For this generation, Tom Brady is the goat. The greatest quarterback of all time.
Jim Brown, who died Thursday at the age of 87, is the goat of all goats.
The greatest soccer player of all time.
He was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, capable of leaping tall buildings in a single stroke. Superman led the Browns, who had never won a Super Bowl, to the 1964 NFL Championship, their last championship, over the Baltimore Colts.
“When the question comes up on the greatest run of all time, there is absolutely no argument,” former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi told The Post. “You’ll hear a discussion about the greatest quarterback of all time, even though Brady won seven titles. You still have people saying Otto Graham or Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas. But there is never an argument or disagreement between fans, football players or anyone when it comes to who is the best. When people have asked me over the years, I just say, “We’re going to look, let’s take Jim Brown and take him out of the discussion, okay?” Because it makes no sense even to discuss with anyone else.”
The defensive goat for Goats is Lawrence Taylor. He ranks second in my book, after Jim Brown.
“I have problems like offense and defense,” said Accursi. “Because I think Lawrence Taylor is the greatest defensive player I have ever seen. And Brown is the greatest offensive player I’ve ever seen. But it’s hard to compare someone to a defensive player because there are two football factions.
“But I wouldn’t argue with that either. There was no one like him.”
The Browns’ personal wars with Giants linebacker Sam Huff were legendary. Giants co-owner John Mara was a young boy when Brown was Public Enemy No. 1 of his late father, the Wellingtons Giants.
“I think he always felt that the Half Jim Browns rivalry was as good as it was in the National Football League during those years, and it was very fierce,” Mara told The Post. “Everyone got their share. This is what we had to overcome in order to get to the NFL championship game.”
Mara, 68, remembers being on the Giants sidelines for some Huff vs. Browns.
“I remember thinking he was very violent and physical in some of the blows they put on each other, which definitely made an impression on me as a kid,” Mara said.
The late Hoff was quoted as saying:
“Hold on, then hold and wait for help.”
“When you hit that guy, he lunges like a bull and sometimes he lunges away from the tackle.”
He was smart. He would hurt you. I’d hit him and hit him and he’d get up, pat me on the back and say, “That was nice tackle, Big Sam.” “
Brown always got up slowly. for nine years. He did not miss any match. “You’d think he was hurt,” said Accursi. This was his way of maintaining his strength. I’ve never seen him interact with anyone on the field so clearly. He just got back to the pool.”
Jim Brown was one of the young stars who helped popularize the NFL when the age of television arrived.
“Well, first of all, it was 230 pounds,” said Accursi. “He never missed a match. Play every play. You had a halfback and a fullback, but the linebacker was basically a running back, and what he had, besides stamina and stamina, was strength. [Bronko] Nagurski-type full-back, but with style, speed, and dribbling ability or full-back. He had it all.
“There was no one like him.”
Mara: “Jim Brown was one of a kind. He was just a fierce runner and a skilled player. …and let’s not forget that he was probably one of lacrosse’s greatest players [at Manhasset High School and Syracuse] also.”
The Browns’ starting quarterback in 1964 was Frank Ryan. “He never played a Hall of Fame quarterback,” said Accursi.
Accursi will never forget the first time he watched No. 32 play at Baltimore Memorial Stadium.
“You can never get tickets to Colt games in the late 1950s—I got two tickets through a friend for the November 1, 1959 Browns-Colts game,” Accorsi said. The Browns beat the Colts 38-31 — Jim Brown scored five touchdowns. He caught a screen pass for 70 yards, a tying run for 25 yards… every way he could score. And the interesting thing about it, Unitas had the most yardage in his life,  yards. “
Brown (12,312 rushing yards, 5.2-yard average, 106 TD) played with the rage of a proud black man who refused to let the injustice of inequality stop him. Brown once said, “I’m not going to let anyone make me feel like I’m not on the top shelf.”
He came off the top at age 29 after the 1965 season because he refused to get out any other way. Then he hit the ball as a civil rights activist when Muhammad Ali stripped his heavyweight crown for refusing to join the military and worked to help curb gang violence in Los Angeles.
And that anger reared its ugly head in violence against women – implying that the perfect footballer was the imperfect man.
He retired when he did in part because a career as a film actor appealed to him, and his then-owner Art Modell had threatened to fine him for missing boot camp. “I want more mental stimulation than I would otherwise play,” Brown told Sports Illustrated. “I want to participate in the struggle going on in our country, and I have the opportunity to do so now. I may not be a year from now.”
Over the years, only Earl Campbell and Derek Henry have reminded Accursi of Jim Brown.
“But there was no one like him,” said Accursi.
Goats for all goats. to cut