The Browns’ memorable Kardiac Kids season of 1980 had ended over a month and a half before, but awards kept being handed out to the two people most responsible for it.
Brian Sipe, who had earlier won the NFL Most Valuable Player award -- being the first Brown to do so since 1965 -- was recognized as the Quarterback of the Year at the Golden Helmet Award Banquet on Feb. 24, 1981 in Seattle.
He set club records by throwing for 4,132 yards and 30 touchdowns as the Browns finished 11-5 and captured their first AFC Central title in nine years.
At that same event, third-year head coach Sam Rutigliano was feted as the Coach of the Year.
Also on this date, Hal Herring was born in Lanett, Alabama.
A product of Auburn, the linebacker was taken in the ninth round of the 1949 NFL Draft by the Chicago Cardinals, but opted instead to play that season with the Buffalo Bills of the All-America Football Conference. The Bills opened the year by playing the Browns to a 28-28 tie, ending Cleveland’s 18-game winning streak dating back to 1947. Late in that season, the Bills tied the Browns again, 7-7.
Then, in the first round of league playoffs, Cleveland finally defeated Buffalo, 31-21, on its way to a fourth straight AAFC championship.
When both the Bills and AAFC were dissolved after that season, Herring joined the Browns, one of three AAFC teams that were absorbed into the NFL.
He started at right linebacker for three seasons (1950-52) before retiring. The Browns made it to the NFL title game each year, winning in 1950.
Herring was part of a defense that gave up just 144 points in 1950, the second-fewest in the league, then led the NFL the following year by allowing 152 points.
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