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L E’s Stories -“Hercules, Hulk And Superman All Rolled Into One” – Salute To Browns FB Jim Brown

When I told Bone Daddy that I was doing a story about Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame fullback Jim Brown….that is when he related a story about a neighborhood friend known around the after-school tackle football league known as Wylie Jim Brown….whose real name was Willie James Brown…. for Willie was a full-head size taller with significantly more girth than the rest of the boys who gathered on the Sam Houston Elementary School playground after school to choose-up sides to play a competitive “not-so-friendly” game of tackle football with no pads.  Wylie Jim Brown and Richard “Peanut” Davis were always the first two players chosen by the team captains (selected by rotation of all the after school football players) each day that a game was played….for Wylie JB required a “gang tackle” of at least 3 guys to bring him down once he had the ball in his hands…..and Peanut Davis was the fastest runner with the ball….and was shifty and like a “greased pig at a rodeo” when trying to catch to bring down…..so, these two were pure and simply the most difficult to bring to hold to minus yards when they had the ball in their hands.  All that being said….Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns was one of the most beloved heroes of the NFL and the Sam Houston Elementary after-school pick-up football games during the decade of the 1950’s….so, NFL Hall of Fame legend Jim Brown is easy to write about….cuz he was considered to be Hercules, Hulk and Superman by every man who had to bring him down….whether on the gridiron of the NFL or the playground of Sam Houston Elementary. 

 

NCAAF & NFL – 1953 To 1965 – Special Highlights – Jim Brown: A Legend

If you watched the film above…..and you weren’t mesmerized….with chills running down your back….then you simply aren’t a football fan….for the athlete featured in the video was “Hercules, Hulk and Superman all rolled into one football player”…..for this footage provides significant evidence of this assessment.  James Nathaniel Brown (born February 17, 1936) is a former American football player, sports analyst and actor….who was a fullback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) from 1957 through 1965….and considered to be one of the greatest running backs of all time…. as well as one of the greatest players in NFL history….as Jim Brown was a Pro Bowl invitee every season he was in the league….and was recognized as the AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times….while winning an NFL championship with the Browns in 1964.  He led the league in rushing yards in eight out of his nine seasons….and by the time he retired, he had shattered most major NFL rushing records.  In 2002, he was named by The Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever.                          

NFL – 1957 To 1965 – Special – Jim Brown: “The Greatest Running Back Of All Time”                                                                                                                                    

Brown earned unanimous All-America honors playing college football at Syracuse University….where he was an all-around player for the Syracuse Orangemen football team…..who also excelled in basketball, track and field and lacrosse.  The football team later retired his number 44 jersey….plus he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

 

NCAA Football – 1953 To 1957 – Pocky Candy Special – Classic Tailback: Syracuse University RB Jim Brown

In his professional career, Brown carried the ball 2,359 times for 12,312 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns….which were all NFL records when he retired.  He averaged 104.3 rushing yards per game….and is the only player in NFL history to average over 100 rushing yards per game for his career.  His 5.2 yards per rush is second-best among running backs.  Brown was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971…..plus, he was named to the NFL 50th Anniversary All-Time Team….the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team….and the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team….which was comprised of the best players in NFL history.  Brown was honored at the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship as the greatest college football player of all time.  His number 32 jersey is retired by the Browns. Shortly before the end of his football career, Brown became an actor, and had several leading roles throughout the 1970’s.

 

NFL – 1953 To 1965 – Special – Jim Brown: “A Football Life” – Narrated By Josh Charles

Brown was born in St. Simons Island, Georgia, to Swinton Brown, a professional boxer, and his wife, Theresa, a homemaker.  At Manhasset Secondary School, Brown earned 13 letters playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and running track….as Brown credits his self-reliance to having grown up on Saint Simons Island….which is a community off the coast of Georgia….where he was raised by his grandmother….and was a place where racism did not affect him directly.  At the age of eight, he moved to Manhasset, New York, on Long Island….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. That record was later broken by future Boston Red Sox star Carl Yastrzemski of Bridgehampton.

 

Lacrosse – 2016 – ESPN Special – Jim Brown: The Sport Of Lacrosse

As a sophomore at Syracuse University in 1954, Brown was the 2nd-leading rusher on the team….then as a junior, he rushed for 676 yards (5.2 per carry) …..and in his senior year in 1956, Brown was a consensus first-team All-American…..when he finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting….while setting school records for highest season rush average at 6.2 yard per carry …..and most rushing touchdowns in a single game (6).  He ran for 986 yards, which was 3rd-most in the country despite Syracuse playing only eight games….and he 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 a school-record 43 points….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 3rd touchdown was the difference as TCU won 28–27.

 

NFL – 1957 To 1965 – Special – Jim Brown: “The Greatest Ever”                                    

Perhaps more impressive was his success as a multisport athlete.  In addition to his football accomplishments, he excelled in basketball, track and especially lacrosse.  Also, as a sophomore, he was the 2nd-leading scorer for the basketball team at 15 ppg….while earning a letter on the track team.  In 1955, he finished in 5th place in the Nation Championship decathlon.  His junior year, he averaged 11.3 points in basketball….and was named a 2nd-team All-American in lacrosse.  His senior year, he was named a 1st-team All-American in lacrosse after scoreing 43 goals in 10 games to rank 2nd in scoring nationally….and now, he is in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.  The Carrier Dome has an 800 square-foot tapestry depicting Brown in football and lacrosse uniforms with the words “Greatest Player Ever”.

 

NCAA – 1953 To 1957 – Syracuse University Special – Jim Brown – “The Greatest Athlete To Ever Be An Orangeman”                                                                     

NCAA Lacrosse – 1953 To 1957 – Special – Syracuse University Jim Brown – “Greatest Lacrosse Player Ever”

NCAA Lacrosse – 1955 – Syracuse University Highlights – Jim Brown Takes Face-off And Scores Single-Handedly

Brown was taken in the 1st round of the 1957 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns….as the 6th overall selection.  In the 9th game of his rookie season against the Los Angeles Rams, he rushed for 237 yards….which set an NFL single-game record that stood unsurpassed for 14 years….as well as a rookie record that remained for 40 years.  Brown broke the single-season rushing record in 1958, gaining 1,527 yards in the 12-game season….thus shattering the previous NFL mark of 1,146 yards set by Steve Van Buren in 1949.  In this MVP season, Brown led all players with a staggering 17 touchdowns scored ….while besting his nearest rival, Baltimore Colts wide receiver Raymond Berry, by 8.

 

NCAAF & NFL – 1953 To 1965 – NFL Network Special – Jim Brown: “Player Of the Millenium”                                                                                                                 

After nine years in the NFL, he departed as the league’s record holder for both single-season of 1,863 yards in 1963….and career rushing with 12,312 yards….as well as the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 106….total touchdowns with 126….and all-purpose yards with 15,549…..plus, he was the 1st player ever to reach the 100-rushing-touchdowns milestone…..as only a few others have done so since, despite the league’s expansion to a 16-game season in 1978…..while Brown’s first four seasons were only 12 games….and his last five were 14 game seasons.  Brown’s record of scoring 100 TD’s 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 with five from 1958–1961 and 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….while catching 262 passes for 2,499 yards and 20 touchdowns….and also adding another 628 yards returning kickoffs.                                                                              

NFL – 1957 to 1965 – NFL Films – “Jim Brown’s Top 5 Runs”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Every season he played, Brown was voted into the Pro Bowl….as he left the league in style by scoring three touchdowns in his final Pro Bowl game.  He accomplished these records despite not playing past 29 years of age…..while  Brown’s six games with at least four touchdowns remains an NFL record….as Tomlinson and Marshall Faulk both have five games with four touchdowns. Brown led the league in rushing a record eight times. He was also the first NFL player ever to rush for over 10,000 yards.

 

NFL – 1957 To 1965 – NFL Network Special – The Top 100 NFL’s Greatest Players – # 2: Jim Brown

In 1999, Baltimore Colts Hall of Fame tight end recalls that Jim Brown told him….”Make sure when anyone tackles you he remembers how much it hurts.  He lived by that philosophy and I always followed that advice.”                                     

NFL – 2016 – NFL Network Special – “Jim Brown: 80 Years And Running” – With Marshall Faulk + Franco Harris + Marcus Allen + Eric Dickerson

Brown’s 1,863 rushing yards in the 1963 season remains a Cleveland franchise record…..and is currently the oldest franchise record for rushing yards out of all 32 NFL teams…..while his average of 133 yards per game that season is exceeded only by O. J. Simpson’s 1973 season.  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…..for he was very difficult to tackle….as evidenced by his leading 5.2 yards per carry….while often requiring more than one defender to bring him down…..which was just like Wylie Jim Brown of the Sam Houston Elementary after-school football league….cuz you had to gang tackle the guy.

 

NFL – 1957 To 1965 – Cleveland Browns Special – Tribute To Jim Brown – Pt 1

Brown retired after nine seasons in July 1966 as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. He held the record of 12,312 yards until it was broken by Walter Payton on October 7, 1984….which was during Payton’s 10th NFL season. Brown is still the Browns’ all-time leading rusher…..and as of 2018, Brown is 11th on the all-time rushing list.  During Brown’s career, Cleveland won the NFL championship in 1964….and were runners-up in 1957 and 1965….which was his rookie and final season, respectively.

 

NFL – 1957 To 1965 – Cleveland Browns Special – Tribute To Jim Brown – Pt 2

Brown began his acting career before the 1964 season….while playing a buffalo soldier in a Western action film called Rio Conchos.  The film premiered at Cleveland’s Hippodrome theater on October 23, with Brown and many of his teammates in attendance….with a lukewarm reaction….as  one reviewer said he was a serviceable actor…..but in his defense, the movie’s overcooked plotting and implausibility amounted to “a vigorous melodrama for the unsqueamish.”                                                                                                         

NFL – 1957 To 1965 – Cleveland Browns Special – Jim Brown: “NFL Greatest Game Changers”                                                                                                                 

In early 1966, Brown was shooting his 2nd film MGM’s The Dirty Dozen….. which cast Brown as Robert Jefferson….who was one of 12 convicts sent to France during World War II to assassinate German officers meeting at a castle near Rennes in Brittany before the D-Day invasion.  Production delays due to bad weather meant he missed at least the first part of training camp on the campus of Hiram College….which annoyed Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell….who threatened to fine Brown $1,500 (equivalent to $12,058.98 in 2021 dollars) for every week of camp he missed….and that is when Brown, who had previously said that 1966 would be his last season, the final year of a three-year contract, announced his retirement, instead.  The Dirty Dozen was a huge hit and MGM signed him to a multi-film contract….when his 2nd film for the studio was Dark of the Sun in 1968….which was an action movie set in the Congo…..where he played a mercenary who was Rod Taylor’s best friend.  Ice Station Zebra in 1968 was also for MGM….which was an expensive adventure movie based on a novel by Alistair MacLean….where Brown supported Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, and Ernest Borgnine…..then  MGM cast Brown in his 1st lead role in The Split in 1969….which was based on a Parker novel by Donald E. Westlake…..when he was paid $125,000 for the role.  Brown followed it with Riot in 1969….which was a prison film for MGM…..as both it and The Split were solid hits at the box office.  Biographer Mike Freeman credits Brown with becoming “the first black action star“, due to roles such as the Marine captain he portrayed in the hit 1968 film Ice Station Zebra.

 

Movie – 1967 – Clip From The Dirty Dozen – Featuring Jim Brown – “Blowing The Chateau”                                                                                                                    

Movie – 1968 – Clip From Dark Of The Sun – With Jim Brown & Rod Taylor – “You Need Him”

 

Movie – 1968 – Trailer For Ice Station Zebra – Starring Rock Hudson + Ernest Borgnine + Patrick McGoohan + Jim Brown

Brown went to 20th Century Fox for 100 Rifles in 1969….which was his 1st Western…..as Brown was billed over co stars Raquel Welch and Burt Reynolds….and had a love scene with Welch….which was one of the first interracial love scenes…..as Raquel Welch reflects on the scene in Spike Lee’s Jim Brown: All-American.  Brown had a change of pace with Kenner in 1969 at MGM….which was an adventure film partly set in India where Brown plays a man who befriends a young boy…..then in 1970, he starred as a sheriff in … Tick … Tick … Tick … for MGM….which was another hit.

 

Movie – 1968 – Trailer For 100 Rifles – Starring Burt Reynolds + Raquel Welch + Jim Brown

Movie – 2002 – Clips From Spike Lee’s Jim Brown All American And Movie Clips Of Jim Brown

Brown appeared in The Grasshopper (1970), a drama for National General Pictures….where he played an ex football player who becomes the lover of Jacqueline Bisset…..and then a more typical role in El Condor in 1970….which was a Western shot in Spain by John Guillermin, also for National General.                     

Movie – 1970 – Clip From The Grasshopper – Featuring Jim Brown + Jacqueline Bisset – “The Marriage Proposal”                                                                     

Brown starred in several of the genre with a huge hit for AIP in Slaughter in 1972….. Black Gunn in 1972 for Columbia….Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off  in 1973 ….The Slams in 1973….then back at MGM with I Escaped from Devil’s Island in 1973 and Three the Hard Way in 1974 with Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly.He did a spaghetti Western with Williamson, Take a Hard Ride 1975…. and that is when the popularity of blaxploitation ebbed and Brown made fewer films….and Brown appeared in Fingers 1978….which was the directorial debut of James Toback.

 

Interview – 2014 – University Of Texas McGarr Symposium On Sports & Society – Jim Brown Is Left Speechless By A Question

His 1980’s appearances were mostly on television…..as Brown appeared in some TV shows including Knight Rider in the season-three premiere episode “Knight of the Drones”…..then alongside fellow former football player Joe Namath on The A-Team episode “Quarterback Sneak”…..along with appearances on CHiPs in episodes one and two of season three, as a pickpocket on roller skates.                                                                                               

Comedy – 1982 – Richard Pryor Live On Sunset Strip On Jim Brown – “What You Gonna Do?”                                                                                                                

He returned to movies in The Running Man as Fireball in 1987….which was an adaptation of a Stephen King novel….and had a cameo in the spoof I’m Gonna Git You Sucka in 1988.  Brown then appeared in Mars Attacks! in 1996 and Sucker Free City in 2004….and played a defensive coach, Montezuma Monroe, in Any Given Sunday in 1999. 

NFL – 1960 – Cleveland Browns Season Highlights Special – “The Best Show In Football”                                                                                                                                                   

Brown posed in the nude for the September 1974 issue of Playgirl magazine ….and is one of the rare celebrities to allow full-frontal nude pictures to be used.  Brown also worked as a color analyst on NFL telecasts for CBS in 1978, teaming with Vin Scully and George Allen.

 

NFL – 2010 – In Depth With Graham Bensinger Interview – With Jim Brown On “Intimidating Opponents”
 

In 1983, 17 years after retiring from professional football, Brown mused about coming out of retirement to play for the Los Angeles Raiders when it appeared that Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris would break Brown’s all-time rushing record…..cuz Brown disliked Harris’ style of running, criticizing the Steelers’ running back’s tendency to run out of bounds….which was a marked contrast to Brown’s approach of fighting for every yard and taking on the approaching tackler.  Eventually, Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears broke the record on October 7, 1984….with Brown having ended thoughts of a comeback…..while Harris himself, who retired after the 1984 season after playing eight games with the Seattle Seahawks, fell short of Brown’s mark.  Following Harris’s last season, in that January, a challenge between Brown and Harris in a 40-yard dash was nationally televised…..with Brown, at 48 years old being certain he could beat Harris….albeit Harris was only 34 years old and just ending his elite career…. as Harris clocked in at 5.16 seconds and Brown in at 5.72 seconds.

 

Movie – 2020 – Celebrity Page – Football Legend Jim Brown Tells Us About “One Night In Miami”                                                                                                          

In 1965, Brown was the first African-American to announce a televised boxing match in the United States, for the Terrell–Chuvalo fight, and is also credited with then first suggesting a career in boxing promotion to Bob Arum.  Brown’s autobiography, published in 1989 by Zebra Books, was titled Out of Bounds and was co-written with Steve Delsohn.  He was a subject of the book Jim: The Author’s Self-Centered Memoir of the Great Jim Brown, by James Toback.  In 1993, Brown was hired as a color commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a role he occupied for the first six pay-per-view events.  In 1988, Brown founded the Amer-I-Can Program…. and he currently works with juveniles caught up in the gang scene in Los Angeles and Cleveland through this Amer-I-Can program….which is a life-management skills organization that operates in inner cities and prisons.

 

Interview – 1993 – Worth Quoting With Samuel Kouvaris – Featuring Jim Brown On Amer-I-Can Program

In 2002, film director Spike Lee released the film Jim Brown: All-American, a retrospective on Brown’s professional career and personal life.  As of 2008, Brown was serving as an executive advisor to the Browns….while assisting to build relationships with the team’s players….and to further enhance the NFL’s wide range of sponsored programs through the team’s player programs department…..then on May 29, 2013, Brown was named a special adviser to the Browns.

 

Special – 2014 – Excerpt From “I Am Ali” – Jim Brown on Muhammad Ali’s Fight Against Discrimination

Brown is also a part owner of the New York Lizards of Major League Lacrosse, joining a group of investors in the purchase of the team in 2012.  On October 11, 2018, Brown along with Kanye West met with president Donald Trump to discuss the state of America among other topics.

 

Special – 2013 – ESPN’s Sports Science Features Jim Brown Vs. Wayne Gretzky –“Jim Brown’s 4,000 Watt Lacrosse Shot Overpowers The Great One”                             

Brown’s memorable professional career led to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971…..and his football accomplishments at Syracuse garnered him a berth in the College Football Hall of Fame…..plus, he also earned a spot in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame….which has given him a rare triple crown of sorts.                                                                                                  

NFL – 2016 – Special Speach – Cleveland Browns’ Hall Of Fame RB Jim Brown Speaks Prior To Statue Unveiling In Front Of FirstEnergy Stadium

In 118 career games, Brown averaged 104.3 yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry….whereas, only Barry Sanders (99.8 yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry) comes close to these totals….and just  For example, Hall of Famer Walter Payton averaged only 88 yards per game during his career with a 4.4 yards-per-carry average…..and Emmitt Smith averaged only 81.2 yards per game with a 4.2 yards-per-carry average.  Brown has famously said on the subject saying….“When running backs get in a room together, they don’t argue about who is the best.”  The only top-10 all-time rusher who even approaches Brown’s totals, Barry Sanders, posted a career average of 99.8 yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry….however, Barry Sanders’ father, William, was frequently quoted as saying that Jim Brown was “the best I’ve ever seen.”

 

Interviews – 1970 – The Dick Cavett Show – Georgia Govenor Lester Maddox and Jim Brown Get Into Heated Debate on Segregation

Even today in 2021, Brown currently holds NFL records for most games with 24 or more points in a career with 6…..highest career touchdowns per game average at 1.068…..most career games with three or more touchdowns with 14…..most games with four or more touchdowns in a career with 6…..most seasons leading the league in rushing attempts with 6…..most seasons leading league in rushing yards with 8…..highest career rushing yards-per-game average with 104.3…..most seasons leading the league in touchdowns with 5….most seasons leading the league in yards from scrimmage with 6….. highest average yards from scrimmage per game in a career with 125.52…. and most seasons leading the league in combined net yards with 5…..and any way you cut the pie….that is beyond spectacular….especially considering he retired in 1965….just a mere 56 years ago.                                                                         

NFL – 1957 To 1965 – Special – Jim Brown: “Ultimate Highlights”                                     

In 2002, The Sporting News selected him as the greatest football player of all time….as did the New York Daily News in 2014…..and on November 4, 2010, Brown was chosen by NFL Network’s NFL Films production The Top 100 NFL’s Greatest Players as the 2nd greatest player in NFL history….while coming in behind only Jerry Rice…..and to our opinion here at ImaSportsphile, Rice couldn’t carry Brown’s jockstrap.  In November 2019, he was selected as one of the twelve running backs on the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.                                                                                              

 

NFL – 1965 – NFL Films – Cleveland Browns: “A Winning Tradition”                                

On January 13, 2020, Brown was named the greatest college football player of all time by ESPN, during a ceremony at the College Football Playoff National Championship Game celebrating the 150th anniversary of college football.                                                                                                                                  

NFL – 1957 To 1965 – Special – “Hercules, Hulk & Superman All Rolled Into One” – Jim Brown Career Highlights

At the end of the day…..as I come to the end of this story about Jim Brown…. with a firm realization that there was only one NFL player who could be honestly referred to as “Hercules, Hulk and Superman” all rolled into one….and that was the incomparable running back for the Cleveland Browns….who played for Coach Paul Brown…..and was named Jim Brown.  If you watched the video above….there is simply no possible way that you cannot agree with me in this assessment….as the truth be known …..there has never been another one like him in the past 56 year…..and there is a real good chance that there may never ever be one in the future of the game.                         

NCAA Football – 2015 – The Rich Eisen Show – Hall of Famer Jim Brown on Syracuse Un-retiring # 44

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