Otto Graham's 10 Straight Championship Appearances Will Never Be Touched

Published on February 24th, 2023 11:30 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Statue of legendary Cleveland Browns football player - Otto Graham. If you want to talk about dominant football players, Otto Graham has to be included in the discussion.

In the post-WW2 football landscape, there was nobody that was as dominant as Otto Graham, the former starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns.


Otto Graham was signed by the Cleveland Browns of the newly formed AAFC (All-America Football Conference) straight out of college.

Graham, who was only drafted by the Detroit Lions of the NFL, was mesmerized by the money that was being offered to him by the owner of the Browns, Paul Brown.

Brown offered Graham a contract that would pay $7,500 per year (well over $100,000 in today's dollars), but only when Graham started actually suiting up for games (his military commitments meant that he couldn't immediately start playing).

In addition, Brown offered Graham $250 a month (that was a small fortune back then) as a "monthly stipend" as Graham continued to fulfill his commitments to the military.

After the war ended, Graham was free to play with the Browns.


The Cleveland Browns would play in the AAFC from 1946-1949, and the Browns would win the AAFC title in all four of those years.

The main reason? Otto Graham, who would become the nearly instant leader of the team out of college, and he would win the league's MVP award in both 1947 and 1948.

When the Cleveland Browns moved to the NFL in 1950, their success would continue, as they would reach the championship game in six straight years, winning in 1950, 1954 and 1955.

Otto Graham would win three NFL MVP awards - 1951, 1953 and 1955 - and be named a First-team All-Pro four times.


Over the course of his career in the NFL, Graham would throw for 23,584 yards, 174 touchdowns and 135 interceptions.

These numbers might not be overly impressive by today's standards, but back in the 1940s and 1950s, these numbers were absolutely unbelievable.

Graham would announce his retirement after the 1954 season, but a big contract lured him back for one final hurrah in 1955.


While playing for the Cleveland Browns, Otto Graham made the championship game EVERY year, winning the title 7 out of 10 times.

Graham, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965, never missed a game over the course of his career.

In addition to appearing in 10 straight championships, "Automatic Otto" finished with a lifetime winning percentage of 81%.

These are two accomplishments that will almost certainly never be matched.

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