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Monday, November 18, 2002
Updated: December 26, 9:10 AM ET
The List: Best Browns of all time

Page 2 staff

This week, Page 2 posts its list of the top 10 Browns of All-Time. Consider it our tribute to Hubie Brown, Geezer Grizz.

Can the 69-year-old, hired last week by Jerry West for his know-how and youthful "vigah," bring pro hoops glory to Bluesville? Hey, why not? After all, No. 1 on our list didn't hit his first homer until he was in his 40s. Hubie didn't make the list below, but he's still got a chance.

Check out our top 10 and then check out our readers' opinions.

1. Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown
Chuck is the ultimate multi-sport star, earning this blockhead top billing.
The ultimate multisport star, his action images forever imprinted on our brains -- Lucy, his unreliable ballholder, pulling the pigskin away at the last second (she did this for the first time on Nov. 16, 1952); his golf outings with Snoopy; his kite-flying travails; and, most memorable of all, the pitcher-manager's woes. He had such a love of baseball that he endured downpours, waiting for a break in the weather, even as Snoopy idled nearby in a rowboat. He endured a catcher who tried to comfort him during a mound conference by quoting from the Book of Job ("Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward"); and he endured Lucy, the outfielder from hell.

But there were triumphs: Foot finally met pigskin when Woodstock, dwarfed by the football, held for him in the 1970s. Kicking was also his way to romance, although he almost blew it when he booted his girlfriend, Peggy Jean, instead of the ball (she called him "Brownie Charles").

His first home run, on March 30, 1993, a ninth-inning game-winning blast, came off the great-granddaughter of Roy Hobbs.

His lifetime of losses and embarrassing trials gave hope to beautiful losers everywhere. Even the little red-haired girl had to be impressed with his stick-to-it-ivness. Dishonorable mention goes to Lucy, who should have never taken her gripes with Chuck onto the playing field.

2. Cleveland Browns
The ultimate comeback franchise in the ultimate underdog city.

3. Sweet Georgia Brown
The Globetrotters knew the score long before anyone else -- music and hoops go together like mac and cheese, like PB & J, like ... well, you get the idea. If you've ever seen the Trotters -- and we know you have -- then the opening pass-around to the Brother Bones 1949 version of the tune is something you'll never forget.

Tyrone Brown
Tyrone Brown and the Harlem Globetrotters were the first to perfect hoops and music.
Sing along:

No gal made has got a shade on Sweet Georgia Brown.
Two left feet, but oh, so neat has Sweet Georgia Brown.
They all sigh and wanna die for Sweet Georgia Brown,
I'll tell you just why, you know I don't lie (not much!).

It's been said she knocks 'em dead when she lands in town.
Since she came why it's a shame how she's cooled 'em down.
Fellas that she can't get Must be fellas that she ain't met.
Georgia claimed her, Georgia named her, Sweet Georgia Brown.

4. Jim Brown
The best running back in NFL history, the best ex-athlete turned actor, one of the key players in our childhood argument: Were the Cleveland Browns named after Paul or Jim?

5. Paul Brown
Here's the skinny: head coach of national champion Ohio State Buckeyes in 1942, head coach of four-time AAFC champion Cleveland Browns, head coach of three-time NFL champion Cleveland Browns. And founder, part-owner and head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Finished his pro coaching career with a 166-100-6 record. Hey, it's not his fault that his son, Mike (definitely not on this list), has dragged the Bengals to a permanent position in the NFL sewer.

6. Larry Brown
The current Sixers coach has earned it all -- he's proven he could play, using all of his 5-foot-9 to lead the ABA in assists three times and finish his five-season ABA career with an average of 11.7 ppg. He could coach the dazzlers (three-time Coach of the Year in the ABA), he could coach the youngsters (took Kansas all the way in 1988), and he figured out a way, at least temporarily, to make things work with Allen Iverson. For all this, and more, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

7. Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown
The Hall of Fame Cubs hurler turned a couple of curses on his right hand into a blessing. As a seven-year-old, he lost half of his index finger after a run-in with a corn grinder, and broke two others while chasing a hog. The broken fingers ended up twisted, and Brown's combination of gnarled and bent digits resulted in one of the nastiest curves in baseball history. By the end of his career, Mordecai had compiled a 239-130 record and a 2.06 lifetime ERA. His win in the fifth and final game of the 1907 World Series still stands, nearly a century later, as one of the greatest World Series wins in
Tim Brown
Tim Brown's laundry list of impressive receiving stats earn him a spot on our list.
Cubs history.

8. Tim Brown
The veteran Raiders wide receiver, winner of the 1987 Heisman Trophy, became last season just the 12th player in NFL history to score 100 touchdowns. This season, the nine-time pro bowler is hoping to attain two other milestones. He's just eight catches short of 1,000 career grabs. And he's right on pace for a 1,000-yard season; if he tops that mark, it would be his 10th in a row. We could roll out a slew of other stats, but the deal is that Tim Brown is one of the best receivers in NFL history.

9. Walter Brown
He founded the Boston Celtics in 1945. That should be enough. But he did so much more. He coached the 1936 Olympic hockey team to a bronze medal in Garmisch, Germany. He was president of the Boston Bruins. He was co-owner and president of the Celtics during their early years and the start of their glory years (Brown died in 1964, at the age of 59).

He helped create the NBA. He invented the NBA All-Star Game. He helped create the Stanley Cup. His father founded the Boston Marathon, and he carried the torch as director of the Boston Athletic Association for 24 years. He's the only man to be in both the basketball and hockey halls of fame. And, said Red Auerbach, "He personified everything good in sports."

10. St. Louis Browns
"First in shoes, first in booze, and last in the American League." If only their lineup consisted of eight Eddie Gaedels (and one pitcher), they could have won it all every year.

Also receiving votes:
  • Kevin Brown
  • "Downtown" Freddie Brown
  • Downtown Julie Brown