Browns unveil Otto Graham statue at stadium
CLEVELAND – Otto Graham’s remarkable decade of dominance with the Browns has been immortalized.
The team unveiled a bronze statue on Saturday outside FirstEnergy Stadium of the late Hall of Fame quarterback, who led Cleveland to 10 championship games in 10 seasons.
Graham, who died in 2003, has long been considered one of the best QBs in professional history. However, he isn’t always mentioned among the game’s elite players like Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Brett Favre or Johnny Unitas.
Nicknamed “Automatic Otto,” Graham made the Pro Bowl five times and helped turn the Browns of the 1940s and 1950s into a football dynasty. He guided Cleveland teams coached by the legendary Paul Brown to seven titles, four in the All-America Football Conference and three in the NFL from 1946-55.
The statue of Graham, his right arm cocked back and ready to deliver a pass, is the second erected outside the Browns’ lakefront home. A statue of Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown was unveiled two years ago.
“This is very exciting for me and for my family — 39 members of my family who have come with me today,” said Graham’s 95-year-old widow, Beverly. “It is exciting to look around right now and see all the Cleveland fans that have come to see it, too. I am just so happy about it and that Otto is remembered. It is such an honor. I know it never would have entered Otto’s mind ever that something like this would be done. He is in heaven looking down upon us today, and he is amazed.”
Graham, who wore uniform numbers 14 and 60, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. In 1994, he was picked for the NFL’s 75th anniversary team, joining quarterbacks Montana, Unitas and Sammy Baugh.
Graham never missed a game in his career while passing for 23,584 yards and 174 touchdowns. He finished with an amazing 105-17-4 record in regular season games.