Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14, 1966: Jim Brown Stuns The World By Announcing He Is Retiring

On July 14, 1966, Jim Brown announced that he would be retiring from the Cleveland Browns to pursue an acting career. Brown had broke into the league in 1957 and quickly became one of the greatest running backs the game had ever seen. He led the league in rushing in every season he played in besides the '62 campaign, that season he ranked fourth among all running backs. The 3 time League MVP made it to the Pro Bowl every single year he was a part of the NFL and he also won a Championship in 1964. Brown caught the acting bug before the '64 season, he played a Buffalo Soldier in a movie called Rios Conchos, it wasn't a hit by any means but he had found something that would eventually steer him away from the gridiron and toward the silver screen. Brown's dominance continued on the field in '64 and '65 then he found a role in a film called the  Dirty Dozen that was set to be filmed in London. Delays in production meant that it would interfere with training camp and Browns owner Art Modell wasn't having it. He let his star running back know if he wasn't in camp that he would be fined $1,500 for every week he missed, Brown let Modell know that he would be retiring instead of paying any fine that the owner thought was necessary. It was a shocking announcement for all fans of the NFL especially for those in Cleveland. When Brown left the game, he held records for most rushing yards in a game, a season and a career. He also owned the record for all purpose yards in a career and the best average per carry with 5.22, that is a record that still stands today. Brown would go onto star in a variety of films and television shows, he never did step on the field as a player again. It's quite the way to end a Hall of Fame career. I guess if it made him happy more power to him, but I can't help but wonder how many more yards he would have added to his career totals. Brown currently sits 9th on the all time rushing list.

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