GM – FBF – Make sure when anyone tackles you he remembers how much it hurts.
Remember – “I think the National Football League needs a new union. The heavyweights of this union are not heavyweights enough.” Jim Brown
Today in our History – February 17, 1936 – James Nathaniel Brown was born. Brown was taken in the first round of the 1957 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, the sixth overall selection. In the ninth game of his rookie season, against the Los Angeles Rams he rushed for 237 yards, setting an NFL single-game record that stood unsurpassed for 14 years[a] and a rookie record that remained for 40 years. After only nine years in the NFL, he departed as the league’s record holder for both single-season (1,863 in 1963) and career rushing (12,312 yards), as well as the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (106), total touchdowns (126), and all-purpose yards (15,549). He was the first player ever to reach the 100-rushing-touchdowns milestone, and only a few others have done so since, despite the league’s expansion to a 16-game season in 1978 (Brown’s first four seasons were only 12 games, and his last five were 14 games).
Brown’s record of scoring 100 touchdowns in only 93 games stood until LaDainian Tomlinson did it in 89 games during the 2006 season. Brown holds the record for total seasons leading the NFL in all-purpose yards (five: 1958–1961, 1964), and is the only rusher in NFL history to average over 100 yards per game for a career. In addition to his rushing, Brown was a superb receiver out of the backfield, catching 262 passes for 2,499 yards and 20 touchdowns, while also adding another 628 yards returning kickoffs.
Every season he played, Brown was voted into the Pro Bowl, and he left the league in style by scoring three touchdowns in his final Pro Bowl game. He accomplished these records despite not playing past 29 years of age. Brown’s six games with at least four touchdowns remains an NFL record. Tomlinson and Marshall Faulk both have five games with four touchdowns.
Brown led the league in rushing a record eight times. He was also the first NFL player ever to rush for over 10,000 yards.
He told me, ‘Make sure when anyone tackles you he remembers how much it hurts.’ He lived by that philosophy and I always followed that advice. — John Mackey, 1999
Brown’s 1,863 rushing yards in the 1963 season remain a Cleveland franchise record. It is currently the oldest franchise record for rushing yards out of all 32 NFL teams. His average of 133 yards per game that season is exceeded only by O. J. Simpson’s 1973 season. While others have compiled more prodigious statistics, when viewing Brown’s standing in the game, his style of running must be considered along with statistical measures. He was very difficult to tackle (shown by his leading 5.2 yards per carry), often requiring more than one defender to bring him down.
Brown retired in July 1966, after only nine seasons, as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. He held the record of 12,312 yards until it was broken by Walter Payton on October 7, 1984, during Payton’s 10th NFL season. Brown is still the Cleveland Browns all-time leading rusher. Currently Jim Brown is ninth on the all-time rushing list.
During Brown’s career, Cleveland won the NFL championship in 1964 and were runners-up in 1957 and 1965, his rookie and final season, respectively. Research more about this American hero, his acting career and his community activistism. Make it a champion day!