How Did Cleveland Browns Get Their Name?

The Cleveland Browns, a powerhouse in American football, have a rich history dating back to their founding in 1946. The team, which has experienced both triumphs and tribulations, carries a name deeply intertwined with its origins and the legacy of its first head coach, Paul Brown.

1946Cleveland Browns founded; named after their first head coach, Paul Brown.
1948Browns achieve a historic 15–0 record, becoming the first undefeated team in professional football.
1950Browns integrate into the NFL, winning their first game symbolically against the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles.
1957Jim Brown drafted, setting numerous NFL rushing records during his career.
1980sDawg Pound emerges, representing passionate and devoted Browns fans.
1996Team relocates to Baltimore, breaking the hearts of Cleveland fans.
1999Cleveland regains the Browns as an expansion team, retaining name, colors, and history.
2002Expansion Browns earn a playoff appearance.
2018Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield sparks a turnaround, leading to the team’s best record in over a decade.

The Birth of the Browns

How Did Cleveland Browns Get Their Name?
How Did Cleveland Browns Get Their Name?
( Image By : dawgsbynature )

The Cleveland Browns were born out of a fan contest held in 1946 to choose a fitting moniker for the newly established team. The winner of this contest, in a stroke of poetic simplicity, decided to name the team after their inaugural head coach, Paul Brown. At that time, Paul Brown was already a revered figure in Ohio, having previously coached the Ohio State University to a national collegiate football championship.

The Browns initially emerged as members of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), dominating the league by clinching the title in each of the four years of the AAFC’s existence. Notably, the 1948 team achieved a historic 15–0 record, marking the first undefeated season in organized professional football history.

Glorious Years and Iconic Players

The early years of the Browns were characterized by the brilliance of quarterback Otto Graham and the innovative coaching of Paul Brown. These two Hall of Famers guided the team to an astounding 10 divisional titles in its first decade and secured seven championships across both the AAFC and the NFL.

In 1957, the Browns drafted running back Jim Brown, who would go on to set numerous NFL rushing records and become one of the greatest football players of all time. However, the team faced a setback when another promising running back, Ernie Davis, succumbed to leukemia, preventing the pairing of two extraordinary talents.

The Dawg Pound and Challenges

The mid-1980s marked the emergence of the Dawg Pound, a fervent section of the home stadium where passionate fans gathered, solidifying the image of Browns supporters as some of the most dedicated in the NFL.

The 1990s brought hardship as owner Art Modell orchestrated the team’s move to Baltimore in 1996. Despite the relocation, the NFL ensured that Cleveland retained the team’s name, logo, colors, and history, promising the city a new franchise. The Browns returned in 1999, led by local businessman Al Lerner, who purchased an expansion team carrying the iconic Browns name.

The Rollercoaster Ride

The expansion Browns initially faced struggles, but in 2002, they earned a playoff appearance. Unfortunately, the subsequent years saw the team endure a challenging period, marked by frequent coaching changes and management upheavals.

In 2018, a glimmer of hope emerged with the arrival of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, sparking a turnaround and leading the team to its best record in over a decade.


Q1: Why are the Cleveland Browns named after their coach?

The team got its name through a fan contest in 1946, choosing to honor their first head coach, Paul Brown.

Q2: Who were the iconic players in the early years of the Browns?

Quarterback Otto Graham and coach Paul Brown were pivotal figures, guiding the team to multiple championships.

Q3: What is the significance of the Dawg Pound?

The Dawg Pound is a passionate section of the home stadium, symbolizing the vocal and devoted fanbase of the Cleveland Browns.

Q4: Why did the Browns relocate to Baltimore in 1996?

Owner Art Modell orchestrated the move due to financial challenges, breaking the hearts of Cleveland’s loyal fans.

Q5: How did the Browns make a comeback in 1999?

Local businessman Al Lerner purchased an expansion team, ensuring that Cleveland retained the team’s name, colors, and history.

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