- 1996 - 1999
Cleveland Browns Team FormationThe Browns’ origins date to 1944 when taxicab magnate Arthur B. “Mickey” McBride secured the rights to a Cleveland franchise in the newly formed All-America Football Conference. The AAFC was to compete with the dominant National Football League once it began operations at the end of World War II, which had forced many professional teams to curtail activity, merge or ...
New Owner Art ModellArt Modell, a 35-year-old advertising executive from Brooklyn, purchased the team in 1961 from a group of shareholders led by National Insurance Company. The beginnings of a power struggle between Paul Brown and Art Modell took their toll. Journalist D.L. Stewart recounted in Jeff Miller’s book on the AFL, Going Long, “As you well can imagine, Jimmy Brown and Paul ...
Modell Announces Move to BaltimoreModell announced on November 6, 1995, that he had signed a deal to relocate the Browns to Baltimore in 1996 a move which would return the NFL to Baltimore for the first time since the Colts relocated to Indianapolis after the 1983 season. The very next day, on November 7, 1995, Cleveland voters overwhelmingly approved an issue that had been ...
Deactivated for Three YearsIn February 1996, the NFL announced that the Browns would be ‘deactivated’ for three years and that a new stadium would be built for a new Browns team, as either an expansion team or a team moved from another city, that would begin to play in 1999. Modell would in turn be granted a new franchise, the NFL’s 31st, for ...
Lerner Family OwnershipCleveland returned to the NFL in 1999 with high hopes and expectations, featuring deep-pocketed ownership in Al Lerner. When his father, Al Lerner, died in October 2002 – four years to the day after he was awarded the new Browns franchise – the ownership of the team passed on to Randy Lerner. Randy Lerner served as a member of the ...
Haslam OwnershipIn July 2012, owner Randy Lerner announced that he planned to sell the Browns to businessman Jimmy Haslam. The sale was finalized on August 2, 2012, in excess of $1 Billion (USD). Haslam officially was approved as the new owner on October 16, 2012, at the NFL owners’ meetings, and the very next day former Eagles president Joe Banner was ...
History of the Browns
The Cleveland Browns have been a staple in the National Football League since 1946. As one of the original eight teams to join the NFL, they have had an illustrious history of successes and failures. From legendary players like Jim Brown, Otto Graham, and Bernie Kosar to Super Bowl appearances in 1986 and 1987, there is no doubt that this team has made its mark on NFL history.
In their early years as a part of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), they won all four championships from 1946-1949 before joining forces with other AAFC teams to form what would become today's modern NFL. The 1950s saw them reach three consecutive championship games but unfortunately lose each time by narrow margins; however, during this decade, Hall of Fame quarterback Otto Graham led them through some of their most successful seasons, including back-to-back titles in 1954 & 1955.
The 1960s were not nearly as prosperous for Cleveland as they only managed two winning seasons throughout ten years; however, things started looking up when future Hall Of Famer Paul Warfield joined forces with running back Leroy Kelly, who helped lead them into another era of complete success which included making it all way to playoffs six times between 1972 - 1980. This period also saw numerous Pro Bowlers such as Brian Sipe, Clay Matthews, Mike Pruitt & Hanford Dixon come through town. At the same time, head coach Sam Rutigliano guided his team into becoming one of the league’s best defenses at the time (known famously as “Dawg Pound”).
While much has changed over the past few decades – name changes, ownerships, etcetera – Browns remain a beloved franchise amongst fans across the country even though recent struggles do many wonders if more glory days may be ahead soon. Only time will tell, but regardless of the future, we can look fondly upon the rich legacy left behind by those who came before us to help shape the landscape of professional football today!
1950 - Present / National Football League
1946 - 1949 / All-America Football Conference
1946 - Present / Cleveland Browns
Browns - The Cleveland Browns are one of the most storied franchises in professional football. With a history that dates back to 1946, they have been part of some iconic moments and earned an impressive list of accolades over the decades. But did you know that their nickname has an interesting origin story? Let’s take a look at how it came about!
It all started when original owner Arthur B McBride decided he wanted his team to be called something other than “Cleveland Indians” or “Cleveland Bulldogs,” two popular names for local teams at the time. He chose instead to honor his favorite coach from his college days: Paul Brown. Henceforth, they would be known as The Cleveland Browns!
The name quickly caught on with fans across Ohio and around the nation who embraced it as their own – so much so that even after Brown left in 1962 (Blanton Collier replaced him), nobody suggested changing it again! This is why today we still refer to them simply as The Browns despite having had several different head coaches since then, including Bill Belichick and Mike Holmgren.
In addition, there is also speculation surrounding another possible source for this nickname: boxing legend Joe Louis (also known affectionately as "the brown bomber"). Some historians believe that McBride may have taken inspiration from him, too, when deciding what moniker best suited his new franchise - although nothing can ever be confirmed definitively on this point...
No matter its origins, though, one thing remains certain; The Cleveland Browns will always remain synonymous with success no matter what happens next season or beyond – making them one team every NFL fan should keep tabs on year-round!
Super Bowl 0
NFL Championships 4
1964, 1955, 1954, 1950
All-America Football Conference Championships 4
1949, 1948, 1947, 1946
2013 - Present / FirstEnergy Stadium
1999 - 2013 / Cleveland Browns Stadium
1946 - 1995 / Cleveland Municipal Stadium
2012 - Present / Jimmy Haslam
2002 - 2012 / Randy Lerner
1998 - 2002 / Al Lerner
1996 - 1998 / Cleveland Browns Trust (Operations suspended)
1961 - 1995 / Art Modell
1953 - 1961 / David Jones
1946 - 1953 / Arthur B. "Mickey" McBride
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
14 / Otto Graham
32 / Jim Brown
45 / Ernie Davis
46 / Don Fleming
76 / Lou Groza
*Blue is this team’s history