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MemoraBillia: The Bills' first trip to Cleveland

By Tim Graham

CLEVELAND -- This week's installment of MemoraBillia goes waaaaaaaay back in time to the first Buffalo Bills season.

It was 1947 in the All-America Football Conference. The Bills had just switched their name from the Bisons and, as this program from the Greater Buffalo Sports Museum archives of John Boutet shows, were going to test themselves against the defending champion Cleveland Browns in Week Two at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

The Bills trailed, 27-0, at halftime and lost, 30-14. Bills halfback Chet Mutryn ran 12 times for 114 yards, but the Browns were powered by Marion Motley, Otto Graham, Dante Lavelli and Luu Groza. I'm going to assume that Paul Brown outcoached Red Dawson, too.

But I'll also assume the Bills had the Browns beat in the mascot category.

As a native Clevelander, I have no clue what this little guy on the program cover was supposed to represent. Not exactly an intimidating creature, despite the balled-up fists.

BrownsBills47program

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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