SPEEDIE, MAC CURTIS (12 January 1920-5 March 1993) was an original member of the CLEVELAND BROWNS.

Born in Odell, Illinois, Speedie grew up in Utah and was treated as a child for Perthes disease, necessitating the need to wear a brace for four years. After attending South High School, Speedie was a three-time all-conference football player for the University of Utah, where he also played basketball and ran hurdles.

After being named honorable mention all-American at Utah in 1942, Speedie was drafted by the Detroit Lions with the 135th pick. He joined the Army, and while playing for Fort Warren (Wyoming) in the service, he attracted the attention of coach PAUL BROWN at the Great Lakes Naval Base. Following the war, Brown signed Speedie to a $7,000 contract for the team he was starting in the new All-America Football Conference.

During his time in Cleveland, the Browns went 83-13-3. He played in a championship game in each of his seven years, winning five (four with the AAFC and one with the NFL). He was named all-pro six times, leading his league in receptions four times and receiving yards twice. Speedie finished his career with 349 catches, 5,602 and 33 touchdowns, including a record-setting 99-yard score in 1947. His averages of 49.9 receptions and 800 receiving yards per season were records when he left the NFL following the 1952 season to join the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Western Interprovincial Football Union, the forerunner of the Canadian Football League, at nearly double the salary he earned with the Browns.

Following his playing career, Speedie became part of another new pro football league, becoming a coach for the Houston Oilers in 1960. Two years later, he joined the Denver Broncos as an assistant coach. He served as head coach and general manager from 1964 to 1966, and then as a scout until his retirement in 1982.

Speedie was named a Browns legend in 2002, part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s all-1940s team on the league’s 50th anniversary in 1969, and was elected to the hall as part of its special centennial class in 2020.

Vincent Guerrieri

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