Gary Webster’s recent work Just Too Good: The Undefeated 1948 Cleveland Browns, goes
beyond just a game-by-game analysis of the Browns’ perfect 1948 season to examine the challenges
faced by the Browns that year. In addition, Webster argues that Cleveland was “just too good” and this
may have led to downfall of the AAFC.

Webster uses the weekly games as a framework for tracing the season. First, he covers the
game itself, usually in just a few pages with a little reference of the stars, but not much on the game
planning strategies. Whenever possible, he also includes information on merger/business talks between
the NFL and the AAFC. Finally, he briefly tracks the other teams in the league, particularly the San
Francisco 49ers, who were also undefeated for much of the season.

The game reports are almost exclusively from newspaper reports, both from local papers such
as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as well as from wire services such as Associated Press (AP) and United
Press International (UPI). The benefit to this approach is it allows Webster to not only discuss the
game, but to also touch on many of the political issues that faced the team as he season progressed.
The argument that the Browns “were just too good” would have been strengthened if Webster would
not have emphasized the closeness of many of the Brown’s victories. A more sustained and thorough
analysis of attendance figures or how the other cities in the league viewed the team might have been
useful support for the argument that Cleveland was “just too good.”

As for backmatter, there is a brief appendix. Game statistics might have been a nice inclusion, especially to support Webster’s argument, but these statistics are easily accessed online at and similar sites.

There are many studies about when a team wins a championship. This one, though not perfect,
stands among the better ones.

This book can be purchased from McFarland by calling 800-253-2187 or by shopping at