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Popular and outspoken NFL cornerback Hanford Dixon offers an inside look at the turbulent, exciting, and frustrating Cleveland Browns seasons of the 1980s. A three-time Pro Bowler and co-inventor of the now legendary Dawg Pound, Dixon recalls both the roller-coaster on-field action and a culture of drug use that permeated the NFL and led to the tragic death of a teammate.

He shares in detail what it was like to be a first-round NFL draft pick fighting for the starting job in training camp . . . What it took, mentally and physically, to play the toughest game at the highest level for a storied franchise . . . The adrenaline rush of whipping up a frenzied crowd of 80,000 rabid fans in Municipal Stadium . . . The thrill of being one game away from the Super Bowl—three times! . . . And the crushing disappointment of losing those big games.

Dixon and teammate Frank Minnifield are widely considered one of the best cornerback duos ever to have played the game. Their intense preparation made them feared competitors. Their enthusiasm made them fan favorites. Dixon’s early habit of barking—at opponents, teammates, fans—was so infectious it inspired an identity for Browns fans—”The Dawgs”—still cherished today.

Dixon refers to himself as “a top-notch, speedy, loud-mouth, cocky, shutdown cornerback.” That gives an idea of his outsized personality as well as his willingness to say exactly what he means. He’s not shy about delivering praise or criticism where he thinks it’s due—to teammates, coaches, officials . . . or himself.

This Dawg tells it the way it was.

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