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Sports: Jim Brown

Number 32 of the Cleveland Browns - the best football player ever. Uploaded by assets.espn.go.com.

Among football fans, there’s always a debate about who was the best ever to play each position. Usually, career stats are pulled out as the best method of resolving the question. But as great as Gale Sayers was, as productive as Emmett Smith, as strong as Walter Payton, the greatest running back in NFL history was Jim Brown.

His stats are plenty impressive. 12,312 rushing yards, a 5.2 yards-per-carry average. 106 rushing touchdowns. All this in just nine seasons. Four of which had only 12 games, the other five has 14 games. And he never played past age 29.

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But it was the never-matched combination of power, speed, and moves that set Brown apart. There’s a video at the end of this post. Watch it, and see greatness in action.

Brown is known for football, of course, but in college at Syracuse he averaged in double figures in basketball, lettered in track, and was selected as a first-team All-American in lacrosse. Following his football career, he experienced success as an actor as well, most notably in The Dirty Dozen.

Brown’s accolades are too numerous to detail here, but some of the highlights include being an All-Pro every season he played, a three-time NFL MVP, and membership in the Pro Football and Lacrosse Halls of Fame. Most impressive of all, in 2002 The Sporting News named him Football’s Greatest Player Ever.

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