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The Kardiac Kids is a reference to the 1980 Cleveland Browns, who had a penchant for having games decided in the final moments. Finishing 11-5, the Browns captured their first division title since 1971, winning a tiebreaker with the Houston Oilers. To commemorate the Browns success during the 1980 holiday season, a version of The Twelve Days of Christmas was recorded by Clark Walter, Mack Hayes and Sandra Hayes. Entitled, The Twelve Days of a Cleveland Browns Christmas, each day mentioned a hero on a "Rutigliano Super Bowl team". (The Browns did not win the Super Bowl or reach the AFC Championship Game that year.)

Contents

Memorable moments

Week 7 (Home) - Browns 26, Green Bay Packers 21

  • Facing a third and 20 from the Packers 46 yard line with 16 seconds left, Brian Sipe completed a pass to Dave Logan for the winning touchdown.

Week 8 (Home) - Browns 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 26

  • A fantastic effort to overcome the arch-rival Pittsburgh. Sipe and company fought back from deficits of 10-0, 20-7, and 26-14 to defeat the Steelers in Cleveland. The winning catch was hauled in by Ozzie Newsome with 5:35 to play.

Week 9 (Home) - Browns 27, Chicago Bears 21

  • Although it was Mike Pruitt's 56-yard touchdown run that ultimately won the game for Cleveland, Sipe threw for 298 yards and reached a milestone in Browns history, becoming the Browns' all-time passing leader.

Week 11 (Away)- Browns 13, Pittsburgh Steelers 16

  • Seeking their first ever win at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium, the Browns were once again denied, this time on a Terry Bradshaw to Lynn Swann touchdown with eleven seconds left. It marked the Browns 11th consecutive defeat at Pittsburgh.

Week 15 (Away) - Browns 23, Minnesota Vikings 28

  • The Browns relinquished what had been a 23-9 lead with only 7:15 remaining. The game is probably most remembered for Browns Safety Thom Darden's deflection of Tommy Kramer's "Hail Mary pass", which was caught by Ahmad Rashad as time expired. Kramer's 456 passing yards were the most ever given up by the Browns.

Week 16 (Away) - Browns 27, Cincinnati Bengals 24

  • Needing a win to secure the Central Division title, the Browns hold off the Bengals 27-24. Don Cockroft's game winning field goal came with 1:25 left to play.

Red Right 88

AFC Divisional Playoff Game (Home) January 4, 1981 - Browns 12, Oakland Raiders 14 In sub-zero conditions on Cleveland's windy Lakefront, the Browns and Raiders battled into the waning moments of the contest. Down 14-12 and having mounted a 72-yard drive, the Browns were within striking distance at the Oakland 13 yard line with less than a minute remaining. Although it was only second down, Don Cockroft had already missed two field goal attempts in the swirling winds. Browns Coach Sam Rutigliano chose a more aggressive strategy, opting to go for the kill and pass the ball on second down instead of conservatively running the ball and then, perhaps, settling for a last second field goal. The play called was Red Right 88, which was intended for Dave Logan. However, Ozzie Newsome managed to get clear in the Raiders endzone and Sipe fired the ball to him -- but the wind managed to interfere with the plan and heartbreak was the outcome for the frozen 77,655 Cleveland faithful: the ball was intercepted by Oakland Cornerback Mike Davis. The 1980 season will be remembered fondly albeit bittersweet, but the game would go down in Browns history (along with The Drive and The Fumble) as one of the franchises sadder moments.

Son of the Kardiac Kids

The 2007 Cleveland Browns have had a season similar to the Kardiac Kids, with several games being decided in the final minutes or in overtime. One game in particular against the Baltimore Ravens, which the Browns won in overtime because of a reversed call on a field goal by kicker Phil Dawson, led the Cleveland Plain Dealer to publish an editorial calling the 2007 Browns "The 'Son of the Kardiac Kids'" [1]. The similarities have been at least acknowledged by the organization, with offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski being quoted in the article calling his team "The Kardiac Kids' little brother."

References

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