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The Legend of Jim Brown

The legend of Jim Brown is one that cannot ever be forgotten. He played just 9 seasons in the NFL. He retired at just 29 years old. Yet his accomplishments are remarkable. He went to the Pro Bowl every year that he played. He was voted the Pro Bowl MVP 3 times. He scored 3 touchdowns in his last Pro Bowl - talk about retiring in style. He was voted the league MVP 3 times. He averaged more than 5 yards per carry - nowadays any running back who averages 3 yards per carry is a star. He rushed for almost 2000 yards in 1963 - a record. Nowadays rushing for 1000 yards in a season is considered noteworthy. He rushed for more than 12 thousand yards in his career - a record. He scored 126 touchdowns - a record. In fact Brown is the record holder for all purpose yards, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. No wonder in 2002 the Sporting News named Jim Brown as the greatest professional football player ever to play the game - it's not even close.

Brown's father was a pro boxer which impacted the way that Brown played football. He was tough and almost impossible to tackle. He rarely ran out of bounds to save his own skin. Brown has been critical of that style of play. Franco Harris of the Steelers played that way while Bettis played more like Brown.

But perhaps more important than all the stats and records are the intangibles. Brown was to football what Jackie Robinson was to baseball. Brown paved the way for Ernie Davis. Brown was instrumental in the decision to retire Davis' jersey even though Davis never played a single game for the Browns before his untimely death. Brown was the star of every game. He controlled the game. He dominated the opposition. And Brown did things his way. In fact he retired in part because he was upset with owner Art Modell for demanding that he report to camp and cut his work on The Dirty Dozen movie with Lee Marvin early. Lee Marvin was just one hollywood legend that was awestruck with Brown. Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday felt the same way.

Brown remains a pivotal part of the team. He is a close confidant and advisor to owner Randy Lerner. He attends almost every game, home and away. He is an ambassador of the game.

And remember that Brown never played more than 14 games in a season. In fact half of his career was played when the season was just 12 games. That makes his records even more impressive. He is the only pro football player ever to rush for over 100 yards per game.

Jim is also a man of charity and community involvement. He is generous to the Cleveland youth and the disadvantaged.

I'm proud to be a Browns fan because of people like Jim Brown. A true legend.

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