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NFL – Great Players – Minnesota Vikings DE Jim Marshall


Bone Daddy and Minnesota Viking defensive end Jim Marshall have something in common….during each of their sports careers….both are remembered for their what had to be one of the most embarrassing moments that could ever happen…..in professional league and any league sports history.

James Lawrence Marshall (born December 30, 1937) is a retired American football player who played defensive end for the Cleveland Browns (1960) and the Minnesota Vikings (1961–1979).  At the time of his retirement, he owned the career records for most consecutive starts (270) and games played (282)…..but is Marshall remembered for this 18 year career consecutive games record….Jim Marshall is a blueprint for what every GM of a pro sports team wants….a professional athlete who shows up at work every day…..rain, sleet or snow…..for that long….heck, Jim Marshall is like the Cal Ripken Jr. of the NFL….and do people remember this …..heck no….why?…..cuz Marshall was involved in what is considered by many….including SI.com author John Rolfe….to be one of the most embarrassing moments in professional sports history.

On October 25, 1964….in a game against the San Francisco 49’ers…..Marshall recovered a fumble and ran 66 yards with it the wrong way into his own end zone…..thinking that he had scored a touchdown for the Vikings….he then threw the ball away in celebration…..as the ball landed out of bounds….resulting in a safety for the 49’ers.  According to Marshall….when he approached Vikings head coach Norm Van Brocklin afterwards….Van Brocklin after a pause, said, “Jim, you did the most interesting thing in this game today.”….whether that was said or not….what a great assessment by a coach….fortunate for Marshall….despite the gaffe, the Vikings won the game 27–22….with the final margin of victory provided by a Carl Eller touchdown return of a fumble caused by a Marshall sack. Marshall later received a letter from Roy Riegels, infamous for a wrong-way run in the 1929 Rose Bowl, stating, “Welcome to the club”.

In the month of July 1959…..Bone Daddy was the center fielder for the Central Little League Braves Team champions….playing for the right to represent Midland, TX in the State of Texas Little League regional tournament….on the road to Williamsport, PA…..and the Little League World Series….as the Braves were playing in the City Championship.  There are two outs in the bottom of the 6th inning (last inning in LL)….man on first….with the score 2 – 1 in favor of Central LL Braves verses Eastern LL Pirates….the pitch was thrown….and Bill Zoney of Eastern hits a “can of corn” to center field….and Bone Daddy is a good fielding center fielder….game over, right!?….wrong, the ball hits Bone Daddy on the head….and proceeds to bounce over the fence for a home run….and the Braves lose a heart breaker…..and to this day, people don’t remember BD had driven in the go ahead run with a single and a runner on 2nd…..but what people remember is the “Dinger” off Bone Daddy’s head  

Isn’t it interesting what folks are remembered for?…..doesn’t it just prove that all beings are just “popcorn farts” in this vast universe…..for those of you that don’t understand….all you have to do is eat enough popcorn….but the fact is, it doesn’t last very long….and people sure don’t remember unless you score for the opposing team….something that Jim Marshall and my Bone Daddy share in common.  What I love about Jim Marshall is that he was a member of one of the best defensive lines ever assembled…..The Purple People Eaters…..and Bone Daddy is the 1st Sportsphile in the world…..but not the last….cuz we know you are out there.

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