DY: In Just a Few Words (#12)
It really was quite a game!
This week’s blog was about our Browns winning the NFL Championship Game in 1964. It hit a positive nerve with readers. We’re following up today with a further look at that game and memories it has sparked. Enjoy.
My friend and neighbor Bob Paulson is a sports memorabilia guy -- especially Cleveland sports. He has a ticket from the 1964 NFL Championship Game (the Super Bowl before there was a Super Bowl) that had a face value of $8 for an upper deck seat. Yes, $8. Check it out. The price is on the far left side.
A modest $8 is all I paid to go to that game on December 27, 1964. By contrast, an upper bowl ticket to the 2020 Super Bowl carried a face value of $950, according to a post on The Street/Personal Finance. If you had plunked down $950 for that 1964 game, you could have purchased 118 tickets and taken all your friends and their friends, too.
Here are a few other treasures from Bob’s collection.
What’s better than the official game program?
Getting your program signed by Browns greats Jim Brown and Frank Ryan.
The Browns starting lineup from December 27, 1964.
The front page from the December 28, 1964, Plain Dealer.
Note that the cost of that day’s paper was 10 cents.
Bob remembers being a seventh grader in 1964 at the then Moody Junior High School on Columbus Rd. in Bedford (now the site of the Bedford Public Library). “I had been a Browns fan since I was in the second grade and loved that 1964 team. I can still recite their starting lineup on offense and defense. We listened to that 1964 game in our living room on a table-top transistor radio. It was blacked out in Cleveland even though it was sold out. Some folks rented motel rooms as far away as Toledo and Erie so they could tune in.”
Another reader, PD columnist Ted Diadiun, reports a similar experience. “I was in New Castle, Pennsylvania, that day in 1964 because if you recall the NFL was sticking to its neanderthal rule of blacking out home football games -- yes, even championship games. So, a friend of mine had an uncle in New Castle and we invited ourselves there to watch the game on a snowy, tiny, black-and-white portable TV in the kitchen. I had a date that night and called the girl from the kitchen just before we left to go home to tell her I’d be a little late. When I told her why, she said it was too bad I hadn’t said anything -- her father had installed a giant antenna next to their house to pull in TV stations from Erie, and he and her brother watched the game in their family room on their color TV.”
Oh well, you win some and you lose some. Those ‘64 Browns are well remembered and deservedly so for 60 minutes of excellence -- a 27-0 shutout of the highly favored Baltimore team. Sort of like a football no-hitter. Those Browns had a vision and they made it happen. When you come right down to it, the real value of sports is when you can turn a positive vision into reality. Sort of like life, don’t you think?
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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