Friday, November 10, 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, the immortal Lou Groza

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People called him “The Toe.” This was because Lou Groza could kick a football like nobody’s business. He was a pro football placekicker and offensive tackle. Groza spent his entire career with the Cleveland Browns in the AAFC and NFL. During his retirement in 1967, he held the record for career kicking and points.

Many sports experts and historians are quick to mention Groza as one of the greatest players to ever wear the Cleveland Browns uniform. He helped the football franchise win eight league championships over the span of 21 seasons.

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Sports writers agree that it was Groza who revolutionized the role of placekicker. His feats on the field led to the development of place-kicking as a specialty. Before Groza came along, it was unheard of for a player to kick field goals farther from 50 yards. It was this special talent that helped the Browns capture the AAFC titles from 1946 to 1949. It was also Groza who was responsible for the Browns winning the first-ever NFL championship, kicking in a field goal in the last minute.

Groza would go on to win more titles with the Browns, and even garner individual awards for his contributions to the sport. Though he retired for a short period (from 1959 to 1961), he returned to finish his career with the Browns.

Hello! I’m Jonathan Bunge, a Cleveland Browns fan. For more on me and the stuff I love, follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Trust the process: Measuring how Myles Garrett could impact the Browns' defense

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When the Cleveland Browns were granted the opportunity to select first overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, the team and its fans got excited. They had the prospect of adding a generational defensive talent after struggling to find consistency on that end of the field for the past years.

Myles Garrett had been highly touted since showing off his elite pass-rushing skills and insane combination of strength, speed, and agility during his three-year college tenure with Texas A&M. Because of this, no other draft pick made sense for the Browns. And so far, Garrett has displayed that he deserves to be the number one pick.

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During the preseason, not only did he show that the Browns finally has someone who can get sacks, Garret has also shown that he can disrupt opponents’ offensive schemes. Because of the pressure he constantly puts on the other team’s quarterback, he demands double teams from offensive tackles, freeing up the Browns’ other defensive linesmen to wreak havoc and stop either runs or passes. Unfortunately, Garrett suffered a high ankle sprain injury that requires weeks to recover from. He has already missed the first three games of the season, and the Browns’ dismal defensive play during this stretch is evidence that the team need him as soon as possible.

Jonathan Bunge here, a hardcore Cleveland Browns fan! If you wish to see more discussion about the team, be sure to follow this Twitter page.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The indomitable Paul Brown

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Paul Brown was not only the first coach of the Cleveland Browns, but he was also one of its founders. In fact, the team was named after him. He was as accomplished as any coach in history, winning seven league titles in a coaching career that lasted a quarter of a century.

Brown started coaching in 1931 at Severn School. He would later go on to coach his hometown team at Massillon Washington High School in Ohio. In an amazing statistic, Brown’s high school teams lost only 10 times in 11 years. Impressed by his record, Ohio State University recruited him to instant success. Brown led the school to its first ever national football title in 1942.

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When the second World War ended, Brown took on the mantle of head coach for the Cleveland Browns and steered them to four AAFC titles. This was before the team joined the NFL in 1950. The Cleveland Browns in the NFL would experience much success under Brown as they won three NFL championships in six years.

Brown’s parting with the team was bitter though. Amidst a power struggle with the team owner, Art Modell, Brown was fired. His next step was to become the founder and first head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. But that’s another story.

Hi there fellow Cleveland Browns follower! I’m Jonathan Bunge. Follow me on Twitter for more on the great game of football.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Game fundamentals: Catching a football

In football, if you can’t catch a pass from 10 feet away, you’re called butterfingers. And you don’t want that to happen. Fortunately, learning the most basic fundamental of football isn’t difficult.

Here are things you can do to catch the football every time.

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Keep your eyes on the ball at all times

Make sure you zero in on the ball. Every time you lose your sight on the ball you increase your chance of dropping it or the other team intercepting it. A simple way to lock it in is to watch the tip of the ball all the way from the quarterback’s hand to yours. This practice increases your hand-eye coordination.

Extend your arms

Extend your arms toward the ball so that your hands and the ball meet at the furthest possible point. This allows you to increase your chance of catching the ball if it wasn’t thrown at you directly.

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Cup your hands

Cup your hands so there’s a slight space between them. Always have your palms face toward the ball with your index fingers and thumbs touching each other so that it forms the shape of a triangle. Catch the ball and let it go halfway between your hands before clamping all your fingers down.

The most important thing is to visualize the catch. If you think you can catch, you will.

Hi, I’m Jonathan Bunge, a certified Browns fan. Let’s talk more about sports here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Desegregating football with Marion Motley

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Football in America has never been made more colorful than the history of racial discrimination that has always flavored it. Many African American players have had to achieve in much harder ways, just to succeed. One of them was Marion Motley of the Cleveland Browns.

What made this special was Motley’s superb skills, which he chose to do the work of getting the sport’s attention. He was a leading pass-blocker and rusher in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He had a career average of 5.7 yards per game, a still standing record for a full-back.

He was an exceptionally versatile player, as he was known as a consistent contributor on both offense and defense. Even his contemporary, the legendary Joe Perry considered Motley the greatest all-around football player there ever was. Both players were eventually included in the hall of fame.

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However, Motley’s greatness transcended the game. Every run, every pass, and every single move he made on the field seemed to be inspired by the passion to desegregate the game of football.

He recounted how everybody seemed to be calling him and fellow black teammate Bill Willis ‘niggers’, while they did everything on the field to make them pay for every insult thrown at them on and off the gridiron. With superb athleticism, they won over many opposing teams. They embarrassed many racists too.

Racism has never been easy to deal with for blacks, as even today, a slur slips up in football every so often. But in 1950, there was a move that significantly addressed racism, as the NFL declared that there was no room in the sport for it. Many believe that this wouldn’t have happened without Motley’s fighting heart.

Hi, I’m Jonathan Bunge, and I will always be a fan of the Cleveland Browns. Visit my blog for more football updates.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Remembering Lou 'The Toe' Groza

In American football, no matter what era, being the best in the game will always have an immortalizing effect on a player’s name. This is simply because it means that one specific player bested everybody else in his time. This is exactly what Lou “the Toe” Groza did with the Cleveland Browns for most of the 1950s and 1960s.
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Groza was pro football’s career kicking and points leader when he retired after the 1967 season. His unprecedented, out-of-this-world accuracy and strength in kicking influenced the development of place-kicking as a specialty move in the sport. He was the only player of his time who could make a ball fly beyond 50 yards.

With his superb play as an offensive tackle, he earned a total of eight championships for the Cleveland Browns in a very long 21-year career with the franchise.

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In the then competitive league AAFC, the Browns won the championship every year between 1946 and 1949, with Groza at the helm of the attack. When the league disbanded and the NFL absorbed the Browns, Cleveland won, on its maiden season with the league, thanks to Groza’s last minute field goal.

He then set league records in 1950, 1952, and 1953. By 1954, Sporting News named him the league's Most Valuable Player when the Browns won another championship. The team reigned once again as NFL champions in 1955.

After a brief retirement from the game for two seasons due to a back injury, Groza rejoined his team in 1961 and again became a champion with the Cleveland Browns in 1964.

He easily made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974, and his records served as the numbers that the future superstars of the game tried to beat.

I’m Jonathan Bunge, and I am a loyal Cleveland Browns supporter. For more football updates, follow me on Twitter.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Some facts about the awesome Ozzie Newsome

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Ozzie Newsome will always go down in history as one of the most memorable Cleveland Browns to run the on the gridiron. Here are some facts about him.

1. He is often regarded as a player who revolutionized how the NFL game was played.

2. It was Sam Rutigliano who discovered Newsome, even before he was named head coach of the team in 1977.

3. Newsome was originally positioned as a linebacker when has still with Alabama, where a scouting Rutigliano saw his brand of play numerous times.

4. In the months leading to the 1978 draft, Rutigliano, had a pair of eyes get a closer look at Newsome, just to be sure if his frame was big enough for his body to be boosted up to 240 pounds. It seems he already had a plan for the promising player.

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5. Rutigliano decided that Newsome’s potential would be maximized if he reinvented himself to play as a tight end, which was the position that the Browns were most lacking in.

6. With what he knew back then about Newsome, and the plan that was getting increasingly clearer in his head, Rutigliano drafted Newsome for the Browns as the 23rd pick overall.

7. Newsome turned out to be matched with the right developmental plan, as he became a complete project. He was big enough to block and athletic enough to run in stretches to catch passes, a quality that was exceedingly rare. This was the revolutionary contribution he had to football.

Hello, I’m Jonathan Bunge, and I have been following past and present Cleveland Browns for as long as I can remember. Follow me on Twitter for more football updates.