The Greatest American Football Player of All-Time: Jim Brown
Jim Brown once said, “I'm not interested in trying to work on people's perceptions. I am who I am, and if you don't take the time to learn about that, then your perception is going to be your problem.” It is obviously clear from the quote that Brown unfazed
with how his fans think about him. Brown, who played for 7 years for the Cleveland Browns, was named as the greatest professional football player ever by “The Sporting News” magazine. He is most famous for his incomparable and record setting 9 years of professional
football, playing as a running back for the Browns.
James Nathaniel “Jim” Brown was born in an all-African American community in Georgia, in the city of St. Simons Island. Born to a housekeeper mother and professional boxer father, Brown was raised by his grandmother in St. Simons Island. At the age of 8,
Brown relocated to Manhasset, New York where his mother was employed. It was at the Manhasset High School where Brown starting his sports career, playing baseball, lacrosse, football, basketball, and running track. It was here that Brown took the turn for
the better as he set a school record of maintaining 38 points per game on average for the school basketball team.
In his sophomore year at college, Brown was the number two rusher on his Syracuse University football team. In his junior years, he rushed for 666 yards - an average of 5.2 yards per carry. Brown was voted as the first-team All-American in an unanimous vote
who went on to set multiple school records - the highest rush average at 6.2 yards and the highest number of rushing touchdowns with six under his belt. He ran for a total of 986 yards, and was the third highest at the national level, even though Syracuse
played only eight games. In his final game of the season, Brown rushed for 197 yards, making 6 touchdowns, and 7 extra points for a total of 43. With Brown’s 43 points, Syracuse crushed Colgate, 61-7.
Aside from playing football in college, Brown also excelled in track, basketball, and especially lacrosse. Aside from being voted as a first-team All-American in football, he was also chosen as a first-team All-American in lacrosse with a total of 43 points
- the second highest total across America.
After being picked up by the Cleveland Browns team in the first round of the NFL Draft, opposing teams realized that Brown was an extremely able opponent. Usually, it would require more than one player to bring Brown down. Upon retirement, Brown held the
NFL record for most rushing yards in a single season, with 1,863 yards in 1963, most rushing yards overall with 12,312 yards, all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 106, and a total of 126 touchdowns. Brown was the first player to ever achieve 100 touchdowns
and even though the season was four games shorter in Brown’s career, few players have achieved this goal to date. Brown led the NFL in rushing yards for five seasons and is the only player in the history of the NFL to average at least 100 yards per game.
Brown won many achievements throughout his seven season career. He played every season of the Pro Bowl and in his last Pro Bowl game, the player scored three touchdowns. Brown was in the first-team All-Pro selection for 8 years along with a nomination in
the second-team All-Pro selection. In addition to this, Brown was named in the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and NFL 1960’s All-Decade Team. After winning the three-time NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) and three-time Pro Bowl MVP, Jim Brown
was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. Though Brown’s NFL career was one that can never be forgotten, he would have also made an amazing lacrosse player, as he has been inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame for his 1983 season in Syracuse
University. Most impressive is the fact that Brown achieved all of these feats before the age of 29, the age he retired.
Although Jim Brown’s playing days are over, he will never be forgotten because he was one of the greatest professional athletes that the United States has ever produced.