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Throwback Thursday: Browns-Bears 1989 edition


The year was 1989, and the Cleveland Browns were set to host the Chicago Bears for an October Monday Night Football showdown at Municipal Stadium.

Earlier in the season, Browns star wide receiver Webster Slaughter noticed 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice had started spray-painting his cleats red. The then 25-year-old had already added spunk to Cleveland's offense and was entering the discussion as the NFL's best deep threat.

Slaughter spent Monday afternoon spray-painting his cleats orange. Browns team historian Tony Dick said Slaughter invented the word swag 20 years before it would hit mainstream culture.

In the fourth quarter, with the Browns already up 17-0 on the Bears, Slaughter lit up the city of Cleveland, scoring a 97-yard touchdown from a Bernie Kosar deep pass. Tim Warsinskey of the News-Herald reported Slaughter and Kosar cooked up the play on the sideline just moments earlier.

With Bears cornerback Vestee Jackson chasing him all the way down the field, Slaughter shook the tackle and did a 360-degree turn into the end zone.

The spray-painted orange shoes worked. The Dawg Pound roared into the night. The headline from the Cleveland Plain Dealer? Browns make Stadium un-Bearable.

"I knew if the ball was there, it was going to be a touchdown," said Slaughter, who finished with a then career-high eight catches for 186 yards.

Cleveland went on to win the game 27-7, which ended up being the start of a prominent four-game win streak that eventually elevated the club into the playoffs and all the way to the AFC Championship game.

Slaughter finished the season with 65 receptions, 1,236 yards and six touchdowns. His yardage total from 1989 ranks fourth in franchise history.

Looking back at the collegiate careers of Browns SEC alumni.

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