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A Rams Tale that began in Cleveland

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

When you watch the Cleveland Browns battle the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday you might be surprised to know that the Rams actually began in Cleveland as the Cleveland Rams in 1936 as part of the old AFL, but then joined the NFL in 1937. That group stayed in Cleveland until 1945.

That last team won the 1945 NFL Championship game against the Washington Redskins.

The old AAFC (All-American Football Conference) would be arriving in Cleveland with the legendary Paul Brown bringing the new Cleveland Browns to town.

The Rams would move to LA and be part of that California fabric on and off ever since. The Rams moved to St. Louis for a while, between 1995 and 2015 but returned to the sunny skies of Southern California.

It’s funny now to look back on those old organizations too because the Rams were part of the original NFL, but there were other leagues that the Browns helped get started like the AAFC that were challengers to the NFL. The Browns dominated the AAFC so badly that that league went under because they were winning five titles and participated in the championship games every year from 1946-1955.

That’s when the Browns became part of the NFL. They still were bullying other NFL teams during this next stretch of years as they won three more titles with their last being in 1964.

To know that the old Rams were first in Cleveland makes their Southern California ties seem a bit more odd. And how did the Rams originally get their name? I haven’t seen many “Rams” roaming Northeastern Ohio.

The original founders of the team Homer Marshman and Damon Wetzel liked the collegiate Fordham Rams, and they thought the name was short and sweet. The team never had much success or drew big crowds back then and along with the move of the Browns into town, it made more sense for the old Rams to settle for gold out in California.


John Suchan is a lifelong Cleveland sports fan. He grew to love the Kardiac Kids back in the day so his loyalty is strong like yours. John has written for several Cleveland sports websites including Dawg Pound Daily, King James Gospel and Cleveland Sports Talk. He currently produces the Fanatical Elfz Network, part of Fans First Sports Network that cover the Browns. John also hosts his own show the Johnny Cleveland Podcast. He looks forward to providing you quality coverage of the Browns with a bit of opinion mixed in.

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