George Ratterman, 1953-56

George Ratterman, 1953-56

Postby Bob Gill » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:41 am

Just noticed this today. Ratterman, a fine quarterback with Buffalo in the AAFC (1947-49) and the New York Yanks in the NFL (1950), jumped to Canada in 1950 and did not do well there. He returned in time to play the last few games with the Yanks in 1951, but again played poorly. In 1952 he wound up in Cleveland, backing up Otto Graham, and threw only 6 passes all year.

In 1953, though, Ratterman recaptured his passing touch. Over the next four seasons he played enough to throw at least 40 passes each year, and the results were outstanding: altogether, he completed 126 of 198 (a whopping 63.6 percent -- in the 1950s!) for 1668 yards (8.4 per pass), with 14 TDs and only 9 interceptions. I wouldn't be surprised if that translated to a passer rating of 90 or thereabouts.

With Graham's retirement after the 1955 season, Ratterman actually began the 1956 season as the Browns' starter. The Browns' offense sputtered with him at the helm, but even so, he was completing an astounding 68.4 percent of his passes when he suffered some kind of leg injury in the fourth game, and he never played again.

I have no big point to make here; I just thought this was interesting.
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Re: George Ratterman, 1953-56

Postby Saban » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:29 pm

George Ratterman was known as quite a practical joker. While playing for the AAFC All-Star team in 1949 before a game against the Cleveland Browns, he called the Browns up on the telephone and told someone that their practice was cancelled for that day. It almost worked until assistant coach Blanton Collier heard the news and smelled a rat(terman). After conferring with Coach Brown, practice was on again.

When he was with Cleveland, he would sometimes tamper with scouting reports on opponents like "Will fall down if tackled" and things like that. Paul Brown put up with it maybe because he thought that it helped keep the team loose.

One time in 1952 when quarterback Otto Graham was having a bad day, some fans started chanting "We want Ratterman." Coach Brown called George over and said, "George, your friends are asking for you." Ratterman thought that Brown was going to put him into the game. Brown then said, "Why don't you go up in the stands and join them?"
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Re: George Ratterman, 1953-56

Postby rhickok1109 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:44 am

As a ball handler, Ratterman was second only to Babe Parilli, which helped him a lot on play-action passes.
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Re: George Ratterman, 1953-56

Postby Reaser » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:05 pm

rhickok1109 wrote:As a ball handler, Ratterman was second only to Babe Parilli, which helped him a lot on play-action passes.


Frankie Albert should be in that group of names, too.
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Re: George Ratterman, 1953-56

Postby nicefellow31 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:55 pm

Saban wrote:George Ratterman was known as quite a practical joker. While playing for the AAFC All-Star team in 1949 before a game against the Cleveland Browns, he called the Browns up on the telephone and told someone that their practice was cancelled for that day. It almost worked until assistant coach Blanton Collier heard the news and smelled a rat(terman). After conferring with Coach Brown, practice was on again.

When he was with Cleveland, he would sometimes tamper with scouting reports on opponents like "Will fall down if tackled" and things like that. Paul Brown put up with it maybe because he thought that it helped keep the team loose.

One time in 1952 when quarterback Otto Graham was having a bad day, some fans started chanting "We want Ratterman." Coach Brown called George over and said, "George, your friends are asking for you." Ratterman thought that Brown was going to put him into the game. Brown then said, "Why don't you go up in the stands and join them?"


Ratterman also said that he told one on Paul Browns's messenger guards "I don't like that play. Go back and get another one." and the guy headed back to sidelines and he had to chase him down to prevent him from delivering that message to Paul Brown.

Art Donovan also wrote in his book "Fatso" that Ratterman relieved his bowels in a teammate's bed once during training camp, the offended teammate thought Buddy Young did it and was in the process of starting an altercation with while Young was yelling out, "check the footprints! check the footprints."
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