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Franco Harris On Wearing 32 For Jim Brown (Who Threatened To Unretire As Harris Approached His Rushing Record)

Nobody has worn the quantity 32 in Pittsburgh for the Steelers since Franco Harris left the staff in 1984. Hubie Brown was the final participant to put on it earlier than him, however no one has been assigned that quantity within the practically 4 a long time which have handed.

Just like in Cleveland, the place no one has worn that quantity that after belonged to the nice Jim Brown. In reality, Brown is the explanation Harris selected to put on the quantity 32, a narrative that he lately advised throughout an look on SiriusXM Radio lately.

“Football was something that I never really dreamed about and all that sort of thing. It was more baseball and then basketball”, he stated. “But I have to say one thing, that, the name Jim Brown, I knew. That was one of the first football names that I really became familiar with, and so in high school I took number 32. I tried to get it at Penn State, but somebody beat me to it, and then I had it with the Steelers, as you know”.

And the remainder is historical past, in fact, however the story doesn’t completely finish there. While Jim Brown could have impressed Harris to put on his quantity as the primary soccer participant that he appeared as much as, Harris truly incurred Brown’s wrath when he approached the Cleveland nice’s all-time dashing report, sufficient to threaten to unretire—nearing twenty years after the actual fact—to ensure that doesn’t occur.

”I have the greatest respect for Franco Harris, but he is just hanging around to try to break my record”, he stated again in 1983, through the New York Times. “Even if Franco breaks my record by 500 yards, I will come back.”.

Why? Because of the variations of their operating kinds. “I represented a certain amount of purity when I played”, he stated. “I went for the extra yard. I took the chances. That has a lot to do with who I am, and I’m not going to respect anything less. They say it’s smart to run out of bounds. I don’t care; I’m not going to respect it. When you accept this game, you accept a certain amount of violence. The nature of the game is hitting. If you can only do it for two years, then do it for two years and get out. Otherwise, you’re taking away from the game”.

Both Harris and Walter Payton have been on the verge of surpassing Brown’s report getting into that 1984 season. Harris was launched by the Steelers after demanding a pay elevate and ended up ending out his profession with the Seattle Seahawks; he ended up retiring in-season, however Payton went on to interrupt it—with Brown’s blessing, as a result of he revered his operating fashion.

While Harris didn’t interact within the nonsense that Brown needed to say, he would race him in a televised 40-yard dash in 1984. He, then 34 years outdated would win, operating a 5.16, with Brown, 48, pulling up lame on the finish of his 5.72-second time. Brown stated he would check out for the Los Angeles Raiders if he might beat Harris. He didn’t, and thus left his report unprotected.

“Franco beat me fair and square”, he stated. “I don’t have any excuses”.

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