Browns’ Rutigliano misses alumni day

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 7, 2000

The Associated Press

BEREA, Ohio – Surrounded by some of the most famous men ever to wear the ”Orange and Brown,” Dino Lucarelli couldn’t help but wonder why one of the most popular with fans had stayed away.

Monday, August 07, 2000

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BEREA, Ohio – Surrounded by some of the most famous men ever to wear the ”Orange and Brown,” Dino Lucarelli couldn’t help but wonder why one of the most popular with fans had stayed away.

”I don’t know where he’s at,” Lucarelli, the longtime Browns employee who now handles alumni relations for the club, said of former Cleveland head coach Sam Rutigliano.

Lucarelli was expecting Rutigliano for last week’s alumni day at the Browns training camp. But the ex-coach didn’t show.

Rutigliano could not be reached for comment Sunday. The phone number for his Cleveland-area home was unpublished. An athletics department spokesman at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where Rutigliano was head football coach until retiring in January, said he did not know how to reach Rutigliano.

The former coach’s son, Paul Rutigliano, said his father had committed to out-of-town speaking engagements that may have kept him away.

Rutigliano was fired halfway through the 1984 season, but remains one of the most popular Browns. His teams were dubbed the Kardiac Kids because they always seemed to win or lose games – regular season or playoff – in the closing minutes or seconds.

About 40 former players showed up for the reunion at Friday afternoon’s Browns practice, including Rutigliano’s left tackle and current Browns broadcaster Doug Dieken, Hall of Fame wide receiver Paul Warfield, gregarious defensive end Al ”Bubba” Baker and cornerback Hanford Dixon, one of the founders of the Dawg Pound.

They signed autographs for fans and reminisced about the glory days when the wind and snow whipped off Lake Erie and turned Cleveland Stadium into an amalgam of ice and mud.

They also agreed that their playing days are over.

”I’m in good shape,” said Reggie Langhorne, a wide receiver in the Bernie Kosar era. ”I can still do a lot of things. But going out there and playing now at this stage of my life isn’t one of them.”

Gene Hickerson, who played from 1958-73 and blocked for Jim Brown, said he was not disappointed that he has been passed over for the Hall of Fame.

”I can’t control who they vote in or who they don’t vote in,” Hickerson said. ”Hey, Jim Brown didn’t need much help.”

Frank Stams, an Akron native who played with the old Browns team that moved to Baltimore, marveled at all the changes that have been made to the team’s training complex.

”The fences and stuff out front, it looks like Fort Knox,” Stams said. ”Where are they hiding all the gold? Oh, I know the answer to my own question. It’s all in Tim Couch’s locker.”

Moss scares Vikings

Randy Moss gave the Minnesota Vikings a big scare.

But it turns out the Pro Bowl wide receiver’s fall during the preseason opener wasn’t as bad as it looked.

MRIs showed Moss had a bruised left shoulder and bruised ribs, and he was listed as day-to-day.

Moss was hurt in the second quarter of the Vikings’ 25-24 loss to New Orleans, trying to score at the end of a 55-yard catch-and-run. He hurdled a defender and landed out of bounds.

on his shoulder and stayed down momentarily. Moss was in for one more play before leaving with five minutes left in the half.

X-rays were negative on Moss, the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year in 1998 and the MVP of the 2000 Pro Bowl. But the Vikings sent Moss to a hospital for further medical tests in the third quarter to make sure there wasn’t any damage to the shoulder capsule.

Coach Dennis Green said Moss won’t play again until he’s 100 percent.

”It’s hard to keep Randy out of the lineup because Randy plays with a tremendous passion,” Green said. ”We’ll always try to be real smart when it comes to injuries and make sure that he’s totally healthy.”