Friday, 06 November 2009 00:00
My seventh-grade social studies class at Manhasset Middle School was asked to pick a famous person that they would like to be for Halloween and then write an essay about why they would like to be that person.
I chose Jim Brown for a number of reasons. The first is because he was one of the greatest football players of all time. The second reason is that he was from Manhasset. In fact, he was the most famous athlete ever to come from Manhasset and may be the most famous person ever to come from here. But the most important reason that I chose Jim Brown is that no one from Manhasset seems to really remember him and nobody has done anything to honor his accomplishments. For example, there isn’t even an athletic field named after him at Manhasset High School.
It is really amazing that Manhasset and the Manhasset schools haven’t done anything to honor Jim Brown. Many people think that he was the greatest football running back of all time and others think that he was one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.
If you read about what he accomplished on the football field, it is incredible. He played for the Cleveland Browns for just nine years from 1957-1965 and made the Pro Bowl each one of those years. Eight times he was a first-team Pro Bowl selection and one time he was a second-team selection. He won the NFL MVP award three times—in 1957, 1958 and 1965. When he retired, he was the NFL record-holder for rushing in both a single season (1,863 yards in 1963) and for his career (12,312 yards) and was also the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (106), total touchdowns (126) and all-purpose yards (15,549). He was named to the NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team and the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame. In 2002 he was named by The Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever.
But Jim Brown was also a great athlete when he was at Manhasset High School in the early 1950s. He earned 13 letters playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball and running track. He averaged 38 points per game for the school basketball team, which was then a record. After leaving Manhasset, he was a star athlete at Syracuse University. He was a great football and basketball player at Syracuse and an All-American in lacrosse. He was eventually named to the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
After his football career, Jim Brown went on to be a movie star and author and has helped society by working with people in prisons and with kids in gangs.
Jim Brown is an athlete on the level of Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. I think it would be a good idea to rename Manhasset High School as Jim Brown High School. But maybe we can at least name an athletic field after him.
Manhasset Middle School