Found January 07, 2013 on
On this day in 1961, the Detroit Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns 17-16 in the first ever NFL Playoff Bowl (runner-up bowl).
The Browns were led by FB Jim Brown and QB Milt Plum. Brown was the NFLâs leading rusher, and Plum was the highest-rated passer. The Lions were known for their defense as they finished the regular season third in the NFL in points allowed (17.7/game). They were led by LB Joe Schmidt, CB Dick Lane, DT Alex Karras and DT Roger Brown ( Karras and Brown were later part of Detroitâs fearsome foursome).
Bobby Mitchell caught a 89-yard TD pass from Milt Plum to bring the Browns withing one point.Â A bad snap on the extra point attempt led to âNight Trainâ Lane blocking Sam Bakerâs kick, giving Detroit the win.
What in the world is a playoff bowl?!
To answer that question, we need to travel back in time to 1959. The National Football League was nowhere near the billion dollar industry it is today and the [potentially] up-and-coming American Football League (AFL) was starting to look like real competition. The NFL team owners came up with the playoff bowl idea to better show-off the talent their league had.
For that to make better sense, you need to know this: at the time, there was only one playoff game. It was known as he NFL Championship Game (equivalent to the modern day Super Bowl). Â The top two teams from the Eastern and Western conferences played in the game.
The issue was that there were plenty of âchampionship-caliberâ teams coming just short of first place in their conference and having their season practically go to waste. The Playoff Bowl idea would let the NFL flaunt four teams instead of two, allowing them to also take up more television time (donât forget they were worried about the AFL).
The official name of the Playoff Bowl was the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl.Â Bert Bell founded the Philadelphia Eagles and was the NFL commissionerÂ from 1946-1959. This gameâs winnerÂ would be considered the NFLâs third best team.
The Super Bowl was established in 1966 and the first two were actually known as the NFL-AFL Championship. The NFL Playoff Bowl continued to be held for three years even after the Super Bowl was put in place.
The 1970 (â69 season) Playoff Bowl was the last one; the LA Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys 31-0.
All 10 Playoff Bowl games were played at the Orange Bowl in Miami.
Iâll keep it one hunnit for you to finish this history lesson. If you think about it, The game had very little meaning (football-wise). Even though it was talked about as a game to determine the NFLâs third best team, itâs not as if winning team in this game could advance to anything.
On top of that, this third place game was played a week after the actual championship game. The game, however, did give fans another chance to see a good football game on television before the dreaded offseason.
BEST OF MAXIM
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
Two days ago, it seemed likely that Chip Kelly would be the next coach of the Cleveland Browns. Now the Browns are back to square one.
The Detroit Lions were possibly the greatest disappointment in the NFL in 2012 after going 4-12 to follow a 10-6 year that also saw a playoff berth.
The national and local media alike hopped on the Lionsâ star trio of Stafford, Johnson and Suh in 2011 a base that any team should be able to build around and find success.
In fact I would argue this season is worse than the 2008 in...
According to Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com, a source informed PFT that the former Super Bowl coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hasnât stimulated any interest of the Cleveland Browns.Contrary to a report from theÂ Cleveland Plain Dealerthat theÂ Browns âmightâ pursue Gruden, a source with direct knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Gruden isnât, and wonât be, on...
Reactions are always so extreme when it comes to quarterbacks.
Two years ago, Matthew Stafford was a so-called "china doll," unable to stay on the field because he was so injury prone.
A year ago, the perception totally changed when he joined Dan Marino, Drew Brees and Tom Brady as the only players to pass for 5,000 yards in a season while leading the Detroit Lions to...
One nice thing about how Randy Lerner never really cared about being the Browns owner was that Lerner never made a show of camping out for a week in the desert to to make his âtop choiceâ to fill a head coaching vacancy an âan offer he couldnât refuse,â then letting it be reported by every major outlet under the sun that he had âa done dealâ with this top choice, and...
Jon Gruden has been linked to virtually every coaching vacancy in the college and professional ranks in the last few years after he joined the broadcast booth. This year, reports have suggested that Gruden may indeed be willing to re-join the sidelines as his time away from the game might make his coach relevancy less important. Gruden has a premiere job, siting alongside Mike Tirico...
DK examines the realties that came out of the failed attempt to woo Chip Kelly to the NFL and the Cleveland Browns.
Though the Cleveland Brownsâ head coaching search officially began upon the ousting of one Pat Shurmur, it began to pick up substantial steam over the last 48 hours once Oregonâs Chip Kelly did his annual flirtation with a league he is obviously not cut out for. The rumor mill swirled, speculation was ripe, and the Browns left their temporary headquarters in Arizona without a...
Marc Trestman's coaching journey, which drifted into Canada, could bring him back to the Browns.
A person familiar with the interview says the Browns are meeting with Trestman, the current coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and a former assistant with Cleveland.
Trestman interviewed with the Chicago Bears on Monday night and arrived at the Browns' facility in suburban...