Jim Brown, the former Syracuse University standout and Cleveland Browns star running back, gave NFL fans nine incredible seasons and a lifetime of memories.
Before it became fashionable to anoint a GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), either at a particular sport or in some cases, a particular position, there was an NFL running back who many feel earned that distinction after less than 10 seasons in the league.
When the discussion of the greatest running back and the greatest football player is addressed, there is seemingly one staple on just about every list.
The legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame running back has passed away at age 87, and the football world responded in many ways.
NFL world reacts to the passing of legendary running back Jim Brown
He played just nine seasons and in 118 regular-season games. He totaled an astounding 12,312 yards on the ground, to go along with 106 rushing touchdowns. He ran for 100-plus yards in nearly half (58) of those regular-season outings.
He led the league in rushing yards eight times, including his rookie season, and ran for an average of 104.3 yards per contest for his nine-year career. He finished his NFL career with 14,811 total yards from scrimmage and reached the end zone 126 times.
Brown punished opposing defenses and was deceptively fast at 6’2” and 232 pounds. The physically-imposing runner was named to the Pro Bowl all nine years he was in the league, and he earned All-Pro honors eight times. The sixth overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft, he was part of the Cleveland Browns’ last league championship team in 1964.
Brown walked away from the game following the 1965 season and the larger-than-life figure would go on to make his mark in motion pictures and other aspects. He was a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer and was enshrined in Canton in 1971.
What remains remarkable is that Brown remains 11th on the NFL’s all-time rushing list despite the fact that his final season came in 1965. Even more astounding are those highlights of him running through the opposition seemingly at will.