Friday, January 21, 2011

Lou Groza

Right in the middle of the post-game argument between Frank Kilroy of the Eagles and Lou Groza of the Browns was Russ Gestner, business manager of the Browns. The angry Groza finally was restrained from belting Kilroy. The Toe charged that Kilroy elbowed him in the face.

The Browns beat the Eagles 6-0, improving their record to 6-2 for the 1954 season. (Nov. 22, 1954)

- Cleveland Press photo by Fred Bottomer
Louis Roy "The Toe" Groza (January 25, 1924 - November 29, 2000) played his entire career for the Cleveland Browns. Back in the day, people used to commit to one team. The son of Eastern European immigrants, Groza was the shortest of his three brothers, growing to only 6'3".

While playing for OSU, Groza was drafted and upon discharge began playing for the Browns (1946-1959, brief retirement, 1961-1967.) He was an offensive tackle, but also an astonishing kicker, which is how he got the nickname The Toe, and not for some other reason.
Groza’s signature season came in 1954, when he was named NFL Player of the Year as a powerhouse offensive tackle and steady straight-ahead kicker who converted 16 of 24 field goals and 37 of 38 extra points. The season ended with Groza leading the way for the Cleveland offense in a 56-10 destruction of Detroit in the NFL championship game.

- Cold, Hard Football
In 1954 the Browns went 9-3 for the season. It was the last year the Browns would ever win an NFL championship. Ever.

Cleveland Press
Cleveland Memory Project

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