Does anyone remember this team? I must have been 13 when they made their improbable run into the playoffs with an 11-5 record. I remember, we used their nickname for one of our street football teams that had a penchant for comebacks. The 1980 Browns were led by Brian Sipe, an undersize, and I believe undrafted quarterback who had beaten out first-round pick Mike Phipps a couple years earlier. He was a real underdog story, and their coach, Sam Rutigliano, was one of these rah-rah Italian guys that everyone seemed to rally around.
Anyways, the Browns met their demise in one of the coldest games in NFL history, played in January in old Cleveland Stadium. They were trailing 14-12 with time running out and had driven down the field against Raiders to well within field goal range-on a normal day. But the Browns' 200-year-old kicker, Don Cockroft, I believe, had already missed two extra points to create the deficit - correct me if I'm wrong - so they called a pass play, and Sipe threw into double coverage - for Ozzie Newsome - and it got picked off by in a great play by a Raiders' linebacker.
Maybe it's because the Super Bowl is approaching, but Sports Time Ohio has had a couple specials on this team this past week, with former WR Reggie Rucker, who was on the team, interviewing ex-players. They had the old middle linebacker on last night, and he explained that he had actually driven halfway to practice the following Wed. because he still couldn't believe the Browns had lost the game. The Raiders went on to win the Super Bowl and the Browns went 5-11 the next year. They're cursed I tell you...