Accidents are an unavoidable facet of enjoying within the NFL.
In lots of instances, accidents trigger gamers to overlook video games and infrequently trigger groups to lose video games.
Doug Dieken didn’t miss video games.
For 14 full seasons, Dieken performed each common season and playoff sport for the Cleveland Browns.
Furthermore, from November 21, 1971 by way of December 16, 1984, Dieken began at left deal with each common season and playoff sport performed by the Browns.
Taking part in maybe essentially the most crucial place on the offensive line, usually defending the blindsides of Cleveland quarterbacks, Dieken was a reliable performer on the offensive line for the Browns.
— Classic Browns (@VintageBrowns) December 27, 2018
We check out the lifetime of Doug Dieken – earlier than, throughout, and after his Cleveland Browns enjoying profession.
The Early Years By means of Excessive College
Douglas Heye Dieken was born on February 12, 1949 in Streator, Illinois.
Streator is situated in north-central Illinois, about 80 miles southwest of Chicago.
Throughout Dieken’s childhood, Streator had a inhabitants of roughly 16,000 individuals.
Dieken recalled studying toughness in Streator, as there have been frequent fights in Streator, together with between individuals from Streator and other people from the close by city of Ottawa, Illinois.
In Streator, “meeting up to fight with the guys from the town 16 miles away” certified as having enjoyable on a weekend.
Cleveland Browns receiver, Gary Collins, was a boyhood hero of Dieken.
Streator Township Excessive College
Dieken attended Streator Township Excessive College.
As a result of there was no accessible youth soccer program, Dieken had not performed soccer earlier than highschool.
As his father was six toes, six inches tall, and he had an older brother who was six toes, eight inches tall, Dieken anticipated to play basketball in highschool.
Dieken’s highschool basketball coach instructed Dieken to be on both the soccer workforce or cross-country workforce to remain in form.
Dieken selected soccer and began enjoying soccer his freshman yr in highschool.
Dieken was initially assigned to play guard, however when the coaches noticed him catching passes in follow, he was moved to large receiver.
Dieken was an all-state large receiver for 2 years in highschool.
Dieken was recruited by College of Illinois head coach Pete Elliott, who made a constructive impression on Dieken.
As well as, each of Dieken’s mother and father had been Illinois graduates.
Dieken determined to attend College of Illinois.
When a slush fund scandal arose at College of Illinois, Coach Elliott resigned, and Illinois was positioned on probation for 4 years.
Dieken might have determined to go to a different college, however Dieken honored his dedication and headed to Illinois for faculty.
Dieken attended College of Illinois from 1967 to 1970, enjoying soccer his final three years on the college.
Dieken principally performed large receiver as a sophomore in 1968.
He led Illinois in catching 21 passes for 223 yards in 1968.
The Combating Illini had a 1-9 report in 1968.
In 1969, Dieken moved to tight finish for Illinois.
Dieken caught 29 passes for 486 yards and three touchdowns.
He additionally had two rushes for 9 yards.
Dieken was chosen as essentially the most priceless participant for Illinois in 1969.
Illinois went winless, with an Zero-10 report, in 1969.
Dieken had his finest yr for the Combating Illini as a senior in 1970.
Dieken had 39 receptions for 537 yards and 4 touchdowns.
At tight finish, Dieken was voted first-team All-Massive Ten by United Press Worldwide and second-team All-Massive Ten by the Related Press in 1970.
Dieken was once more chosen as essentially the most priceless participant for Illinois in 1970.
Dieken was a co-captain of the 1970 Illinois workforce, which improved to a Three-7 report.
As co-captain, Dieken recalled:
“I is likely to be the one man that took a school workforce out on strike. . . . My senior yr, we had been on the point of play Ohio State, and the assistant comes as much as me and says they fired the coach, Jim Valek. . . . The boosters wished him fired. My workforce isn’t the boosters. So we drew up a letter to the athletic board and instructed them they made a mistake. I stood up and stated, if he’s not right here on Monday, I’m not right here on Monday. Anybody else with me? Fortunately, everybody raised their arms. In order that they needed to rehire him, and the subsequent week we had been enjoying Purdue of their homecoming sport, which might have been actual ugly if we didn’t present up. After the sport, I gave coach the sport ball and I used to be listening to the radio that evening and I hear, ‘In West Lafayette, they gave a coach the sport ball.’ And it was Howard Cosell. Of all of the issues I’ve completed in sports activities, that’s in all probability the factor I’m most happy with, as a result of there’s no loyalty anymore.”
Whereas at Illinois, Dieken was scouted for the Cleveland Browns by Browns Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Lou Groza.
Groza performed deal with in addition to kicked for the Browns.
After enjoying within the Senior Bowl (the place Dieken was coached as a receiver by future Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano) and the Blue-Grey (the place Dieken needed to play deal with due to an damage to a different participant) all-star video games after the 1970 season, Dieken moved on from school soccer to his NFL profession.
The Professional Soccer Years
Dieken was drafted by the Cleveland Browns within the sixth spherical of the 1971 NFL draft (because the 142nd total decide within the draft).
When Browns coach Nick Skorich known as Dieken to inform him that the Browns had drafted him, Skorich shocked Dieken with the information that the Browns had drafted him to play offensive deal with.
Whereas Skorich was noncommittal when Dieken requested Skorich if Dieken would play any tight finish for the Browns as he had completed in school, Dieken knew the reply to his query when he was assigned uniform quantity 73 (a uniform quantity for a deal with); Dieken’s NFL future was to be at deal with.
Dick Schafrath, a four-time first-team All-Professional and six-time Professional Bowler, had manned the left deal with place for the Browns since 1960.
Nevertheless, Schafrath turned 34 in 1971, and his finest days had been behind him.
The mixed affect of enjoying over 10 years within the NFL, and a 62-mile run from Cleveland to Wooster, Ohio that Schafrath had accomplished as a promotion for a automotive dealership within the spring of 1971, had worn down Schafrath’s physique.
Browns coaches noticed promise in Dieken and sought to transition the left deal with place for Cleveland from Schafrath to Dieken.
Throughout coaching camp, after common follow, the Browns coaches would line up 4 or 5 completely different defensive ends in opposition to Dieken for him to enhance his move safety abilities.
A little bit-known reality about Dieken is that his first skilled soccer sport was a preseason sport in opposition to the Chicago Bears (performed at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana) on August 28, 1971, which was used as a backdrop for scenes within the soccer film, “Brian’s Tune”.
Dieken performed in each sport for the Browns in 1971, beginning with a 31-Zero Cleveland shutout of the Houston Oilers on September 19, 1971.
Dieken performed on particular groups for the Browns and really returned a kickoff for 16 yards on November 7, 1971 in a 26-9 Cleveland loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Schafrath began the primary 9 video games of the 1971 common season, till Dieken was given his first regular-season begin at left deal with on November 21, 1971 in a 27-7 Browns victory over the New England Patriots.
Dieken then began the remaining 4 regular-season video games in 1971.
Taking part in in all 14 regular-season video games, and beginning the final 5 regular-season video games, for the Browns in 1971, Dieken had begun his superb streaks of enjoying 203 consecutive regular-season video games, and beginning 194 consecutive regular-season video games, for the Browns over his 14-year NFL profession.
🥳 Joyful Birthday Professional Bowler & @Browns nice Doug Dieken! After being named starter in week 10 of his 1971 rookie yr, Doug by no means missed a begin for the remainder of his 14 yr profession with the Browns! #Browns pic.twitter.com/sw3y3a34nQ
— 80s Soccer Playing cards (@80sFootballCard) February 12, 2019
“Bodily braveness is a part of the sport. You be taught to play with ache. A part of what it’s is survival.”
The Browns received the AFC Central Division title in 1971 with a 9-5 report and superior to a divisional-round playoff sport in opposition to the Baltimore Colts on December 26, 1971.
The Browns misplaced to the Colts 20-Three, as Dieken began his first NFL playoff sport at left deal with (and likewise returned a kickoff for 15 yards within the sport).
In 1972, Dieken began all 14 regular-season video games, serving to the Browns publish a 10-Four report and earn a wild card playoff berth (ending second within the AFC Central Division to the Pittsburgh Steelers) in opposition to the undefeated Miami Dolphins on December 24, 1972.
Dieken began the playoff sport at left deal with, however the Browns misplaced for the second consecutive yr of their single playoff sport 20-14.
Sadly for Dieken, the Browns didn’t make the playoffs once more till 1980.
Cleveland had information of 7-5-2 in 1973, Four-10 in 1974, Three-11 in 1975, 9-5 in 1976, 6-Eight in 1977, Eight-Eight in 1978, and 9-7 in 1979.
Dieken did assist the Browns obtain some offensive success throughout these years.
Browns working again Greg Pruitt rushed for 1,067 yards (and Four.9 common yards per speeding try) in 1975, 1,000 yards (and Four.Eight common yards per speeding try) in 1976, 1,086 yards (and Four.6 common yards per speeding try) in 1977, and 960 yards in 12 video games (and 5.5 common yards per speeding try) in 1978.
Browns working again Mike Pruitt rushed for 1,294 yards (and Four.9 common yards per speeding try) in 1979.
Browns quarterback Brian Sipe handed for Three,793 yards (second within the NFL) and 28 touchdowns (tied for first within the NFL) in 1979.
Browns passers had been sacked solely 19 occasions in 1976 (tied for second within the NFL) and 24 occasions in 1977 (tied for fifth within the NFL)
Individually, Dieken continued to start out each regular-season sport for the Browns – 14 video games in 1973 (Dieken additionally had a nine-yard kickoff return on October 28, 1973 in a 16-16 tie in opposition to the San Diego Chargers and a five-yard kickoff return on November Four, 1973 in a 26-Three loss to the Minnesota Vikings), 1974, 1975 (Dieken additionally recovered 4 fumbles in 1975 (he had 13 common season fumble recoveries in his NFL profession)), 1976, and 1977, and 16 video games in 1978 and 1979.
Dieken was named workforce offensive most useful participant for the Browns in 1975.
Dieken appreciated the camaraderie along with his fellow offensive linemen on the Browns.
“It was extra like an elite boys membership than something. Our group of linemen, we had been shut as hell. For those who picked a battle with one in every of us, you picked a battle with all of us. To have the ability to get into that boys membership and to play was an excellent factor to do. It wasn’t for the cash.”
Dieken in all probability had his finest NFL season in 1980.
Dieken once more began all 16 regular-season video games for the Browns, who received the AFC Central Division title with an 11-5 report.
Dieken helped Cleveland have the second-ranked passing offense within the NFL in 1980, together with that Browns quarterback Brian Sipe received the NFL Most Useful Participant Award from the Related Press, the Professional Soccer Writers of America, and the Sporting Information, and Browns passers had been sacked solely 23 occasions (second within the NFL).
As well as, Browns working again Mike Pruitt rushed for 1,Zero34 yards in 1980.
Dieken thinks the 1980 Browns workforce (often called the “Kardiac Kids” for successful a number of shut video games) might have received the Tremendous Bowl.
Nevertheless, Cleveland (with Dieken beginning at left deal with) misplaced within the divisional spherical of the playoffs 14-12 to the Oakland Raiders on January Four, 1981.
For his play in 1980, Dieken was invited to his solely Professional Bowl and was additionally named second-team All-Convention by United Press Worldwide.
In 1981, Dieken once more began all 16 video games, because the Browns stumbled to a 5-11 report.
Dieken’s play did assist Brian Sipe throw for Three,876 yards (third within the NFL), Mike Pruitt run for 1,103 yards, and Browns tight finish Ozzie Newsome catch 69 passes for 1,Zero02 receiving yards.
The Browns rebounded in 1982 with a Four-5 report (with Dieken beginning all 9 regular-season video games), which was ample to earn a playoff berth within the expanded playoff, strike-shortened 1982 NFL season.
Nevertheless, the Browns misplaced within the playoffs 27-10 to the Los Angeles Raiders on January Eight, 1983.
It was to be the final playoff sport for Dieken (who began the sport at left deal with) in his NFL profession.
Whereas Dieken was once more unable to win a playoff sport in 1982, he did win one other honor – the 1982 Byron “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Yr Award.
The Award is given to an NFL participant for his neighborhood service in his hometown and workforce metropolis.
In 1983, Dieken once more began all 16 video games, because the Browns recorded a 9-7 report.
Dieken helped Cleveland enable solely 33 sacks (tied for fourth place within the NFL), and Mike Pruitt run for 1,184 yards, in 1983.
Dieken additionally scored the one landing of his NFL profession in 1983, catching a 14-yard move from Paul McDonald (on a faux area purpose deal with eligible play) in a 25-19 Cleveland victory over the Houston Oilers on October 30, 1983.
In 1983, Dieken was once more acknowledged for his work off the soccer area, as he was the inaugural winner of the Cleveland Landing Membership Humanitarian Award.
The Award (which has been renamed the Doug Dieken Humanitarian Award in Dieken’s honor) is introduced to a Cleveland Brown or member of their assist group for his or her excellent contribution to charitable and social welfare organizations.
1984 was Dieken’s closing NFL enjoying season at age 35.
Dieken once more began all 16 video games, because the Browns had a 5-11 report in 1984.
Dieken’s play helped Ozzie Newsome catch 89 passes for 1,Zero01 passing yards in 1984.
Dieken’s closing NFL sport as a participant was a 27-20 Cleveland victory over the Houston Oilers on December 16, 1984.
After the 1984 season, Dieken retired from enjoying within the NFL.
After Dieken’s retirement announcement, Browns head coach Marty Schottenheimer commented that Dieken can be missed by Browns gamers and Schottenheimer and that Dieken was “[a] champ no less”, regardless that Dieken by no means performed on a championship workforce.
The Years After the NFL
Cleveland Browns Broadcaster
Whereas Dieken retired from enjoying within the NFL for the Cleveland Browns after 1984, he definitely didn’t retire from having an involvement with the Browns.
In his first yr of retirement, a chance opened for Dieken on the Cleveland Browns Radio Community when broadcaster Gib Shanley moved to California.
Dieken was employed as a shade commentator.
Virtually as superb as his streaks of enjoying and beginning video games for the Browns, Dieken has continued to broadcast practically each Cleveland Browns sport from 1985 to the current time on the Cleveland Browns Radio Community.
Dieken has missed broadcasting solely two Browns video games since 1985 – one in 1989 when his mom died (when his father died 10 days later, Dieken broadcast the subsequent Browns sport), and one when the Browns performed a sport in London and Dieken was suggested by a health care provider to not make the prolonged street journey to England due to a well being problem.
Dieken has labored with three Browns play-by-play announcers – Nev Chandler (from 1985 to 1993), Casey Coleman (in 1994 and 1995), and Jim Donovan (because the “new” Cleveland Browns franchise began in 1999).
🎉 RT to want Browns legend Doug Dieken a Joyful Birthday! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/50T4gsUwq2
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 12, 2019
Talking about Dieken, Jim Donovan said:
“He’s extremely vigilant and caring about what’s occurring in my life. I had an actual well being scare awhile in the past, and he was unbelievable to me, nearly like a father to me, and he’s an excellent dad. When Casey Coleman had most cancers and was away from us, each Sunday we had been within the broadcast sales space, he made certain to dial up Casey and ask how he was feeling and doing. That’s the form of man he’s. . . . From the very first sport we did collectively . . . the Corridor of Fame Recreation in Canton, it was simply two guys sitting round speaking soccer like we had tickets to the sport. It’s simply form of continued that manner. He takes among the emotion out of it. I may be very emotional. He can clinically say why a play did or didn’t work, or why he’s throwing the ball right here and never there.”
Dieken has labored for numerous Cleveland media retailers commenting on the Browns, together with WEWS, WJW, WKYC, and SportsTime Ohio.
In 2003, Dieken was inducted within the Ohio Broadcasters Corridor of Fame.
Different Put up-NFL Taking part in Exercise
Dieken is a well-liked alternative at talking engagements and banquets within the Cleveland space primarily based on two info.
First, Dieken is thought for his humorousness, usually self-deprecating.
When Joe Thomas was drafted by the Browns because the third total decide in 2007, he apologized to Dieken for taking Dieken’s outdated uniform quantity 73.
“Don’t fear about it. I used up all of the holding penalties.”
Second, Dieken is thought for his potential to inform a very good story.
As one instance, regarding former Browns proprietor Artwork Modell, he said:
“I received together with Artwork; he was only a millionaire in a billionaire’s sport. One of many final occasions I used to be on the market and he was alive, I went at halftime to his loge to say hello. David, his son, was there, who has since handed. And I ask the place his dad is. Within the rest room. I solely have a lot time, and the clock’s ticking and I gotta get again. So I knock on the door and say, ‘Artwork, it’s Doug Dieken. You don’t owe me any cash, you may have come out.’”
After retirement, Dieken began an insurance coverage firm with fellow Browns lineman Robert Jackson, Jackson, Dieken & Associates, in Westlake, Ohio.
In 1992, Dieken was inducted within the Larger Cleveland Sports activities Corridor of Fame.
Dieken was inducted within the Cleveland Browns Legends Program in 2006.
In 2012, Dieken was an inaugural inductee within the Dr. Worthy Streator Corridor of Fame.
In 1997, Dieken began the Doug Dieken Basis.
Dieken began the Basis after witnessing the affect the Particular Olympics Program had on his brother, who was developmentally disabled.
Responding to an absence of metropolis funding for the Program, the Doug Dieken Basis started to co-sponsor numerous occasions to assist the Cleveland Public Colleges Particular Olympics Program.
Dieken obtained a Lifetime Achievement Award on the 2012 Larger Cleveland Sports activities Awards.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors a person who has superior sports activities in Cleveland by way of private or profession dedication and achievements.
David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Larger Cleveland Sports activities Fee, stated:
“Doug Dieken is nice Cleveland icon, who has had an infinite affect on our neighborhood. Doug has been a constructive drive in Cleveland from the time he first stepped on the sphere at Municipal Stadium. His work on the sphere, within the broadcast sales space and in the neighborhood has touched the lives of numerous Clevelanders. We’re honored to award him the Lifetime Achievement Award on the 2012 Larger Cleveland Sports activities Awards.”
In describing Dieken, former ESPN Browns reporter Pat McManamon said:
“That is only a man who’s been nice for Cleveland, it’s his house and his coronary heart. In the future town will look again and recognize what that they had for as long as a participant and broadcaster.”
— Browns Inventive (@sportdesign) March 15, 2018
Dieken waited till after his NFL enjoying profession was over to start out a household.
“You wouldn’t have time to spend with them. You come house depressing, all beat up from the sport . . . It simply wouldn’t be enjoyable.”
Dieken married tv broadcaster, Connie Dieken, however they’re now divorced.
Dieken has two kids, Spencer and Ali.
Dieken’s Legacy with the Browns
Dieken’s legacy with the Browns is partially his superb streaks of enjoying in 207 consecutive NFL common season and playoff video games and beginning in 198 consecutive NFL common season and playoff video games.
These are each Cleveland Browns workforce information.
As well as, Dieken holds the NFL report for a left deal with in beginning in 198 consecutive NFL common season and playoff video games.
To start out for 198 consecutive NFL common season and playoff video games for a workforce, you have to be a stable performer.
Dieken is a part of a practice of wonderful left tackles for the Browns, beginning with Lou Groza and persevering with with Dick Schafrath, Dieken, and Joe Thomas.
Nevertheless, Dieken’s legacy with the Browns just isn’t solely primarily based on his 14-year enjoying profession.
After his NFL retirement, for the final 35 years, Dieken has been related to the Cleveland Browns.
Most of this time, Dieken’s affiliation has been as a broadcaster – from 1985 to 1995 with the “outdated” Cleveland Browns franchise earlier than it moved to Baltimore, and from 1999 to the current time with the “new” Cleveland Browns franchise.
Even in these years when there was no NFL workforce enjoying in Cleveland, from 1996 to 1998, Dieken served as an envoy for the Cleveland Browns Belief (established by the NFL to direct the return of the Cleveland Browns to the NFL).
It’s doable that Dieken has seen extra Cleveland Browns video games than every other one that ever performed for the Browns.
Jim Donovan represents browns followers who’s solely recollections are the enlargement browns. These are the most effective performs we’ve ever seen! Doug Dieken is each unique browns fan who watches these highlights & thinks “certain that was good… however I’ve seen Kosar & Sipe make that throw” 😂 https://t.co/CfPuOnP0cz
— Ryan Snedeker (@rjsneddy) December 11, 2018
With out denigrating the historic accomplishments of such former Browns as Paul Brown, Lou Groza, Otto Graham, and Jim Brown, primarily based on Dieken’s 49-year affiliation with the Cleveland Browns, it’s an apt description to seek advice from Dieken as a modern-day “Mr. Cleveland Brown.”