Remembrance Of Things Past- Jim Brown quits the Cleveland Browns to make The Dirty Dozen.
In my opinion the greatest football player who ever lived is Jim Brown who was the star running back with the Cleveland Browns from 1957-65. In his nine seasons he led the league in rushing eight of the nine years. Before the 1966 season Brown had said he would play one more season. He had just turned thirty years old and was still at his peak.
In early 1966 he began shooting his second film in London- The Dirty Dozen where he would play the role of Robert Jefferson- one of twelve convicts sent to France to assassinate German officers meeting at a castle before the D-Day invasion. They ran into bad weather and filming was delayed running into the summer. When Brown’s filming of the movie delayed his return to the states and his participation in the early sessions of Cleveland Browns training camp- Browns owner Art Modell threatened to fine Jim Brown $1500 for every week he missed- well that was it. You would have thought Modell knew better than to threaten Jim Brown. Jim Brown’s answer was simply to retire. Brown went on to make a number of films in the late 60’s to mid 70’s. At least once a year I watch The Dirty Dozen- one of the great ‘guy’ films ever. Today Brown is 84 years old. As a sports fan one of my big regrets is that I just missed seeing Jim Brown play. I’ve seen old game footage and highlight films but I began watching football in 1967- missing the great Jim Brown by a couple seasons.