The Cleveland Browns on Oct. 3 will honor one of the most extraordinary athletes in sports history, the organization announced Wednesday.
That evening, when the team hosts the Buffalo Bills in a showcase Thursday night contest on national television, the legendary Jim Brown will return to Cleveland to be properly recognized by his only NFL team in a fitting tribute. The event figures to be among the most singular memories in the team’s rich timeline.
“We are absolutely thrilled to formally honor Jim Brown, the greatest running back in the history of the NFL,” said Owner Jimmy Haslam. “Jim is synonymous with the Cleveland Browns. He has an undeniable place in our history and we look forward to celebrating him appropriately on Oct. 3.”
“When Jimmy Haslam invited me to do this, I was flattered,” Brown said. “That night will be about family, about joining together with the city, the region, and the greatest fans in all the NFL, in a celebration of the Cleveland Browns. I’m thrilled about the opportunity.”
One of the most storied figures in the annals of American spectator sports, the Pro Football Hall of Famer finished his career with 12,312 rushing yards and one of the top per-carry averages (5.2) ever established by a running back.
Dominating his era unlike any player in NFL history, Brown commanded immediate respect as a Browns rookie in 1957, when he began his career-long streak of nine consecutive Pro Bowls. Brown garnered three Associated Press MVPs and guided his team to the postseason four times, including three berths in the league championship and the 1964 world title.
A first-team All-Pro on eight occasions, he incredibly led the NFL in rushing during eight of his nine NFL seasons, and left the game as the franchise’s all-time career leader in rushing yards, attempts and touchdowns.
No other Browns player has worn his iconic No. 32 since his retirement in 1965, when he earned the last of his NFL MVP awards.
An All-American at Syracuse, Brown received the NFL’s Rookie of the Year honor in 1957, when he registered his first of 58 career 100-yard games.
Brown re-joined the Browns as special advisor on May 29.