What a way to go out.
What a great way to end a great career.
In what would turn out to be his final game, Browns running back Jim Brown rushed for 65 yards and three touchdowns in 21 carries and was named the game’s Outstanding Back in leading the East to a 36-7 rout of the West in the Pro Bowl on Jan. 15, 1966, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
It was the third time that Brown, who made the Pro Bowl in all nine years of his career, had won the award. He also did so in 1962 and ’63.
This time, his head coach with the Browns, Blanton Collier, was there to watch. He was head coach of the East.
Brown, who two weeks before had been held to 50 yards rushing in 12 carries in the Browns’ 23-12 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the 1965 NFL Championship Game, would stun the football world just before the start of training camp in 1966, when he announced his retirement from the game to pursue an acting career.
The Syracuse product, the No. 6 overall pick by the Browns in the 1957 NFL Draft, left the game as the NFL’s career rushing leader with 12,312 yards. He captured the league rushing title in each of his last three seasons, and eight times overall. He ran for 106 touchdowns and averaged 5.22 yards per carry.
A fine pass receiver as well, Brown also had 262 catches for 2,499 yards and 20 touchdowns, giving him 126 scores overall. He led the Browns with 47 receptions in 1962 and finished second three other times.
He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
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