As the Cleveland Browns have been playing professional football since 1946, it is not surprising that the franchise has accumulated many rivals.
While teams such as the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Detroit Lions, and the Denver Broncos can claim rivalries with Cleveland, most observers agree that the Browns’ biggest rival is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
One player who excelled in games against the Steelers was wide receiver Dave Logan.
During his eight seasons with the Browns, Logan, who ranks high in Browns’ career regular season receiving records, scored eight touchdowns against Pittsburgh and helped the “Kardiac Kids” Browns obtain a key victory over the Steelers in 1980.
— Vintage Browns (@VintageBrowns) December 31, 2018
We take a look at the life of Dave Logan – before, during, and after his NFL playing career.
The Early Years Through High School
David Russell Logan was born on February 2, 1954 in Fargo, North Dakota.
Logan grew up in the Denver, Colorado area and attended Wheat Ridge High School in Wheat Ridge, Colorado (a suburb of Denver).
He excelled in football, basketball, and baseball at Wheat Ridge High School.
In football, Logan was voted first-team All-State twice.
He was named Colorado Player of the Year in 1971.
Logan won The Denver Post’s Gold Helmet Award in 1971, as Colorado’s top senior football player, scholar and citizen.
He was also recognized nationally in football.
Logan, as a senior, was named to the Super Eleven Team (an honor for which only 11 players nationally are selected) and the Sunkist Prep All-American team (as one of the top 17 high school players in the country).
In basketball, Logan was also voted first-team All-State twice.
After his football Colorado Player of the Year honors, Logan was named Colorado Player of the Year in basketball in 1972.
In baseball, Logan was both a pitcher and a shortstop.
Logan was considered so talented in baseball that he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds while in high school in the 30th round of the 1972 major league baseball draft.
In addition to winning the Gold Helmet Award, in 1972, Logan was also the first winner of the Fred Steinmark High School Athlete of the Year Award, given to a high school athlete who exhibits excellence in athletics, academics and citizenship.
Logan’s high school experience at Wheat Ridge High School was not only about athletics.
He was also a member of the high school band, where he played trombone.
Despite being drafted by the Reds, Logan decided not to pursue a career in baseball.
After graduating high school in 1972, Logan headed to Boulder, Colorado to attend University of Colorado.
At Colorado, Logan lettered in both football and basketball.
In football, in 1972, as a freshman, Logan saw limited action, catching one pass for 18 yards.
Colorado had an 8-4 record in 1972, including a 24-3 loss to Auburn in the Gator Bowl on December 28, 1972.
The Buffaloes were ranked 16th in the nation in the final Associated Press poll in 1972.
In 1973, Logan became a starter and caught 22 passes for 395 yards and four touchdowns.
His 18.0 average yards per reception was second in the Big Eight conference in 1973.
Logan also rushed for 38 yards on four rushing attempts for Colorado in 1973.
In addition, Logan was a punter (29 punts for 1,042 yards) and a punt returner (16 punt returns for 172 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown) in 1973.
The Buffaloes had a 5-6 record in 1973.
Logan was selected as a pre-season All-American by Playboy in 1974.
In 1974, again as a starter, Logan caught 21 passes for 274 yards and rushed for 90 yards on 16 rushing attempts.
He also returned five punts for 55 yards (including a 51-yard touchdown) and one kickoff for 19 yards.
Colorado repeated its 5-6 record in 1974.
As a senior, in 1975, Logan started for his third college season and caught 24 passes for 392 yards.
His 16.3 average yards per reception was third in the Big Eight conference in 1975.
He also returned four punts for three yards in 1975.
Logan was selected as an All-American by The Sporting News in 1975.
In 1975, the Buffaloes had a 9-3 record, including a 38-21 loss to Texas in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl on December 27, 1975.
Colorado was ranked 16th in the nation in the final Associated Press poll in 1975.
When Logan left Colorado in 1976, he ranked second in Colorado football history in both receptions (68) and receiving yards (1,079) .
In basketball, Logan played at forward for three years (58 games) at Colorado.
He averaged 14.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
After graduating Colorado, Logan had a decision to make.
He was drafted in the third round of the 1976 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns (the 65th overall pick) and in the ninth round of the 1976 NBA draft by the Kansas City Kings (the 143rd overall pick).
Logan is one of only three persons (the other two are Dave Winfield and Mickey McCarty) to be drafted by the NFL, the NBA, and major league baseball.
Ultimately, Logan chose football over basketball.
“I had broken my ankle playing basketball three weeks before the NFL draft. I had that surgery. We sent out a letter to all NFL teams that the ankle eventually would heal and I would be fine, but when I was drafted by the Browns, at that point I’m thinking that very well might be my future. The . . . Kings had drafted me and . . . – I had one year left in basketball because I had red-shirted one year due to a football injury – they said, ‘If you go back and just play basketball and not have to worry about playing basketball immediately after you play football, we’ll contractually give you this, this and this.’ I just was ready for the challenge (of playing in the NFL). I thought that was the right way to go.”
Logan headed to Cleveland to begin his professional football career.
The Pro Football Years
Logan had a hard time at his rookie training camp with the Browns.
In 1976, as a rookie, Logan played in 14 regular-season games, but did not start any of them.
On November 21, 1976, Logan had his first NFL regular-season reception, catching an 18-yard pass, in a 24-7 Cleveland victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Logan finished the regular season strong in 1976, catching passes in each of Cleveland’s last four regular-season games.
For the 1976 regular season, Logan caught five passes for 104 yards.
The Browns had a 9-5 record in 1976.
Logan’s second season in 1977 started with the wide receiver possibly moving to a new position.
Fortunately for Browns quarterback Brian Sipe (and probably also for Logan’s NFL career), the “Logan quarterback experiment” was short-lived.
Logan did throw two passes during the 1977 regular season, but failed to complete either of them.
He had a much better season in 1977 as a receiver than as a passer.
In the opening game of the 1977 regular season, on September 18, 1977, with Logan starting his first NFL regular-season game, he caught four passes for 78 yards.
Cleveland defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 13-3.
Two games later, on October 2, 1977, Logan scored his first NFL regular-season touchdown on a 22-yard pass from Brian Sipe, in a 28-14 Browns loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Logan caught two passes for 27 yards in the game.
In the 1977 regular season, playing in 14, and starting five, regular-season games at wide receiver, Logan caught 19 passes for 284 yards and one touchdown.
Cleveland had a 6-8 record in 1977.
In 1978, Logan started all 16 regular-season games at wide receiver.
On October 15, 1978, in a 34-14 Browns loss to the eventual 1978 Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, Logan scored his second NFL regular season touchdown against the Steelers on a 17-yard pass from Brian Sipe.
Logan caught two passes for 38 yards in the game.
Logan caught five passes for 43 yards, including seven-yard and five-yard touchdown passes from Sipe, as Cleveland lost to the Seattle Seahawks 47-24 on December 3, 1978.
For the 1978 regular season, Logan caught 37 passes for 585 yards and four touchdowns.
Cleveland Browns Dave Logan pic.twitter.com/wfDPcZcXwK
— Mark Humphrey (@MarkHum39586180) October 20, 2020
In 1978, the Browns had an 8-8 record.
Logan again started all 16 regular-season games at wide receiver in 1979.
In the opening regular-season game, Logan caught six passes for 115 yards, as the Browns defeated the New York Jets 25-22 in overtime on September 2, 1979.
Two of Logan’s receptions set up tying (in regulation) and winning (in overtime) field goals by Browns kicker Don Cockroft in the game.
On October 7, 1979, Logan caught five passes for 91 yards, including 30-yard and 13-yard touchdown passes from Brian Sipe, in a 51-35 Cleveland loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
One of Logan’s touchdowns was a one-handed catch against future Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount; the play was so special that a photo of it was used by Sports Illustrated in its 1980 NFL preview issue.
One of my favorite Browns photos, courtesy of Sports @SInow . Dave Logan's great TD catch vs. Steelers Oct. 7, 1979. Sipe throws five TD passes… and Browns lose, 51-35. I was there… 😬 This photo was SI's cover shot for its 1980 season preview. @VintageBrowns pic.twitter.com/tF7UyH1zqP
— Colton Jones (@cjoneshoops) January 23, 2019
Logan had another excellent game against the eventual 1979 Super Bowl champion Steelers when the teams next played on November 25, 1979.
In a narrow 33-30 overtime loss to Pittsburgh, Logan caught seven passes for 135 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown pass from Sipe, giving Logan five NFL regular season touchdowns against the Steelers.
In 1979, Logan had his best statistical NFL regular season, as he caught 59 passes for 982 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Browns had a 9-7 record in 1979.
If 1979 was Logan’s best statistical year, 1980 was his most memorable year.
On October 19, 1980, Logan caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Brian Sipe for the winning points with just 16 seconds left in the game, as the Browns defeated the Green Bay Packers 26-21. Logan had two catches for 52 yards in the game.
The following week, on October 26, 1980, Logan had another great game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, catching eight passes for 131 yards.
This time Logan’s efforts helped lead to a key Cleveland victory in the 1980 season – 27-26 over the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Steelers; it was the first victory for the Browns over the Steelers since 1976.
When the Browns and Steelers next played on November 16, 1980, Logan had only one reception, but it was a 15-yard touchdown pass from Sipe (Logan’s sixth NFL regular season touchdown against the Steelers). Cleveland narrowly lost the game to Pittsburgh 16-13.
In the final regular-season game, on December 21, 1980, Logan had one reception for 65 yards, his longest NFL regular season reception, as the Browns defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 27-24.
For the 1980 regular season, again starting all 16 regular-season games at wide receiver, Logan caught 51 passes for 822 yards and four touchdowns.
Known as the “Kardiac Kids”, for having several games decided in their final minutes, the 1980 Cleveland Browns won the AFC Central Division title with an 11-5 record.
In recalling the success of the 1980 team, Logan cites the entire Browns passing game.
The Browns advanced to the playoffs to play the Oakland Raiders on January 4, 1981.
Logan started the game at wide receiver and caught two passes for 36 yards, but Cleveland lost to the Raiders 14-12.
The game is known for a controversial decision by Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano to go for a touchdown, instead of settle for a field goal, and call a pass play late in the game.
The play (known as “Red Right 88”) resulted in a Raiders interception of Brian Sipe, which secured Oakland’s victory.
Logan, who was the primary receiver in the play design, recalled:
“The ending ripped the heart out of the team and the city. . . . I don’t think I left the house for about a week after that game. That’s how bad it hurt. . . . I believed we were good enough 40 years ago, and even looking back now, I believe we were good enough. We could have won it all. . . . We lived and died with the pass for a long time. Even though it didn’t work out, I’d take Brian in that situation every time.”
In 1981, Logan played in and started 14 out of the 16 regular season games at wide receiver.
On November 22, 1981, in a 32-10 Cleveland loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Logan’s only catch of the game was a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brian Sipe (his seventh NFL regular season touchdown against Pittsburgh).
In the final regular season game, Logan caught five passes for 101 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown pass from Paul McDonald, as the Browns lost to the Seattle Seahawks 42-21 on December 20, 1981.
In the 1981 regular season, Logan caught 31 passes for 497 yards and four touchdowns.
The Browns stumbled to a 5-11 record in 1981.
In 1982, with the regular season reduced to nine games because of a players’ strike, Logan started all nine regular-season games at wide receiver.
On December 26, 1982, Logan caught four passes for 83 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown pass from Paul McDonald, in a 20-14 Browns victory over the Houston Oilers.
The following week, on January 2, 1983, in a 37-21 Cleveland loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Logan scored his eighth NFL regular season touchdown against the Steelers, catching an eight-yard touchdown pass from Paul McDonald.
Logan caught three passes for 39 yards in the game.
Logan caught 23 passes for 346 yards and two touchdowns in the 1982 regular season.
The Browns had a 4-5 record in 1982, which was sufficient for the Browns to make the playoffs in the expanded 16-team playoff format used in 1982.
In the playoffs, Cleveland lost to the Los Angeles Raiders 27-10 on January 8, 1983.
Logan started the playoff game at wide receiver and caught one pass for 27 yards.
Logan played in all 16, and started 13, regular-season games in 1983 at wide receiver.
On September 25, 1983, Logan caught eight passes for 121 yards, as Cleveland defeated the San Diego Chargers 30-24 in overtime.
Logan (who caught three passes for 64 yards in the game) scored his final NFL touchdown, on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Brian Sipe, in a 41-23 Browns win over the Baltimore Colts on November 27, 1983.
In the 1983 regular season, Logan caught 37 passes for 627 yards and two touchdowns.
Cleveland had a 9-7 record in 1983.
On April 27, 1984, the Browns traded Logan to the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round pick in the 1984 NFL draft.
Logan played in four regular-season games (starting none of them) for the Broncos in 1984.
He caught one pass for three yards.
Logan then retired from the NFL at age 30.
The Years After the NFL
While many retired players have difficulty transitioning to post-NFL life, Logan has been successful with four activities (two directly related to football) after his retirement.
First, Logan has been a football broadcaster for the Denver Broncos since 1990.
— Ross Kaminsky (@Rossputin) November 3, 2019
He first provided color commentary, but he has been handling play-by-play duties for the Broncos since 1996 (one of the few former NFL players who has become a play-by-play broadcaster and does not just provide color commentary).
Second, Logan has been a radio station broadcaster in the Denver, Colorado area since 1993.
He currently co-hosts the Logan & Lewis sports talk show weekdays from 9am to 12pm on KOA News Radio 850 AM and 94.1 FM.
Third, Logan has been a very successful high school football coach in the Denver, Colorado area.
In 1993, Logan became the head football coach at Arvada West High School.
At Arvada West High School, Logan compiled a record of 61-24 and won his first state championship in 1997.
Logan next became head football coach at Chatfield High School.
In Logan’s three years at the school, Chatfield High School had a 30-7 record and won a state championship in 2001.
From 2003 to 2011, Logan was head football coach at Mullen High School.
Logan lost only 12 games over his nine seasons at Mullen High School and won four state championships there (including three consecutive championships from 2008 to 2010).
Logan is currently the head football coach at Cherry Creek High School, where he has already won state championships in 2014 and 2019.
Logan gives his coaching salary every year to his assistant coaches.
Fourth, Logan started in 2009 “Team Dave Logan”, which refers consumers to home improvement providers.
Logan has a daughter, Cassidy.
It would not be unreasonable to call Logan “Hall of Fame” Logan for the numerous Hall of Fames in which Logan has been enshrined.
He was inducted into the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame in 1992, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008, and the Jefferson County, Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
It has been announced that Logan will be enshrined in the National High School Hall of Fame and the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Logan was named to the University of Colorado’s All-Century Football Team.
He was also named National High School Coach-of-the-Year in 2001 and has won numerous broadcasting awards, including Colorado Sportscaster of the Year in 1992, 1993, and 1998.
Logan ranks high in Browns’ career regular season receiving records.
He currently ranks ninth in Browns’ career regular season receiving yards (4,247), eleventh in Browns’ career regular season receiving touchdowns (24), thirteenth (among receivers with at least 35 receptions) in Browns’ career regular season game average yards per reception (16.2), and tied for sixteenth in Browns’ career regular season receptions (262).
For his play against the Pittsburgh Steelers and all other teams, Browns fans should appreciate Dave Logan as one of the best wide receivers in Cleveland Browns history.