Whether it be on the field or in the broadcast booth, Doug Dieken has been an iron man of record proportions for the Browns.
Born Feb. 12, 1949 in Streator, Ill., Dieken excelled as a pass-catching tight end at Illinois and was hopeful he could continue playing that position in the pros when the Browns selected him in the sixth round of the 1971 NFL Draft, at No. 142 overall.
But the Browns had other ideas, immediately putting him on the offensive line, and it worked out greatly for everybody involved.
Halfway through his rookie season, Dieken took over as the starter at left tackle for Dick Schafrath, who was nearing the end of his standout 13-year career. Dieken kept the spot for all 14 of his years with the Browns, making the Pro Bowl following the 1980 season and setting club records with 203 consecutive games played and 194 consecutive starts.
Following his retirement after the 1984 season, Dieken took over as the color analyst on Browns radio broadcasts in 1985. He finished his 25th year on the job in 2012, which allowed him to pass former radio play-by-play man Gib Shanley (1961-84) for the longest tenure by anyone in the Browns broadcast booth.
Ironically, it was Shanley, now deceased, who had encouraged his good friend Dieken to think about a broadcasting career after his playing days were over. The two missed working side-by-side by only one year. Together, they represent 49 of the 64 years of Browns radio broadcasting history.
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