In some accounts there is confusion over the history of the Cleveland Browns. This is due to the unusual and unprecedented actions taken by the city of Cleveland and the National Football League following the relocation of the team to Baltimore, Maryland in 1995. The deal made between these two parties stipulated that the team name, colors, and history of the franchise were to remain in Cleveland. For that reason, past records and Pro Football Hall of Fame players are attributed to the Cleveland Browns and not to the Baltimore Ravens. See the Franchise History entry below for full details of the move.
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2 Players of note
3 External link
The Cleveland Browns were founded in 1946 under owner Arthur McBride. The team was to be named the Cleveland Panthers, but a semi-pro team was using that name and threatened to sue if the AAFC club used it as well. McBride then named the team after its first head coach, Paul Brown. Brown was uncomfortable with the idea of having the team named after him, stating publicly that the team was named after boxing champion Joe Louis who was known as the "Brown Bomber".
In either event, the Browns were extremely successful in the early part of their existence, dominating the All America Football Conference, winning all four of its championships including with a landmark 1948 season in which they went unbeaten and untied - 24 years before the 'first' perfect team, the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Upon being merged into the older National Football League, the Browns proceeded to resume their position among pro football's best teams, winning 4 NFL championsips during the 1950's.
In 1995 owner Art Modell announced he was moving the team to Baltimore. The announcement was met with tremendous resistance from the fans of the Browns, and in 1996 the NFL announced that the team name, colors, and heritage were to remain the rights of Cleveland. The Browns franchise was temporarily suspended while Modell was awarded a new franchise, named the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns would return in 1999 under owner Al Lerner and head coach Chris Palmer.
Players of note
Pro Football Hall of Famers: