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Remembering Dick Schafrath

September 19, 2021

I was watching “The Express,” about Ernie Davis and while learning eventual Browns’ player John Brown was portrayed, the internet/”informer of death” “told” me, the great offensive lineman, Dick Schafrath had died weeks back.

Thoughts and emotions flooded, recalling how my parents and grandmother told me about Ernie Davis dying, that the great Jim Brown, whose home I visited twice, so admired and liked Dick Schafrath and that on one glorious late December day in ’64 (no, unlike in “The Four Seasons” seminal “December 1963, which also evokes Bill Wade, ’twas not first time sex), nine year old me sat on an upholstered chair with my parents (Dad was a New York Giants fan) and grandmother, watching “my” Cleveland Browns win the 1964 NFL crown vs the great John Unitas and the Baltimore Colts.

Schafrath was a many time Pro Bowl and all league offensive tackle, who blocked for 3 Hall of Fame running backs, Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell and Leroy Kelly.

In a highly emotional and beautiful moment cited here, those 3 greats wheeled another such, guard Gene Hickerson on stage, when Gene was inducted into the Pro Hall.

At the time, Jim Brown talked of Dick Schafrath being next. It did not happen while Dick walked the earth, a disgrace. 

However, in reality, Dick’s greatness need not be affirmed by many who never saw him play and clearly a symptom of this greatly wounded society, know NOT what is good and what is NOT.

Rounding out that great offensive line, in addition to Dick and Gene, there were 3 Johns, the aforementioned Brown, (still with us and the Jack Buckley character, played by Omar Benson Miller in “The Express,” is based on him as he played at Syracuse with Ernie Davis), Wooten a superb guard also alive and center Morrow, whom we lost in 2017.

What a group, what a team. “Stone” and things said sometimes do hurt, but without him, add John Brewer, Gary Collins, Paul Warfield, Dr. Frank Ryan, an Ernie with Jim, named Green and of course #32, also the # address where I saw Dick Schafrath and the Browns win that title, now so long ago.

Of course the defense “bent but never broke” and that December 27th day, shutout the Baltimore Colts. I named only the offensive unit.

 

The superb player, Dick Schafrath, pictured above.

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