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A Tribute to Gene Hickerson




Our profile this time is of the great Gene Hickerson. Hickerson wore jersey number 66 for the Cleveland Browns from 1958 to 1973. He was born on February 15, 1935 in Tennessee and died on October 20, 2008 in Cleveland. He was drafted by the Browns in the seventh round in 1957; he was the 78th pick overall. His college football was played in Mississippi.


Gene played 202 games total over his 15-year career as an offensive guard. He recovered seven fumbles; he was selected to the Pro Bowl six times; he was an All-Pro selection seven times; he was named to the 1960s All-Decade Team; he was named to the Browns Legends Team; and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007. The link above is Gene's Hall of Fame induction ceremony.


Coach Paul Brown used Gene to deliver plays in the huddle.


Hickerson broke his leg in 1961 and fractured it again later in the same season. After missing two games in 1962, he never missed another game for the rest of his professional career. Gene was tough and a true journeyman.


Gene had to wait far too long to be inducted at Canton. He was truly one of the greatest blockers of all time. Jim Brown has called him the greatest. Hickerson never had a losing season. He started in four NFL title games including the blowout victory (27-0) over the Baltimore Colts in 1964. The Browns had a 1000 yard rusher every season that Gene played except for one. They had the NFL's leading rusher behind Hickerson seven times.


Unfortunately, Gene died too young and suffered several serious health problems in his final years including diabetes and alzheimer's. He spent his last years in a nursing home in Cleveland. The Browns honoured Gene in 2008 by adding "GH" to their helmets.


With the problems that the Browns had last year with its offensive line, we look forward to better days ahead to honour a true Browns legend: Gene Hickerson.


Go Browns!


-Clayton





Devo's Cleveland Browns


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