Jim Marshall (gridiron football)

For other people named Jim Marshall, see Jim Marshall (disambiguation).
Jim Marshall
No. 80, 70
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1937-12-30) December 30, 1937
Place of birth: Wilsonville, Boyle County, Kentucky
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school: Columbus (OH) East
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1960 / Round: 4 / Pick: 44
Career history
Career highlights and awards
NFL records
  • Shortest play (−66 yards)
  • 30 opponents' fumbles recovered, career
Player stats at PFR

James Lawrence Marshall (born December 30, 1937) is a retired American football player who played defensive end for the Cleveland Browns (1960) and the Minnesota Vikings (1961–1979). At the time of his retirement, he owned the career records for most consecutive starts (270) and games played (282).

He was born in Wilsonville, in Boyle County, Kentucky, near Parksville.[1] Marshall lived there until he was 5, moving to Columbus, Ohio; however, he came back to Wilsonville every summer until he was 15, when his grandfather died. His aunt, Ella Mae Marshall, was the first special education teacher in Boyle County, and she worked to preserve the black school where she and Marshall's mother had taught.

Football career

Marshall played college football at Ohio State University. He left school before his senior year, and played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. He was then drafted in the 4th round of the 1960 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Marshall played the 1960 season with the Browns before being traded along with five other players (including fellow defensive lineman Paul Dickson) to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for two draft picks in the 1961 NFL Draft.[2] He then played from 1961 to 1979 with the Vikings and finished with a then-record 282 consecutive games (since surpassed by Jeff Feagles).[3] He started 270 consecutive games while playing for the Vikings, an NFL record since surpassed by Brett Favre.[4]

He played in Pro Bowls after the 1968 and 1969 NFL seasons. He recovered 30 fumbles, an NFL record. He was a member of the Vikings' famous "Purple People Eaters" (which consisted of Marshall (DE), Alan Page (DT), Gary Larsen (DT), and Carl Eller (DE), and was the final player from Minnesota's initial expansion team of 1961 to retire. The Vikings credit Marshall with 127 career quarterback sacks, second most in Viking History behind Eller.[5] He is one of 11 players to have played in all four of the Vikings Super Bowl appearances in the 1970s.

Jim Marshall is also a member of The Pigskin Club Of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll.

In 2004, he was named to the Professional Football Researchers Association Hall of Very Good in the association's second HOVG class [6] Marshall has only been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame once in 2004.

The Wrong Way Run

During his time with the Minnesota Vikings, Marshall was involved in what is considered by many, including SI.com author John Rolfe,[7] to be the most embarrassing moment in NFL history. On October 25, 1964, in a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Marshall recovered a fumble and ran 66 yards with it the wrong way into his own end zone. Thinking that he had scored a touchdown for the Vikings, Marshall then threw the ball away in celebration. The ball landed out of bounds, resulting in a safety for the 49ers. According to Marshall, when he approached Vikings head coach Norm Van Brocklin afterwards, Van Brocklin, after a pause, said, "Jim, you did the most interesting thing in this game today." Despite the gaffe, the Vikings won the game 27–22, with the final margin of victory provided by a Carl Eller touchdown return of a fumble caused by a Marshall sack. Marshall later received a letter from Roy Riegels, infamous for a wrong-way run in the 1929 Rose Bowl, stating, "Welcome to the club".[8]

See also


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