My favorite passage from a story by Gary Smith, is apparently retiring from Sports Illustrated, comes from a beautiful story he wrote in 1999 based on a picture of the TCU locker room before the Horned Frogs were to play Syracuse in the 1957 Cotton Bowl.
TCU coach Othal Abe addresses team before 1957 Cotton Bowl: pic.twitter.com/3GB91fs
— Andy Gray (@si_vault) September 1, 2011
Some of you might not quite grasp what’s sitting and waiting for the Frogs in the room down the hall. Jim Brown stands 6’2″ and weighs 225 pounds, which is at least 35 pounds more than the average halfback of his day, not to mention 22 pounds heavier than the average player on the biggest line in the country, Notre Dame’s. He runs 100 yards in 10 seconds flat, high-jumps 6’3″, hurls the discus 155 feet and once won six events for Syracuse in a track meet, which gave him the notion that it might be fun to enter the national decathlon championship, which he did on 10 days’ practice and placed fifth. He scored 33 in a Syracuse basketball game and will be drafted by the NBA’s Syracuse Nationals, not bad for a fellow who at the time was considered to have been the greatest lacrosse player in U.S. history. He’s just finishing up a senior season in which he averaged 6.2 yards per carry, and he will average a record 5.2 yards per carry for the Cleveland Browns over the next nine years, leading the NFL in rushing in eight of those, before he’ll hang it up, as MVP, at age 30. Forgive me if you knew all that, but some legends get so large, the particulars get lost.