RIP Jim Brown

Kliq

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One of the great "men amongst boys" athletes in wrestling history; you get the sense that if you put him in a time machine and he played today, he'd easily run for 1,000 yards.

Legendary lacrosse player at Syracuse. In 1955, at Syracuse he:

- Averaged 5.2 yards per carry for the football team
- Was second team All-American in lacrosse
- Averaged 11 ppg for the basketball team
- Finished fifth in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships
 

Bread of Yaz

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Mar 12, 2019
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One of the great "men amongst boys" athletes in wrestling history; you get the sense that if you put him in a time machine and he played today, he'd easily run for 1,000 yards.

Legendary lacrosse player at Syracuse. In 1955, at Syracuse he:

- Averaged 5.2 yards per carry for the football team
- Was second team All-American in lacrosse
- Averaged 11 ppg for the basketball team
- Finished fifth in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships
As great as his on field achievements were, his stature as a leader and a man off the field match or exceed them.
 

cornwalls@6

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Way head of his time athletically. Basically a 90's/21st century guy physically, playing 60 years ago. Just terrorized the generally smaller, slower LB's of the NFL in the 50's and 60's. Only comp of subsequent era's was probably Bo Jackson. An ungodly combination of size, speed, and athleticism. Brown would've, and did, undoubtedly dominate any sport he chose to go into.
 
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tims4wins

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Way head of his time athletically. Basically a 90's/21st century guy physically, playing 60 years ago. Just terrorized the generally smaller, slower LB's of the NFL in the 50's and 60's. Only comp of subsequent era's was probably Bo Jackson. An ungodly combination of size, peed, and athleticism. Brown would've, and did, undoubtedly dominate any sport he chose to go into.
Fair to say that Bo Jackson was actually Jim Brown 2.0?
 

mauf

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I read a few of the canned obits that are already online. Every one described Brown as a “social activist” in the opening paragraph; his history of violence against women was mentioned briefly toward the end, or not at all.

I respect our culture’s practice of not speaking ill of the recently deceased, but if you’re not going to tell the full story, just talk about him being an all-time great football player and a groundbreaking actor. Those are the reasons Brown’s death is significant. Don’t portray the man as a saint when he wasn’t.
 

BaseballJones

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One of the great "men amongst boys" athletes in wrestling history; you get the sense that if you put him in a time machine and he played today, he'd easily run for 1,000 yards.

Legendary lacrosse player at Syracuse. In 1955, at Syracuse he:

- Averaged 5.2 yards per carry for the football team
- Was second team All-American in lacrosse
- Averaged 11 ppg for the basketball team
- Finished fifth in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships
Amazing. Though I don’t know how he could have competed in both lacrosse and T&F, given that they were/are both spring sports.
 

strek1

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Wait, what? Brown was a terrible human being.
It was a very mixed bag with him. Wife abuser but extremely generous to the needy. Pain in the neck to his coach and team but impactful and passionate social activist. Not an angel but not a monster. A guy with demons and flaws who tried to help his people.

And for my $$ the best running back of all time.
 

Red Averages

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It was a very mixed bag with him. Wife abuser but extremely generous to the needy. Pain in the neck to his coach and team but impactful and passionate social activist. Not an angel but not a monster. A guy with demons and flaws who tried to help his people.

And for my $$ the best running back of all time.
I’m sorry how are people that try to kill others not monsters? You can’t handwave the truly awful things people do because they attempt to balance it.
 

ifmanis5

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Brown and Bobby Orr are the two athletes where I would watch the old footage as a kid and wonder if everyone else in the video was playing the same sport because they were on such a higher level that it didn't even seem fair.
 

strek1

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I’m sorry how are people that try to kill others not monsters? You can’t handwave the truly awful things people do because they attempt to balance it.
Kill people? When did he do that? And I'm sure he didn't "attempt" to balance it consciously. That's just who he was. Good and bad. Like so many of us.
 

RSN Diaspora

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Kill people? When did he do that? And I'm sure he didn't "attempt" to balance it consciously. That's just who he was. Good and bad. Like so many of us.
Maybe tossing that model off the second floor of his house wasn't *intended* to kill her, and she survived, but we might be splitting hairs here.
 

strek1

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Maybe tossing that model off the second floor of his house wasn't *intended* to kill her, and she survived, but we might be splitting hairs here.
She claims she was trying to get away. Was she lying to protect him? Maybe, but since their is no proof otherwise I don't see how it just wasn't another of his dispicable violence against women episodes. Horrendous as it was I don't know about any attemted murders.
 

cornwalls@6

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Kill people? When did he do that? And I'm sure he didn't "attempt" to balance it consciously. That's just who he was. Good and bad. Like so many of us.
He had a long history of both sexual assault accusations, and domestic abuse accusations. Including throwing a women he was involved with over a balcony. I think his entire story should be told, and not the absurd hagiography we got in the wake of Kobe Bryant's death.


https://deadspin.com/jim-brown-did-great-things-he-also-beat-woman-1784269329
 

strek1

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He had a long history of both sexual assault accusations, and domestic abuse accusations. Including throwing a women he was involved with over a balcony. I think his entire story should be told, and not the absurd hagiography we got in the wake of Kobe Bryant's death.


https://deadspin.com/jim-brown-did-great-things-he-also-beat-woman-1784269329
Yes I was just going to post that link. Like I said a mixed bag. A huge bastard and a helper of the needy. He was just a guy with great talent who was put in the spotlight and used it to help people but also was spot lighted for terrible deeds as well. There have been a lot of people like this needless to say. Yes both sides should be told but as usual some people want to focus on the good and some on only the bad.

And again your mentioning the balcony thing. If you read the article it was never proven that he did that nor was he charged.
 

cornwalls@6

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Yes I was just going to post that link. Like I said a mixed bag. A huge bastard and a helper of the needy. He was just a guy with great talent who was put in the spotlight and used it to help people but also was spot lighted for terrible deeds as well. There have been a lot of people like this needless to say. Yes both sides should be told but as usual some people want to focus on the good and some on only the bad.

And again your mentioning the balcony thing. If you read the article it was never proven that he did that nor was he charged.
That's true, but this isn't a court of law. I think it strains credulity to imagine he didn't push her. And domestic abuse victims, covering for their abusers, isn't rare. And really wasn't rare in the late 60's. But there's enough gray area for a good faith disagreement.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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If people care to look there is clearly a pattern to Brown's behavior towards women. Sadly those that should are likely missing it or averting their gaze.

Terrible acts can't be undone by good ones.
 
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SemperFidelisSox

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Downplaying or just outright ignoring domestic violence and sexual assault because FOOTBALL! is actually right in line with todays NFL and many of its fans.
 

Dotrat

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That Brown was monstrous to the women in his life is undeniable--and significantly tarnishes what would otherwise be an extraordinary life on and off the field. His contradictions are impossible to reconcile, and I think it's unwise to try. We can, perhaps, understand that he was a seriously complicated person without employing that modifier to wave away his abusive behavior. It's very real. Neither the good nor the bad should be interred with his bones.
 

ColdSoxPack

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He also did a lot with with LA gang members to get them to change their lives. Certainly a complicated guy.

If Jim Brown were running after me, jumping out of a window would seem like a good idea.
 

Mystic Merlin

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That Brown was monstrous to the women in his life is undeniable--and significantly tarnishes what would otherwise be an extraordinary life on and off the field. His contradictions are impossible to reconcile, and I think it's unwise to try. We can, perhaps, understand that he was a seriously complicated person without employing that modifier to wave away his abusive behavior. It's very real. Neither the good nor the bad should be interred with his bones.
Yep. It’s a lot easier to adopt this mindset if you reject the pretense of designating him or anyone else a Hero (or not) and/or weighing out his known character traits and conduct to conclude whether he is a Net Good Guy or Net Bad Guy.
 

moondog80

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Among his lesser known accomplishments, Brown did commentary on the first ever UFC PPV.
 

Granite Sox

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One of the great "men amongst boys" athletes in wrestling history; you get the sense that if you put him in a time machine and he played today, he'd easily run for 1,000 yards.

Legendary lacrosse player at Syracuse. In 1955, at Syracuse he:

- Averaged 5.2 yards per carry for the football team
- Was second team All-American in lacrosse
- Averaged 11 ppg for the basketball team
- Finished fifth in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships
My Dad was a guard for Harvard in the mid-50s and played hoops against Brown and Syracuse. I always remember one story he told me in particular: as you might imagine, Brown was a physically imposing player, though not tall by basketball standards. My Dad was guarding him in a game as Brown went to his right to drive to the basket from the top of the key. My Dad was “picked” off him as Brown built up a head of steam to the hoop. My Dad’s teammate who switched onto Brown got in the way, and as Brown rose to shoot with his right hand, he smashed his left arm and elbow into the face of the defender, splitting his face wide open. My Dad always said, “Little Granite… that was supposed to be me.” Always used to freak me out whenever I saw highlights of Brown. :D
 

mikeford

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I respect our culture’s practice of not speaking ill of the recently deceased, but if you’re not going to tell the full story, just talk about him being an all-time great football player and a groundbreaking actor. Those are the reasons Brown’s death is significant. Don’t portray the man as a saint when he wasn’t.
I don't. This is one of the worst famous people to ever walk the earth. Basically abused every woman he came across by all accounts. Calling him "complicated" is a cop out. The man was a monster.
 

ColdSoxPack

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Who said he was a saint? His faults have been well documented. His deaths changes nothing. He was a violent man who was excellent at football. What has changed?
 

Bergs

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There are plenty of people who do a lot of bad in their personal lives. Jim Brown was one of them for sure.

There are plenty of famous people who don't do much good in their public lives. Jim Brown was most assuredly not one of those.

The obvious hyperbole of "one of the worst famous people to ever walk the earth" aside, it is abundantly clear he was also pretty much a complete asshole.

At the end of the day, he was an important figure in 20th century America. Seeing people like that die makes me sad. I'm getting old.
 
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AlNipper49

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I think that Jim Brown managed his post career about as well as any of the greats did. He didn't go out of the way to seek the spotlight, but when the spotlight did find him he was always gracious and eloquent. His old footage is great to watch, it's a shame I never got to watch him play.
 

streeter88

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These last two posts taken together seem to me to be a pretty balanced valedictory for an individual who was best of all time at football, did much public good after retiring, but was an angry violent man in his private life.

The Cleveland.com article was pretty shocking. If Eva Bohn-Chin had died in that 1968 fall, Brown might have faced a long prison stay, based on police allegations. How to balance with all the good that came later?

Edited to find the right words - and maybe didn’t succeed as well as the two posts before mine.
 
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ColdSoxPack

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My comment was insensitive. Not a good look for me.

There were a couple stories about Jim Brown's life in today's LA times. Here is something about the incident:

Then there was the one that stuck with Brown, the accusation that he had thrown model Eva Bohn-Chin off a balcony in Los Angeles in the middle of a fight they were having. She soon said that the police charge that she was thrown off the balcony was wrong. Later, she would do an interview, show the questioner some bruises and ask, rhetorically, “Would I have thrown myself off the balcony?”

He was also a stubborn bastard. He retired because Art Modell starting fining him for missing training camp to film the Dirty Dozen. Otherwise we would have kept playing.
 
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Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Jim Brown was a violent man who found benevolence later in life. Violent on and off the field. Seems silly to love him for one and hate him for the other. No excuses either way. He beat people up and pissed people off for a living. Sad life of a gifted and tortured man. The fact we dig up things that happened decades ago to define who people are now is kind of tragic… don’t need to ignore it but the guy was human. He spent his later years providing help and support. That’s how I choose to remember him.
 

YTF

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Jim Brown was a violent man who found benevolence later in life. Violent on and off the field. Seems silly to love him for one and hate him for the other. No excuses either way. He beat people up and pissed people off for a living. Sad life of a gifted and tortured man. The fact we dig up things that happened decades ago to define who people are now is kind of tragic… don’t need to ignore it but the guy was human. He spent his later years providing help and support. That’s how I choose to remember him.
I'm having a difficult time comprehending this logic. By "violent on the field" do you mean his style of play or was there something beyond what most would see as a hard nosed, punishing running back? If not then it's incomprehensible to me that one cannot draw a line between the two.
 

cornwalls@6

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I'm having a difficult time comprehending this logic. By "violent on the field" do you mean his style of play or was there something beyond what most would see as a hard nosed, punishing running back? If not then it's incomprehensible to me that one cannot draw a line between the two.
Agree. And further, why was he exempt from turning off the same switch, and not engaging in violent behavior, that many other very aggressive, physical players do, when they are off the field? I also don't understand finding it necessary to choose to remember only his accomplishments, and good deeds. There's no separating those, IMO, from his awful history with women. It's all part of his story, and he, and now his legacy, should own all of it.
 

slamminsammya

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Jim Brown was a violent man who found benevolence later in life. Violent on and off the field. Seems silly to love him for one and hate him for the other. No excuses either way. He beat people up and pissed people off for a living. Sad life of a gifted and tortured man. The fact we dig up things that happened decades ago to define who people are now is kind of tragic… don’t need to ignore it but the guy was human. He spent his later years providing help and support. That’s how I choose to remember him.
Lots of football players manage to not assault women.
 

terrynever

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Jimmy put a lot of slow white DBs out of football. He changed the game in terms of personnel decisions. Guys like Jimmy Carr and Tom Brookshier were relics from a different era as soon as Brown and a few other fast big backs took over the game.
 

8slim

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People’s reactions to a death can be so weird. Brown was an all-time athlete across multiple sports. Brown did immense good for gang members and the incarcerated. Brown did immense bad to women. And now he’s dead.

That’s it. One doesn’t need to punctuate that with a final summation of good or bad. He just was. And now he’s gone.