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Sports Then and Now



The 1995 Cleveland Browns, DEAD Team Playing (VIDEO) 0

Posted on October 04, 2012 by Joe Gill

Browns Fans Had Their Football Hearts Torn Out

Never has a professional sports team announced they were moving DURING a season. No owner has ripped the hearts out of his franchise’s fans, players and coaching staff like Art Modell did in Cleveland during the ’95 season. In essence, the ’95 Cleveland Browns became a “DEAD Team Playing”.

Bill Belichick came to Cleveland in 1991 fresh off a Super Bowl victory with the New York Giants. He came to the Browns to bring respectability back to the once proud franchise that could never get over the hump. He instilled a system and assembled a staff (which included 3 future GM’s, 2 successful college coaches and one NFL coach) that would lead the Browns to their first Super Bowl.

Belichick took a team from a 3-13 season to a 6-10 record in his first year at the helm. In 1992 & 1993, the Browns posted back to back 7-9 campaigns and were showing progress. However, progress was not without pain and scrutiny.

Bill Belichick made a controversial and risky decision by benching Cleveland icon Bernie Kosar early in the ’93 season in favor of Vinny Testaverde. A mere eight weeks later, Kosar was released due to his “diminished skills” as described by Belichick. Browns fans were enraged by Kosar’s dismissal as they wore Bernie Kosar masks to the following home game.

The head coach survived the fire and brimstone to lead the Browns to the playoffs in 1994 after posting a 11-5 record. Belichick would face his mentor, Bill Parcells and the New England Patriots in the playoffs. Cleveland won the wild card match-up 20-13 before falling to their hated rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-9 in the divisional round.

Hope was breeding eternal in the “Dawg Pound” as their Browns were back to respectability. NFL pundits such as the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated were picking the Browns to go to the Super Bowl in 1995.  And the team was believing in the hype as they started the season 3-1.

Cleveland was riding high….

Then IT happened…………..

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      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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