April 24, 2014

NFL Open Thread: Jim Brown

Jim Brown

James Nathaniel Brown was born to Theresa (a housekeeper) and Swinton Brown (a professional boxer).

 At Manhasset Secondary School, Brown earned 13 letters playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball and running track. According to the New York Times:

 Mr. Brown credits his self-reliance to having grown up on Saint Simons Island, a community off the coast of Georgia where he was raised by his grandmother and where racism did not affect him directly. At the age of 8 he moved to Manhasset, N.Y., where his mother worked as a domestic. It was at Manhasset High School that he became a football star and athletic legend.

 He averaged a then- Long Island record 38 points per game for his basketball team. 

 As a sophomore at Syracuse University, Brown was the second leading rusher on the team. As a junior, he rushed for 666 yards (5.2 per carry). In his senior year, Brown was a unanimous first-team All-American. He finished 5th in the Heisman Trophy voting, and set school records for highest rush average (6.2) and most rushing touchdowns (6). He ran for 986 yards—third most in the country despite Syracuse playing only eight games—and scored 14 touchdowns. In the regular-season finale, a 61–7 rout of Colgate, he rushed for 197 yards, scored six touchdowns and kicked seven extra points for 43 points (another school record). Then in the Cotton Bowl, he rushed for 132 yards, scored three touchdowns and kicked three extra points. But a blocked extra point after Syracuse’s third touchdown was the difference as TCU won 28–27.

Perhaps more impressive was his success as a multi-sport athlete. In addition to his football accomplishments, he excelled in basketball, track, and especially lacrosse. As a sophomore, he was the second leading scorer for the basketball team (15 ppg), and earned a letter on the track team. His junior year, he averaged 11.3 points in basketball, and was named a second-team All-American in lacrosse. His senior year, he was named a first-team All-American in lacrosse (43 goals in 10 games to rank second in scoring nationally).

Brown was taken in the first round of the 1956 draft by the Cleveland Browns. He departed as the NFL record holder for both single-season (1,863 in 1963) and career rushing (12,312 yards), as well as the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (106), total touchdowns (126), and all-purpose yards (15,549). He was the first player ever to reach the 100-rushing-touchdowns milestone, and only a few others have done so since, despite the league’s expansion to a 16-game season in 1978 (Brown’s first four seasons were only 12 games, and his last five were 14 games). Brown’s record of scoring 100 touchdowns in only 93 games stood until LaDainian Tomlinson did it in 89 games during the 2006 season. Brown holds the record for total seasons leading the NFL in all-purpose yards (5: 1958–1961, 1964), and is the only rusher in NFL history to average over 100 yards per game for a career. In addition to his rushing, Brown was a superb receiver out of the backfield, catching 262 passes for 2,499 yards and 20 touchdowns, while also adding another 628 yards returning kickoffs. Every season he played, Brown was voted into the Pro Bowl, and he left the league in style by scoring three touchdowns in his final Pro Bowl game. Perhaps the most amazing feat is that Jim Brown accomplished these records despite never playing past 29 years of age. Brown’s 6 games with at least 4 touchdowns remains an NFL record. LaDainian Tomlinson and Marshall Faulk both have five games with 4 touchdowns.

Brown led the league in rushing a record eight times.

He told me, ‘Make sure when anyone tackles you he remembers how much it hurts.’ He lived by that philosophy and I always followed that advice. —John Mackey, 1999

Brown’s 1,863 rushing yards in the 1963 season remain a Cleveland franchise record. It is currently the oldest franchise record for rushing yards out of all 32 NFL teams. While others have compiled more prodigious statistics, when viewing Brown’s standing in the game his style of running must be considered along with statistical measures. He was very difficult to tackle (shown by his leading 5.2 yards per carry), often requiring more than one person to bring him down.

Brown retired after nine seasons as opposed to the all time rushing leader Emmit Smith’s fourteen and remains the National Football league’s ninth all-time leading rusher. Brown is still the Cleveland Browns all-time leading rusher.

 

 

 GB @ DET

OAK @ DAL

PIT @ BAL

JAC @ CLE

TEN @ IND

CHI @ MIN

MIA @ NYJ

ARI @ PHI

 TB @ CAR

 NE @ HOU

ATL @ BUF

STL @  SF

DEN @  KC

CIN @  SD

 NYG @ WAS

 NO @ SEA

MsKitty

DET

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Ch555x

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TEN

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ARI

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AdKomack

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TyrenM

DET

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KennyM

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Pbomb

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GreenLady

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VulcanGirl

DET

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Tunisia

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JAC

TEN

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Miranda

DET

DAL

PIT

CLE

TEN

MIN

NYJ

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CAR

NE

ATL

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DEN

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NYG

SEA

  • TyrenM

    Shit. The (yes the) Bears can pack it up and go home now. Blow a 10 point lead to the Queens!?!? Arrgh. One more Cowboys loss and I’m through with football lol.

  • Miranda

    Please wake up Denver.