The past is the past. All of the teams are 0-0. We've way past waited our turn to win a Championship. Nobody is going to give it to us, hell, some even enjoy our suffering but NO MORE! If we want it bad enough, we have go and TAKE IT. It's going to start and end with the fanbase. Talk about dropped ball and you'll see more dropped balls. What you collectively speak into place finds a way to manifest itself, believe it or not, in reality.
A really cool article on Paul Brown from Jan. 18th 1982... https://www.nytimes.com/1982/01/18/sports/football-paul-brown-s-way.html
CINCINNATI PAUL BROWN'S players used to call it The Speech. They would get it the first day of training camp every year. Two hours of Paul Brown on what to wear. How to talk. When to smoke. Whom to associate with. The talk was so long, Paul Brown took two breaks. But when it was over they knew what it took to play football for Paul Brown, perhaps the most successful coach in the history of football. They knew that he had standards that went beyond blocking and tackling and running.
''Do it my way,'' he would tell them, ''or hit the highway.'' And there was one other thing about those speeches. Paul Brown explained who was in charge. This is how one of his less-reverential former Cincinnati Bengal players, Pat Matson, remembered Brown asserting authority that first day:
''One time he told the owner of the team, John Sawyer, to stand up. As soon as he stood up, Brown told him, 'Sit down.' And Brown said, 'I'm the last word.' I read it as, it wasn't going to be like it was in Cleveland. You can't go to anybody else.''
Brown is a week away from the ultimate last words in football -the Super Bowl. His Bengals, for whom, at the age of 73 he is vice president, general manager, and one of three principal owners, have one more game to win. They play it Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XVI in Pontiac, Mich.
But he really can't lose. His reputation remains bigger than the man. Why, Bill Walsh, the 49er coach, was a Brown assistant for many years. Hadn't Brown rescued Walsh from oblivion after the semi-pro team Walsh coached, the San Jose Apaches, went bankrupt? And Chuck Studley, the 49er defensive coordinator, had been a car salesman before Brown brought him to the Bengals.
Brown's blue eyes, which peer out under permanently arched eyebrows, didn't blink as he said in an interview last week, ''When Bill Walsh came here he was up against it and he spent eight years and he saw how to build a franchise, I guess.''
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Continue reading the main story
But when Brown decided to step down after a successful 1975 season, he passed over Walsh for Bill Johnson. The reason Brown has always offered for not hiring Walsh is that Walsh preferred to live on the West Coast, where he was happiest. ''You can't have two people on the same staff wanting to be head coach,'' Brown said. Forrest Gregg, the Bengal coach, whom Brown calls ''a man's man,'' also was a Brown inspiration. Gregg previously had been dismissed as the coach of the Cleveland Browns by Art Modell, the owner. Many years before Modell had dismissed another coach, although that was more dramatic.
Soon after the 1962 season Modell had dismissed the coach the Cleveland Browns were named for: Paul Brown. There are more than 40 coaches and assistant coaches in the N.F.L. -about 15 percent of the total - who played or worked for Paul Brown. ''And that doesn't include the coaches I've got on my own staff now,'' he says with a wink. He has coached Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Walt Michaels. The Hall of Fame includes Otto Graham and Marion Motley and, of course, Paul Brown.
The Brown Legend simply will grow this week. Some of his more remarkable coaching records will be recounted: - Massillon (Ohio) High School -won 80, los t 8, tied 2.
- Cleveland Browns, All-America Football Conference - won 47, lost 4, tied 3.
- Cleveland Browns, N.F.L. - won 111, lost 44, tied 5. In 1949, after one of the four games his Browns lost in the 54 they played in the A.A.F.C., he gathered together his troops on Monday. Well, his players wondered, perhaps he'll congratulate us on the streak. The Browns had gone 29 games before losing.
''I'm telling you this and it's cold turkey. If those of you who fell down on the job don't bounce back, I'll sell you.''
Even indoors, Brown wears his spiffy houndstooth jacket and his snap-brim hat that is adorned with a colorful feather that looks as if it were plucked from a peaSock.
''I was probably the first football coach to dress up,'' he says. Even today the persistent image is one of the nattily dressed Brown prowling the sidelines in a loden jacket or overcoat with raglan sleeves, the knot in the tie showing.
''I told the players I didn't want them looking like old pro players,'' he says. ''When I went into the pros, they had a very poor image.''
The first personnel director of the Bengals, Al LoCasale - now administrative assistant to Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders - recalls Brown's warning to players not to wear T-shirts in training camp, or smoke in front of children, or go to a bar.
''I felt at all times that having 'good people' around was a basic with him,'' says LoCasale. ''He had this speech he would give on the first day - he had copies of every one he made - and he would tell the players they had a reverential responsibility to protect the game.''
Brown recalls easily, proudly all his firsts. He speaks of them as evenly -with no false modesty - as he does the controversies. There are no regrets.
For Paul Brown has always believed in the absolute correctness of his actions. Sometimes, his days have been so good, that he attempts to repeat them. How? He kept a diary during football season of each day's activities. If one day went particularly well, he just might do it again, following the same timetable.
And when one considers the bottom line, who can fault him? The Bengals are not completely his anymore. Brown, who founded the team in 1968 as an owner, general manager and coach, gave up coaching them in 1975. Gregg has been head coach for two seasons. Most of the players were children when Brown formed the Bengals. But ''P.B.'' as Brown is known in the organization, remains the powerful symbol of the Bengals.
His son Mike, the club's legal counsel and assistant general manager, says, ''I think my father suffered from criticism that he interfered. He is very conscious of that.''
But Paul Brown still brings a brown-bag lunch on Monday mornings, reporting for work at the Bengal training camp for four hours of watching films. He sees each of the films, which last until noon: the special teams, the defense, the offense.
Does he interfere? ''I say wha t I want to say. Like, say, one end of the field freezesup - make sur e the defensive backs backpedal on that side of the field so they know what it's like in a game.''
Sometimes, he seems embarrassed when the attention focuses on him and not on Gregg and the players. The morning after the Bengals trounced the Chargers to win the American Conference championship, more newsmen sought out Brown than any coach or player. While he was speaking, obviously delighted with the attention, he saw Gregg approach and said, ''Well, I wonder what he'll say about this crowd.''
For most of the last few years, Paul Brown was in the shadows. It wasn't always that way.
When he was coaching Massillon High in the 1930's, he was more well known than most college coaches. The school was undefeated in 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939 and 1940. It lost once in the last 60 games he coached. Then he went on to Ohio State in 1941. By 1942, Ohio State was the unofficial national collegiate champion.
Two years later, as a Lieutenant (j.g.) in the Navy, he was directed to produce a powerful football team at the Great Lakes (Ill.) Naval Training Center.
''The Admiral told me it was good for morale. We put a stadium in the center of the parade grounds and one time we had 100,000 people,'' he says.
He formed, perhaps, the best football team in the United States. ''I was told to be on the alert for anyone coming through,'' he explains about how he got his players. ' 'I ha d coached in the Big 10, so anyone coming through, I had their fol ders pulled out, we heldthem over and we tested them.''
As soon as the war was over, he was installed as the head of a new team in a new league: the Cleveland Browns of the A.A.F.C. It was there that he started doing things differently: Intelligence tests for players, a year-round coaching staff, diagramming patterns for his receivers to run, sending in plays by messenger guard - even keeping the team together the night before a game and then sending the squad to a movie that would uplift them.
The N.F.L. took in the Browns in a 1950 merger. In their first six years in the National League they won the Eastern Division title each time. That gave him a record of winning a league or division title in each of his first 10 seasons as a pro coach.
He offers some reasons:
- ''My standard was, Did you do the best you could? Of all the ballplayers, I got rid of the selfish ones first.''
- ''Never ask a player to do anything unless you tell them why. In our playbook, I said, 'Why do we have calisthenics?' I explained, 'To get warm.' ''
- ''Football is a team game. It's a kind of war.'' But in 1961, Modell bought controlling interest in the Browns. Brown retained his share in the team, but until then, the coach had been the last word. Now Modell demanded a voice in the operation.
Brown has contended that he was undermined by players, such as the great running back Jim Brown, who went to Modell and complained of Brown's old-fashioned, high-handed actions. Even at the time, Modell was quoted as having said that seven veterans were ready to quit if something wasn't done.
The 39-year-old Modell dismissed the 54-year-old Brown, who refused to sell his share in the team to Modell. Brown sold it when the Bengal franchise was created.
Modell today claims that this version of the dismissal is inaccurate, but refuses to discuss his reasons for dismissing Brown. ''It's more profound than that,'' he says. Modell adds that even after he dismissed Brown, the pair had a relationship. ''I even helped him get the Bengals' franchise,'' says Modell. ''What little we had evaporated when he wrote his book.'' Modell said last week that the book, ''P B: The Paul Brown Story'' written with Jack Clary and published in 1979, is ''libelous and trash.''
Among Brown's charges in the book - for which Commissioner Pete Rozelle fined him $10,000 during Super Bowl Week last year - was that Modell told Brown to use Ernie Davis, who was stricken with leukemia, to help attendance. Modell denies the charge.
When Brown was dismissed after 1962, he still had five years remaining on a contract paying him $80,000 a year. ''The only one getting paid more than me to play golf,'' he said during his retirement, ''is Arnold Palmer.''
He does not recall retirement so fondly these days, though. ''I didn't want to end my football like it ended in Cleveland,'' he says. He drums his fingers on a chair. There was an expansion franchise slated for Cincinnati in 1968 and he wanted to be part of it.''I didn't come back for the money. My sons and I were thinking of buying a radi o station. We had money. And I said, 'Everybody sleep onthis, but I'v e got to get back into football.'
''We got up in the morning and I said 'How do you feel' and my wife, Katie, said, 'Well, we're going back into football.' '' And so they did. By their third year in the league, 1970, the Bengals won the Central Division title. He had told them on that first day, when he expected discipline, ''We may be an expansion team, but we aren't going to be the Foreign Legion.''
He had also said, when asked why he drafted Jess Phillips, who had served time in prison for passing bad checks, ''I, perhaps better than anyone, should know that a man isn't always what his reputation proclaims him to be.''
That reputation as intransigent and tough remains in the mind of Pat Matson, the former guard whom the Bengals got in the expansion draft.
''I was player rep at the time of the first players' strike, which never sat well with him. After the strike he traded me. He's a very vindictive person,'' recalls Matson, who now owns health clubs in Cincinnati.
''Three years later I saw him and I said, 'Even God forgives.' He didn't think it was funny.'' These days, Brown is charitable when discussing Matson, whom he labels, ''a pumped-up 200 pounds.'' ''Matson played with great spirit,'' says Brown, ''but things with him were never quite the same after the strike - and he led it.'' Brown coached the Bengals through the 1975 season. They wound up with their best record - 11-3. And then on Ne w Year's Day 1976, afterthe team was eliminated from the playoffs, he announced he was givingup coaching.
''I was 67 and we had had a fine year. I only wanted to coach three or four years and I did it eight years.'' And what has it been like in the background? ''I made a decision to treat the coach as I would have wanted to be treated if I were the coach.'' He paused after that sentence, considering its structure. ''Contrary to fact ... 'were' is plural. It takes the subjunctive mood.'' He seemed pleased. ''I also taught grammar,'' he said.
Wednesday, Late City Final Edition
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--- It's a mindset. It's a belief. It takes protecting... but it's worth protecting. Go and get it- but you better be willing to sacrifice. Giving whatever it takes to be remembered as great. It's a mentality. Go represent. Do right and be right.