Favorite Athlete: Jim Brown

Cleveland was not New York nor Los Angeles, even a kid knew that. But no one else had Jim Brown. Every Sunday I kept track of each carry, each yard, expecting him always to break 100. No single defender could tackle him, all power and grace. One Christmas, my daughter gave me a video of Cleveland's last championship. There's a recording in which Brown says to the fans, "I wish the stadium was big enough Sunday so that all of you could be here with us." Underdogs in 1964, they beat the Colts 27-0, and Jim Brown was ours.

-- Gary Schwab is Senior Sports Editor of the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, and one of the great influences on my life. And it's mere coincidence that I posted this immediately after Pat's tribute to John Elway. Or not.