The MMQB presents NFL 95, a special project running through mid-July detailing 95 artifacts that tell the story of the NFL, as the league prepares to enter its 95th season. See the entire series here.
The Cleveland Browns, one of two non-expansion teams never to have appeared in a Super Bowl (Detroit is the other), have long been known for their bad luck and general lack of success. But there was a time, and a very long period, when the Browns were NFL royalty.
When Paul Brown formed the Browns in 1946, he made Northwestern tailback Otto Graham his first signing and immediately converted him to quarterback. Brown, Graham and the Browns would have an unprecedented run of success, appearing in the league championship game in all 10 of Graham’s seasons. He won five straight titles to open his career and seven overall.
Graham wore two numbers during his career. First was No. 60, which he wore until 1953 when the NFL issued its first mandate that positions would be required to wear certain numbers. Graham wore No. 14 after that but didn’t want a new jersey. So you can still see the faint stitching of 60 underneath his 14 jersey on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
—Greg A. Bedard