Jim Brown-Remembering Greatness”
He was an icon. He was defiant. He was a complete man.
I grew up on Long Island and was a Cleveland Browns fan.
My memories of Sunday afternoons as a kid, the Browns-vs-Giants..the New York Football Giants.
It was Jim Brown-vs-Sam Huff..The big tough running back against the ever feisty linebacker.
Brown leaves behind a legacy of accomplishment as a player and impact as a person in black society. He also carried a tainted reputation to the grave as a women-abuser.
History should write he was as great an athlete and person in his sport as Babe Ruth was to baseball, Jack Robinson to integration of baseball, Will Chamberlain to basketball, Bill Russell to social causes, and Gordie Howe to hockey.
The guy who wore #32, ran the football like no other in a 9-year career. He was the cornerstone of the great Paul Brown-led teams in Municipal Stadium.
What he did was dominate.
You decide what impresses you the most:
..9-years career worth over 12,000-yards rushing and 69-TDs
..8-time Rushing Leaders
..7-one thousand seasons
..58-100 yard games
..Career rushing average of over 100-yards per game, never done before or since.
Close your eyes and visualize all the great running backs. OJ Simpson, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Earl Campbell and even back in the day Red Grange.
He was different than all of them and maybe was the pace setter for what the position should be come.
He walked away from the game in a dispute with new owner Art Modell. He became a movie actor. He became a true activist too in life. He left bitter, and the Browns were forever hurt, they have never been to a Super Bowl in 57-years.
The standoff came in a battle of wills between two stubborn men. Brown defended Modell in the firing of Paul Brown. He felt he should have been given space to report late to camp by 1-week, considering all he had done in his career. Instead Modell wanted to show who was boss. Brown showed him he was the boss of his own life-career, and left. He never came back. Cleveland was never the same again.
He was always a social cause advocate. That included his backing of black business investment, especially banks. What he did for black business leaders and politicians on the Lakefront is legenday. His support of the NAACP, his stance of Muhammad Ali and the Viet Nam war boycott, his friendship with Martin Luther King, his involvement and intervention with gangs in Los Angeles were signature events in life, equal to 200-yard rushing games..
A man for all seasons, and many causes.
But a complex man too with his treatment of women, and a constant confrontation issue with police. He was arrested seven times off the field for spousal abuse, sexual misconduct, child support incidents.
As dominant as he was on the field, he seemed to want to dominate the women he dated and the women he eventually married, mentally and physically.
He stood for so many things, most good-some bad. He left a legacy few athletes from the 1960s thru this morning have ever matched.
Jim Brown, the player, the man, the person was something we might never ever see again, on the field or in a community.