Our Black History Month weekday posts that honor the men and women, who have and continue to make an impact on the sports – and yes, athletics world – continues today with getting to know Jim Brown.
Jim Brown is considered by many as one of the greatest to play professional football – he was also a tremendous lacrosse player, too.
Like we have earlier this week, let’s get to know Jim Brown more, as well as share some must-reads on the former Cleveland Browns halfback.
Getting to know Jim Brown:
- Jim Brown maybe known for his playing days with the Cleveland Browns, but he is also a sports analyst and actor. He was also a part owner of the New York Lizards, who used to be a member of Major League Lacrosse (The MLL was absorbed by the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) last December).
- Brown was born in St. Simmons Island, Georgia – his father, Swinton Brown, was a professional boxer. He attended Manhasset Secondary School where he earned 13 varsity letters for playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and running track. His success on the playing field continued as a student-athlete at Syracuse University where he became an All-American in football and lacrosse. He was the men’s basketball team’s top scorer and finished fifth in the college decathlon.
- With the Orange, Brown received the nickname “First Down Brown,” and recorded quite a few first downs against Colgate University in 1956 when he scored six touchdowns and recorded seven extra points.
During that same season, he tallied 21 points against Boston University before posting the same amount against Texas Christian in the Cotton Bowl. TCU won the 1957 Cotton Bowl by a score of 28-27, but Jim Brown was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
- Jim Brown played nine seasons in the National Football League (NFL) – all nine were spent with the Cleveland Browns – and tallied 12,312 rushing yards, including 1,863 yards in 1963. He also scored 106 touchdowns in 1963.
- A one-time NFL champion with the Cleveland Browns in 1964 when they beat the Baltimore Colts, Brown is a nine-time pro bowler, eight-time first-team all-pro, and earned a trio of AP NFL Most Valuable Player awards in 1957, 1958, and 1965. He was tabbed the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 1957, and led the league in rushing eight times (1957-1961 and 1963-1965.
- Brown retired from the NFL during the summer of 1966 – his decision stunned the football world as many wondered what he would have accomplished had he played another nine seasons. But something worth noting, he never missed a single game with the Cleveland Browns.
- After retiring from football, Brown starred in numerous movies and became the first African American to announce a televised boxing match. He founded the Amer-I-Can Program, a national program that is focused on empowering individuals to “take charge of their lives and achieve their full potential.”
- Jim Brown was named to the NFL’s All-Time Team in November 2019.
Articles and Links on Jim Brown:
- Syracuse football legend Jim Brown was named to the NFL All-Time Team (Syracuse.com)
- National Football Foundation: Jim Brown (Hall of Fame)
- Lear more about the impact Jim Brown had on the field with the Cleveland Browns (NFL’s Pro Football Hall of Fame)
- Revisit Jim Brown’s impressive career with the Cleveland Browns on the NFL’s YouTube channel.
We’ll be back next Monday for another week of our Black History Month sports posts!