Lions, Browns Meet In Annual Charity Game

CLEVELAND (AP) - Who says NFL teams have nothing to play for during the preaseason.

This Saturday, the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions will meet in the inaugural "Great Lakes Classic", with the winner taking home a 50-pound bronze sculpture of a ship common to the waterways of Lake Erie.

"We wanted to jazz it up and make it a little special," said Browns president Carmen Policy.

The Lions and Browns plan to make the matchup an annual event that will benefit charity.

Both teams will contribute $25,000 into a pool with the winner giving $30,000 to a selected charity and the loser donating $20,000 to a charity of its choice.

The Lions have designated Habitat for Humanity as this year's benefactor. The Browns have chosen the United Way Services of Greater Cleveland as their recipient.

The Detroit-Cleveland matchup will revive a rivalry that began in the 1950s when the Lions and Browns met in four NFL championship games. The Lions won titles in 1952, '53 and '57, with Cleveland winning in '54.

The "Great Lakes Classic" trophy was designed by David Deming, president of the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Deming used photographs of large vessels as models for his sculpture and said he visited the Port of Cleveland to see some of the giant ships up close.

The sculpture includes a Lions helmet and Browns helmet facing off on its deck.

But does it float?

"Good question," Deming said. "I haven't tried it yet."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)