The struggle between the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns in the 1950s was nothing short of epic.
After the Lions beat the Browns for the NFL Championship in 1952 and 1953, the Browns came back and dismantled the Lions 59-10 to win it all in 1954, then followed it up with another title over the L.A. Rams in 1955.
After a Giants-Bears championship in 1956, the two old foes faced off for a fourth time in 1957.
Paul Brown’s Cleveland team came in favored once again, with running back Jim Brown all set to go against rookie head coach George Wilson’s Lions.
The Lions, who were without injured star quarterback Bobby Layne, trotted out journeyman Tobin Rote.
Rote subsequently torched the Cleveland defense for four touchdowns, including a 78-yard strike to Jim Doran, the Lions’ hero of four years earlier.
From the second quarter on, the Browns never came closer than 17-7, as the Lions pulled away and made a mockery of the Browns.
It was the Lions’ third title in six years, their revenge against the Browns, and the finest moment in Lions history.
After that season, Layne was shipped off to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Henry Ford’s grandson bought the team a few years later.
And 50 years later, as Lions fans grow weary of waiting for their “one for the thumb,” take some solace in past triumphs, and remember the good times.
Even if they were in 1935.