Old School—Jim Marshall
Marshall is best known for the wrong way run but he
was a dominating DE for 20 years.
By Bill Smith
It's hard when the only thing
that everyone remembers about you is one mistake. That is the case with Jim Marshall. Every football fan has seen him in the game
against the 49'ers pick up the fumble and run 66 yards in the wrong direction
to score what he was sure was a touchdown.
In celebration he threw the ball toward the stands. He had just scored a safety for the opponent. What NFL follies does not show is that he was
the one that caused a later fumble on a sack of the QB that led to the winning
score—Final Vikings 27-49'ers 22.
don't know about Marshall
is that he was a bulwark of 2 National Championship Buckeye teams in the late
50's. In a key game against Purdue, as a
DT Marshall scored all the points in the game.
He intercepted a pass for a TD and caused and recovered a fumble for
another. He also kicked both extra
points. He was an All-American, and has
been elected to both the College Football and the OSU Halls of Fame.
his senior year and was drafted by the Browns.
But he chose to play in Canada. The following year he joined the Browns and
started. Marshall was traded the next year to the
expansion Minnesota Vikings where he played 19 years. He became part of the feared “Purple people
eaters” defensive line. He helped the
Vikes get to 4 Superbowls.
missed a game in his 20 year NFL career and held the record for the most
consecutive games at the time. His
career was notable for playing 282 consecutive games, 20 consecutive seasons
without missing a game, 270 consecutive games with one team, 19 consecutive
seasons with one team without missing a game, 29 fumble recoveries and one
wrong way run (the longest safety in Pro Football history). Jim's career marks are include 409 games
(pre-season, season, post season and pro-bowls), 1050 + tackles (league and
post season games), 133 + sacks (league and post season games). Jim was captain of the Vikings for 17
years. His teams won 11 Divisional
Championships, 1 with the Cleveland Browns and 10 with the Minnesota Vikings. He played in 4 Super Bowls.
Off the Field Success
But, like a
lot of former Buckeye players, Marshall
has had many accomplishments off the field as well. He has started the “Christmas for Kids”
program and participated in establishing a transportation company for
handicapped and senior citizens, owned and operated by the handicapped and
senior citizens. He also has worked with
many different scholarship funds to help send inner city kids to college. As Vice President of the National Center
for Housing Management, Jim was in charge of National Programs which included
the administration of "The Lead Program". Its focus was seeding public housing
communities with collage and professional athletes trained in housing
management. Jim served on the Youth Summit Convention Committee in of
1993. Jim co-founded Professional Sports
Linkage Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping inner-city youth
realize their innate potential and find a better way of life than doing drugs
to participating in gang warfare. In January of 1999, PSL changed its name to
Life's Missing Link Inc. LML's goal is to continue to teach our youths the
rules of "The Game of Life" and how to become happy, productive,
successful members of our society. Jim is President, Director of Development
and Public Relations for Life's Missing Link.
Marshall's life has not been without problems.
He was convicted on a drug charge that many considered unfounded but was
pardoned. He also has battled prostrate
Marshall has been an
advocate for youth health, education and well being. He has used his life and fame to stand up for
those that can not defend themselves.
There is a campaign to get Marshall
elected to the NFL Hall of Fame.
For more information about Jim Marshall, check out the
Bill Smith is a
former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com. He has
also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and