him.
Holy Cow are you old Hap!:silly:
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I really don't think you can compare eras. Rules change, equipment changes, size changes, etc.


If an old time team plays today, they'd be shredded with penalties, especially in the secondary.

If the Pats played back then, Brady would be taken out in a body bag.

You just can't compare eras.

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Interesting article on George Connor 1948 Chicago Bears, he weighed

240 lbs, and stood 6-3, He played offense and defense at three different positions-offensive tackle, defensive tackle, and linebacker. When you take in todays game with specialists in offense and defense and special teams, I'm not sure you can compare the old teams to the ones today. Especially with the rule changes to protect the players. If the old teams played the newer teams by the old rules, I wonder how many prima donnas would leave the field in fear of their safety.


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