Sunday, January 25, 2009

RIP Dante Lavelli

By Rick Morris

One consequence of the modern age is that more and more old icons are passing away, leaving us with only the memories they brought us. Another such legend passed on this week as Hall of Fame Cleveland Browns wide receiver Dante "Gluefingers" Lavelli succumbed to illness Tuesday night at age 85.

The term "triplets" came into vogue in the 1990s to characterize the Aikman/Smith/Irvin trio in Dallas and later was used the same way to describe the franchise QB/franchise RB/franchise WR combo in Indianapolis. With all due respect to those groups or any others in recent decades, few if any would be better than the one Lavelli inhabited with Otto Graham and Marion Motley. More important on a human level is the fact that Lavelli was known as a man of class and great decency.

This story from legendary Cleveland sportswriter Bob Dolgan paints a very vivid account of his life. And longtime Cleveland broadcaster Les Levine shares his own thoughts here. RIP Dante Lavelli.

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