NFL – Throwback Thursday: Boomer Blanks The Browns

08 Dec

When former Cleveland Browns’ founder/coach Paul Brown was awarded a pro franchise for Cincinnati in 1968, and then plunked into the AFC Central Division with those Browns as part of the 1970 merger, an automatic rivalry was destined to happen between the 2 Ohio cities. They renew that rivalry as AFC North opponents on this week’s NFL schedule, so we look back at a contest played between them on December 3, 1989 for this week’s Throwback Thursday feature. It was a week 13 contest and both clubs were fighting to stay alive in the AFC playoff race. In the cold environment of Cleveland’s old Municipal Stadium, the defenses took command of the game early, and battled through a scoreless first quarter.

Bengal running back James Brooks finally broke the standoff with a one yard touchdown run in the second quarter. After making some adjustments at halftime, Bengal signal caller Boomer Esaison lit up the scoreboard with touchdown throws of 38 yards to Tim McGee and 9 yards to Rodney Holman. The throw to McGee involved some trickery, as it was the result of a successful flea flicker. With the playing conditions deteriorating and the defenses still forcing things, that gave Cincinnati what amounted to an insurmountable 21-0 lead. That score held up as the final tally, and the Bengals kept their slim playoff hopes alive with the win.

That Ohio rivalry was, and still is, a heated one for both players and fans. In fact, the following week, the Bengals had a home game against Seattle, and things weren’t going real well for the home team. Between blowing a lead and some questionable officiating calls, the fans began to get restless and started to pelt the field with snow balls. Bengal coach Sam Wyche took it upon himself to try and calm the crowd down. He grabbed a microphone and proclaimed “If you see anyone throwing things on the field get them out of here. You don’t live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati!” Ah, yes, a little more fuel to the fire that is the Battle of Ohio rivalry.


The late Sam Wyche, former Bengals’ head coach


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.