A collection of former Cleveland Browns made the most of the Flashback Classic with a 36-18 flag-football victory Sunday over a rival group of former Pittsburgh Steelers.
The setting was 8,000-seat Finnie Stadium on the campus of Baldwin-Wallace College, some 15 miles southwest of 80,000-seat Cleveland Stadium. The former home of the Browns is awaiting a wrecking ball in November.
The retired players were well past their primes. There was no tackling allowed. But fans came to demonstrate unfailing loyalty to their Browns.
"These people here today are just fantastic," said quarterback Mike Pagel, who threw four touchdown passes for the Browns. "They have been the best fans for decades."
For 46 years, a Browns-Steelers matchup was an autumn ritual along the shores of Lake Erie. The former players saw to it that not even Art Modell could keep the teams from their appointed clash. The former Browns owner moved the team to Baltimore and re-named it the Ravens.