Jim Brown


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Jim Brown

Postby mrbowie » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:22 pm

I was fortunate on election night to be at a small party in Beverly Hills in the company of the great football player Jim Brown. We spoke about track and field, Wilt Chambrlin and Usain Bolt.

Jim ran track in high school and college (Syracuse University). He was a good decathlete.

He still enjoys following the sport and is huge fan of Bolt, telling me that he thinks his size is actually a benefit, because he can exert so much pressure on the surface with his big stride.

He said he thought Chamberlin could have been a great decathlete.

Interestingly, he also said that he was going to help Wilt in his projected boxing match with Muhammed Ali. The fight never came to pass, but promotional photos were taken and the bout was seriously contemplated at one stage.

He said the publicity shots were hysterical, as Ali came up to "about Wilt's waist."

Brown knows a thing or two about boxing, as his dad was a prize fighter and Jim did color for boxing matches on TV, including some Ali bouts.

Jim is in his mid 70s, was wearing a dark blue shirt with an orange S for his school and still looks great.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby tandfman » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:12 am

mrbowie wrote:I was fortunate on election night to be at a small party in Beverly Hills in the company of the great football player Jim Brown. We spoke about track and field, Wilt Chambrlin and Usain Bolt.

Jim ran track in high school and college (Syracuse University). He was a good decathlete.

He was also a great lacrosse player.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bambam » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:24 am

tandfman wrote:
mrbowie wrote:I was fortunate on election night to be at a small party in Beverly Hills in the company of the great football player Jim Brown. We spoke about track and field, Wilt Chambrlin and Usain Bolt.

Jim ran track in high school and college (Syracuse University). He was a good decathlete.

He was also a great lacrosse player.


Some say the greatest ever lacrosse player. I've asked lacrosse experts this and they say it is probably true, but also partly because of the rules back then. They could use a very short stick and Brown would basically cradle it against his body and just plow thru everybody to the goal and he could not be stopped. They say he might not be as good today with the rules different. I know little about lacrosse so have to go on what they said.

I think he could have been a very good decathlete. Unless I am wrong he only did one - the AAU in about 1955 - its on the TAFNews website from our book on the AAU/TAC Championships - I think he finished 6th if I recall.

If I had to pick one US athlete as the GOAT - all sports included - it would be Jim Brown, closely followed by Jim Thorpe.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby Jackaloupe » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:33 am

I think he could have been a very good decathlete. Unless I am wrong he only did one - the AAU in about 1955 - its on the TAFNews website from our book on the AAU/TAC Championships - I think he finished 6th if I recall.

Yup, Jim Brown competed in Atlantic City, in 1954, where Rafer Johnson took 3rd (to Bob Richards, w/ Joel Shankle (Duke Hurdler) also in the mix. It was Rafer first Nationals; I may've been the youngest to enter--back when ponying up yer $10 Entry Fee sufficed, managing to beat JB in the 100m and 110m Hurdles, where he literally crashed thru just about every hurdle, his likely strategy, if you could call it that.

He did well in Discus, nearly 150 ft.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby rhymans » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:18 pm

Brown did 2 - the AAU in '54 and '55, and retired from decathlons at the ripe old age of 19
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby Cooter Brown » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:04 am

mrbowie wrote:I was fortunate on election night to be at a small party in Beverly Hills in the company of the great football player Jim Brown.


One of the better humblebrags to appear on this forum in a long time. :D
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby unclezadok » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:49 pm

He didn't break 6000 in his decathlons. I expect he could have with some concentration, but he was surprisingly slow in them.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby nunusguy » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:40 pm

Wonder what kind of 100 & 220 times Brown turned in back then ?
And as a huge NFL fan who goes way back (remember seeing Brown on the tube back then),
I've always thought that he would have been above average but not great in todays NFL. On the
other hand, Ollie Matson would have been a bigger star had they both competed in the current NFL IMO.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby dj » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:07 pm

nunusguy wrote:Wonder what kind of 100 & 220 times Brown turned in back then ?


1954 Decathlon 100: 11.4
1955 Decathlon 100: slower than 11.4
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby nunusguy » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:26 pm

dj wrote:
nunusguy wrote:Wonder what kind of 100 & 220 times Brown turned in back then ?


1954 Decathlon 100: 11.4
1955 Decathlon 100: slower than 11.4

So in todays NFL, it seems that Brown would have anything but elite speed.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bambam » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:00 pm

nunusguy wrote:
dj wrote:
nunusguy wrote:Wonder what kind of 100 & 220 times Brown turned in back then ?


1954 Decathlon 100: 11.4
1955 Decathlon 100: slower than 11.4

So in todays NFL, it seems that Brown would have anything but elite speed.


So? Still the greatest running back ever. Led the league in rushing 8 of 9 years in the league - next best is 4 times leading the league in rushing (Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, Emmett Smith, OJ Simpson). Only running back to average 100+ yds/game for a career - remember his first 4 years in the league, there were only 12 games, then 14 games for his final 5 years, or his records would have been much harder to catch.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby nunusguy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:08 am

bambam wrote:
nunusguy wrote:
dj wrote:
nunusguy wrote:Wonder what kind of 100 & 220 times Brown turned in back then ?


1954 Decathlon 100: 11.4
1955 Decathlon 100: slower than 11.4

So in todays NFL, it seems that Brown would have anything but elite speed.


So? Still the greatest running back ever. Led the league in rushing 8 of 9 years in the league - next best is 4 times leading the league in rushing (Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, Emmett Smith, OJ Simpson). Only running back to average 100+ yds/game for a career - remember his first 4 years in the league, there were only 12 games, then 14 games for his final 5 years, or his records would have been much harder to catch.

His "peers" included a bunch of slow, "blue-collar" LBs many of whom were smaller than him. Todays LB are 20-30 lbs bigger than Brown and generally speaking faster, many much faster. But he was the best of his time, I'd give him that.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bambam » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:00 pm

All you can do is be the best of your time and he was more dominant in his time as a running back than anyone before him or since.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby user4 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:37 pm

bambam wrote:All you can do is be the best of your time and he was more dominant in his time as a running back than anyone before him or since.


he would be a dominant back today. No doubt about it. Some of the best RBs in the NFL wouldnt break 11 flat in the 100m. In fact I remember Lynn Swann, one of the best receivers in the NFL, running a 100yard dash in a less than spectacular time.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby mrbowie » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:20 pm

Football speed is about quickness and reaction time, not raw speed. It is not a track meet.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby scottmitchell74 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:07 pm

Don't forget that a modern Jim Brown would have grown up with all of the benefits of the time concerning nutrition and training. He might still weigh 228 pounds, but be ripped like Adrian Peterson and a faster 228 pounds, or he'd be as fast as he was then, but at 250 pounds. Either way, I'd bet he'd still be an elite NFL RB.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby nunusguy » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:49 am

scottmitchell74 wrote:Don't forget that a modern Jim Brown would have grown up with all of the benefits of the time concerning nutrition and training. He might still weigh 228 pounds, but be ripped like Adrian Peterson and a faster 228 pounds, or he'd be as fast as he was then, but at 250 pounds. Either way, I'd bet he'd still be an elite NFL RB.

There is a contemporary version of Jim Brown and his name is Steven Jackson, Now Jackson surely has had an outstanding career in St Louis, however he's never rated among the NFLs all-time greats.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby Marlow » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:42 am

nunusguy wrote:There is a contemporary version of Jim Brown and his name is Steven Jackson, Now Jackson surely has had an outstanding career in St Louis, however he's never rated among the NFLs all-time greats.

??!!
To rephrase Lloyd Bentsen - I knew Jim Brown. Steven Jackson is no Jim Brown.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby nunusguy » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:56 am

Marlow wrote:
nunusguy wrote:There is a contemporary version of Jim Brown and his name is Steven Jackson, Now Jackson surely has had an outstanding career in St Louis, however he's never rated among the NFLs all-time greats.

??!!
To rephrase Lloyd Bentsen - I knew Jim Brown. Steven Jackson is no Jim Brown.

Oh that's right, Jackson didn't play Lacrosse did he ?
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby user4 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:50 am

Marlow wrote:
nunusguy wrote:There is a contemporary version of Jim Brown and his name is Steven Jackson, Now Jackson surely has had an outstanding career in St Louis, however he's never rated among the NFLs all-time greats.

??!!
To rephrase Lloyd Bentsen - I knew Jim Brown. Steven Jackson is no Jim Brown.


Marlow is right. Jim Brown was a beast and if he were playing in the NFL today he would be 20lbs heavier .
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bijanc » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:15 am

Most contemporary accounts say Jimmy Brown had recorded a 9.8 100 dash. Brownie teammates also swear that in workouts and team drills, or goofing about, he often dead heated Big 10 hurdle king Bobby Mitchell (whom I believe recorded 9.6's).

It was written and said of Brown, that in the heat of a game, he sometimes outran even the secondary men (era of Abe Woodson, 9.6'er Lenny Lyles, J.C. Caroline, Bennie McRae, John Sample, Mel Renfro, Adderley, Erich Barnes).
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby Marlow » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:16 am

There's no doubt in my mind that had Jim Brown been born 25 years ago, he would be TERRORIZING the NFL today, just as he did back in the day. He was not a Barry Sanders or a Walter Payton or an Emmitt Smith. He was Jim Effin Brown, the best running back EVER! :D
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bambam » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:06 pm

Marlow wrote:There's no doubt in my mind that had Jim Brown been born 25 years ago, he would be TERRORIZING the NFL today, just as he did back in the day. He was not a Barry Sanders or a Walter Payton or an Emmitt Smith. He was Jim Effin Brown, the best running back EVER! :D


Agree 100% with Marlow
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby mrbowie » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:57 pm

For once I am forced to concur at the dreaded 100 percent plateau with Marlow. That's how good Jim Brown was. And these are the lengths JB has pushed me to go to confirm it. Oy yoi yoi.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby Marlow » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:22 am

mrbowie wrote:For once I am forced to concur at the dreaded 100 percent plateau with Marlow. That's how good Jim Brown was. And these are the lengths JB has pushed me to go to confirm it. Oy yoi yoi.

I'm so sorry - that must have been excruciatingly painful! :twisted:
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby nunusguy » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:31 am

bijanc wrote:Most contemporary accounts say Jimmy Brown had recorded a 9.8 100 dash. Brownie teammates also swear that in workouts and team drills, or goofing about, he often dead heated Big 10 hurdle king Bobby Mitchell (whom I believe recorded 9.6's).

It was written and said of Brown, that in the heat of a game, he sometimes outran even the secondary men (era of Abe Woodson, 9.6'er Lenny Lyles, J.C. Caroline, Bennie McRae, John Sample, Mel Renfro, Adderley, Erich Barnes).

"Most contemporary accounts" ? Sounds conveniently vague to me, so lets go with the official record. Another posted here that Brown's Decathlon 100 meter time was 11.4: so what's that translate to in the way of a 100 yard time ? 10.5 - 10.6 tops ? On the other hand Steven Jackson ran in the 4.4s in his 40s leading up to the Draft and Jackson has played 15-20 lbs heavier than Brown in the NFL. Inversely, Steven Jackson would have been just as impressive as Brown back in the day if his peers for comparative purposes were the likes of Jim Taylor & John David Crow.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby Marlow » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:05 am

nunusguy wrote:"Most contemporary accounts" ? Sounds conveniently vague to me, so lets go with the official record. Another posted here that Brown's Decathlon 100 meter time was 11.4: so what's that translate to in the way of a 100 yard time ? 10.5 - 10.6 tops ? On the other hand Steven Jackson ran in the 4.4s in his 40s leading up to the Draft and Jackson has played 15-20 lbs heavier than Brown in the NFL. Inversely, Steven Jackson would have been just as impressive as Brown back in the day if his peers for comparative purposes were the likes of Jim Taylor & John David Crow.

Size and speed are only two factors in a much larger equation. And if you think Jim Brown was only an "11.4 sprinter" when he was shredding NFL defenses, well . . .
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bijanc » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:46 am

from :



Jim Brown: The Fierce Life of an American Hero - Page 32



"Later, when Big Ten hurdles champion Bobby Mitchell joined the team, Paul had the two men race on the first day of training camp. Brown may have outweighed Mitchell by forty pounds, just as he did Renfro..."
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bambam » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:56 pm

Football Digest, which likely has a few people who know more about this than we do, picked Jim Brown as the greatest football player of the 20th century, not just running back, in their end of century issue. I don't see Steven Jackson getting too many votes for GOAT from 1900-2012.

You can only compare dominance in their own eras. Times change. As Marlow said, Brown would weight 240-250 today at probably even a faster speed (he was 18-19 when he did those decas, and he was not a T&F specialist - he was among the fastest of his era despite weighing 230 lbs - nobody ever caught him from behind in the open field). And if you take Steven Jackson back to that era, he would have been 15-20 lbs lighter - training, nutrition, genetics, etc., and likely commensurately slower.

Brown played 9 years in the NFL, led the league in rushing 8 times. He was the greatest running back in the league all 9 years. No other running back comes close to that. He was more dominant in his era than any running back before or since.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bijanc » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:22 pm

No one else has averaged 5.6 yds. per carry over a career. He also acquired his then-record 12,312 yds. by age 30 (then quit because the team understandably wanted him to report to 1966 camp and leave the London set of "The Dirty Dozen".

He was plenty fast for a big man.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby nunusguy » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:02 am

bambam wrote:
Brown played 9 years in the NFL, led the league in rushing 8 times. He was the greatest running back in the league all 9 years. No other running back comes close to that. He was more dominant in his era than any running back before or since.

You can knock out a lot more rushing yards going up against the 230 something and turtle-slow
Ray Nitschke or Bill George than you can against the 250 something quick, athletic Patrick Willis or Ray Lewis. The level of competition Brown faced back in his day, including "All-Pros" of the 50s & 60s, couldn't even make a modern-day NFL 53-man roster.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby Marlow » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:07 am

nunusguy wrote:The level of competition Brown faced back in his day, including "All-Pros" of the 50s & 60s, couldn't even make a modern-day NFL 53-man roster.

Man, you must be new to this kind of GOAT discussion. That's like dismissing Jim Thorpe for the abysmal level of competition he had in football and track. Apples and kumquats.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby nunusguy » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:03 am

Marlow wrote:Man, you must be new to this kind of GOAT discussion. That's like dismissing Jim Thorpe for the abysmal level of competition he had in football and track. Apples and kumquats.


What I am is so old as to be able to remember as a child watching that old black & white tube in the 50s & 60s and watching those guys play. My hero was a Lions LB named Joe Schmidt, who was just barely over 200 pounds and of marginal size even for a modern day NFL strong safety
and forget about him being a backer in the NFL these days at that weight. That's the kind of LBs Jim Brown went up against on Sundays: the Joe Schmidts just couldn't make it todays NFL, but they were great back then. Just telling what I saw then and what I see now, that's all man.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby Marlow » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:11 am

nunusguy wrote:Just telling what I saw then and what I see now, that's all man.

:D
You have Reverse Old man's Disease! Instead of everything being better 'back in the day', you see it for what it really was: a slower, weaker NFL. But that goes for EVERY sport and does not mean that a Jim Brown could not have fully adapted to today's NFL. As I said before, I think he would still DOMINATE today, just as I think Bob Hayes would be running up Bolt's heels (though I do think that Bolt has surpassed BH as the GOAT), despite the wide disparity in their actual times.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bijanc » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:41 am

But the Butkus, Schmidt's, Pellington's, Bednarik's, Huff's, and Bill George's of the 21st century would have all grown up lifting weights. Those young men would have still been drafted by the NFL (see Matthews, Clay Jr., Urlacher, B. and Bruschi, T.). They'd have the size and quickness of today's starting NFL LB's. So would a Mike Lucci, Ray Nitschke, Jack Pardee, or Vince Costello born in 1980.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby user4 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:16 am

bijanc wrote:But the Butkus, Schmidt's, Pellington's, Bednarik's, Huff's, and Bill George's of the 21st century would have all grown up lifting weights. Those young men would have still been drafted by the NFL (see Matthews, Clay Jr., Urlacher, B. and Bruschi, T.). They'd have the size and quickness of today's starting NFL LB's. So would a Mike Lucci, Ray Nitschke, Jack Pardee, or Vince Costello born in 1980.


Let me make take it one step further, not only would Jim Brown be a modern day battering ram of a running back but to this day not one single linebacker has matched the athleticism of Dick Butkus. ... NOT ONE.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby Marlow » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:22 am

user4 wrote:Let me make take it one step further, not only would Jim Brown be a modern day battering ram of a running back but to this day not one single linebacker has matched the athleticism of Dick Butkus. ... NOT ONE.

You're not going to convince me that Ray Lewis and LT weren't his equals (at least!).
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby nunusguy » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:29 am

user4 wrote:
bijanc wrote:But the Butkus, Schmidt's, Pellington's, Bednarik's, Huff's, and Bill George's of the 21st century would have all grown up lifting weights. Those young men would have still been drafted by the NFL (see Matthews, Clay Jr., Urlacher, B. and Bruschi, T.). They'd have the size and quickness of today's starting NFL LB's. So would a Mike Lucci, Ray Nitschke, Jack Pardee, or Vince Costello born in 1980.


Let me make take it one step further, not only would Jim Brown be a modern day battering ram of a running back but to this day not one single linebacker has matched the athleticism of Dick Butkus. ... NOT ONE.

Dick Butkus athletic ? You are being sarcastic, right ? Because my memories of Butkus are of
a clumsy player with very modest "quicks", even for those days.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby user4 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:44 am

nunusguy wrote:
user4 wrote:
bijanc wrote:But the Butkus, Schmidt's, Pellington's, Bednarik's, Huff's, and Bill George's of the 21st century would have all grown up lifting weights. Those young men would have still been drafted by the NFL (see Matthews, Clay Jr., Urlacher, B. and Bruschi, T.). They'd have the size and quickness of today's starting NFL LB's. So would a Mike Lucci, Ray Nitschke, Jack Pardee, or Vince Costello born in 1980.


Let me make take it one step further, not only would Jim Brown be a modern day battering ram of a running back but to this day not one single linebacker has matched the athleticism of Dick Butkus. ... NOT ONE.

Dick Butkus athletic ? You are being sarcastic, right ? Because my memories of Butkus are of
a clumsy player with very modest "quicks", even for those days.


You are being silly, right?... or maybe you didnt watch any football back then, or even videos of football from back then, perhaps you are just enamored with your mythical view of the world ?

For the record, the athletes of that era played with more misinformation and much less useful information and resources for conditioning and training. Butkus went into the NFL with a damaged knee with circa 1962 medical methods for repairing that knee. Today he would dominate the position.
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Re: Jim Brown

Postby bijanc » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:10 am

Butkus was quite the athlete, a h.s. fullback @ Chicao Vocational, a two-way player (center) at Illinois, w/ great later movement. On the occasions he got a pick or even on some fumble recoveries, he ran well w/ the ball for a 245 pounder. Remember his footwork as well.
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