#NFLFlashback Week 6 – Masters of the Gridiron

Welcome, my friends, to the sixth week of NFL Flashback!

Wow, six weeks.  Can you believe we are this far into the season?!

First off, welcome back if you’ve stopped by before.  But if you haven’t, you have some catching up to do.

Week 1: McDonald’s NFL Kickoff Payoff

Week 2: “Hey, When Did You Get So Interested in Protection?”

Week 3: Random VHS Tape Find

Week 4: Test Drives and Free Videos

Week 5: Men Who Get Dirt on Their Uniforms Use Aqua Velva!

Week 5’s NFL Flashback brought up some memories for both of my parents, who worked for J.B. Williams, the company who originally made Aqua Velva from 1929 until 1982, when the brand was acquired by Beecham Group. The commercial was from late 1988, and Beecham was merged into SmithKline Beckham (now GlaxoSmithKline) the following year.  According to them, the stuff smelled awful.

And allegedly, quite delicious for anyone needing the alcohol fix that Ice Blue Aqua Velva can provide.  If drinking aftershave is your thing.  It’s not mine.

It was also the second appearance of Dick Butkus in the NFL Flashback.  It won’t be the last one, either.

I hope he has a sense of humor over my loving approach to his product placements.

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Week 6’s flashback actually was alluded to during Week 3, when I showcased the final few minutes of October 17, 1986’s Inside the NFL.  It was in the final seconds of that video that showed something rather interesting…

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The Cleveland Browns in loincloths.  And muscles.

God Bless America.

The clips shown at the end of this particular installment of Inside the NFL was actually outtakes from a “movie” the Cleveland Browns made in 1986 called Masters of the Gridiron – a cross between He-Man and Conan the Barbarian…and with lots and lots of testosterone and muscle mass.  And Tiny Tim.  And music.  And body paint.

I’m not making any of this up.  Especially the part about Tiny Tim.

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He tiptoed through the tulips to make this happen.

Masters of the Gridiron is a – ahem – film starring the Cleveland Browns, as a group of warriors coming to the aid of a young warrior to help him defeat the Lion, Bengal, and Bear Clans (samurais wearing headbands with team emblems on them).  The Cleveland Browns players played – you guessed it – the Brown Clan.  And Center Mike Baab was the star – Baabarian, a He-Man type (complete with Power Mullet), who must go on a journey to find The Great Ring (being held by The Lord of the League, aka Tiny Tim) and bring it to Cleveland.

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Folks, I really wish I was making all of this up in an attempt to justify what I just spent seventeen minutes watching, but I can’t.  I just…can’t.

And to recap Masters of the Gridiron doesn’t do justice to what I watched…so if you feel so empowered, it’s only seventeen minutes, and even if you’re not a Cleveland Browns fan, it’s worth seeing.  It’s refreshing to know they were obviously enjoying themselves (it practically oozes through the video footage).  You can’t say this about most players today, who would never do anything like this, unless they were offered a nice sum of money.

Thank you You Tube user cindyscott54 for knowing this was necessary viewing on You Tube.  You are awesome!

From what I understand, this film was the brainchild of Mike Baab, who was into comics and Masters of the Universe, and this was a charitable effort.  He was with the Browns until 1987, and returned to them for the 1990-1991 season.  He retired in 1992 after one season with the Kansas City Chiefs.

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As for the Cleveland Browns’ 1986 season…they didn’t achieve The Great Ring (that honor goes to MY team, the Giants Clan 😉 ), but they did have a 12-4 record and were in first place in the AFC Central (ahead of another clan they were to set out to beat, who came in second in their division that year).  They lost in the AFC Championship game to Denver in overtime on January 11, 1987, but for seventeen minutes in 1986, they did something just as magical…

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And we’re all just as mesmerized.  Or disturbed.

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“Oh my God, I had this insane dream that I was a warrior in a loincloth and makeup, on the quest for a ring…wait, none of that actually happened?!”

NFL Flashback returns next week, for week seven.  We’re just about  at the halfway point of the season, which is amazing in itself.

Have a great week!

And until next time, I’ll leave you with the glorious image of Mike Babb shirtless.

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It’s the greatest shot in this film.

You’re welcome.

Related Links

Week 1: McDonald’s NFL Kickoff Payoff

Week 2: “Hey, When Did You Get So Interested in Protection?”

Week 3: Random VHS Tape Find

Week 4: Test Drives and Free Videos

Week 5: Men Who Get Dirt on Their Uniforms Use Aqua Velva!


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