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Browns 27, Bears 21:Adding Traffic To Newspapers’ Websites

Sunday, March 9, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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That was the score of the Monday night game on November 3, 1980, and here is the write-up from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. (More on that in a moment.)

I had driven to Cleveland after classes were over at U of M Law School that afternoon with Tim, J.D. and Craig, the latter two being Bears’ fans. After the Browns’ triumph, we got back to Ann Arbor around 5:00 AM, and the losers bought breakfast before I went off to vote for Ronald Reagan, attend classes, and then settled in for a fine night of election return watching.

I was checking on the aftermath of yesterday’s Ohio blizzard, and yes the spring training news on the Tribe and any moves by Browns’ GM genius Phil Savage when I noticed this new feature:

Plain Dealer: Cleveland Browns History

Cleveland Browns History and Archives: Search for Browns stats and results of any game since the team took the field in 1946 and then read Browns game stories by Plain Dealer reporters from Harold Sauerbrei and Chuck Heaton to Tony Grossi and Mary Kay Cabot.

And there it is –an online, easy-to-search assemblage of all the PD’s Browns’ games stories for sixty plus years.

Hats off to PD editor Susan Goldberg and her team for figuring out how to make use of a newspaper’s archives in a way to increase visits and page views. A version of this feature is slumbering in the virtual basement of every major newspaper in the country, and while there may be others already up and running, this is the first one I have found. I’ll be back, of course, many times.

One more note. After a few years, with memory fading, I always recalled that road trip as having been to a game between the Browns and the Steelers. It wasn’t until Brian Sipe himself gently let me know over lunch that he had never beaten the Steelers on a Monday night that I got the loser right.

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