Old School—Jim Marshall

Old School—Jim Marshall
Jim Marshall

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

One Mistake

    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.

All American

    What people 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.

NFL Career

    He skipped 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.

    He never 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.

    Jim 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 cancer.

    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 thefootballsearchengine.com.           

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 edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com

Tags: Buckeyes Football NFL Ohio State

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Sep. 8 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
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