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Hustle Hall of Fame Inductee: Paul Brown

A football legacy that continues to this day

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been keeping up with the Hustle Hall of Fame over the last few weeks, you are aware of what’s happening. Fan voting has decided the first of two entrants for each MAC member to craft an inaugural Class of 2017 for the Hustle Hall of Fame. Up next for the Miami RedHawks, Paul Brown.

If you want legendary, this guy hits all the marks. As a kid from Massillon, Ohio, he went to Washington High School. I remember watching a documentary about that school, “Go Tigers!”, and at one point when Paul Brown was looking for a college, something like 15 of the 22 NCAA All-Americans went to that school.

He decided to try his luck as a player for the Ohio State University Buckeyes, but it didn’t work out, so he transferred to our Miami. He eventually took the place of starting quarterback Weeb Eubank. That Weeb who won three titles as an NFL coach.

Paul Brown entered into the coaching ranks, first winning a state title at Massillon. He then went on to Ohio State where he won another, and finally to the NFL, where he won 3 more. He had a stop in the AAFC, where he won a title all four years the league existed.

He took coaching from the dad that yells at kids and turned it into a profession. The only criticism of his coaching comes from method, and not results. His inventions include the facemask, the film library to scout opponents and the draw play. Quite possibly his greatest innovation, however, went beyond football. A legend in his own right, and a critic of Brown’s coaching style, Jim Brown had this to say,

Paul Brown integrated pro football without uttering a single word about integration. He just went out, signed a bunch of great black athletes, and started kicking butt. That's how you do it. You don't talk about it. Paul never said one word about race. But this was a time in sports when you'd play in some cities and the white players could stay at the nice hotel, but the blacks had to stay in the homes of some black families in town. But not with Paul. We always stayed in hotels that took the entire team. Again, he never said a word. But in his own way, the man integrated football the right way – and no one was going to stop him.

Change the game, change the narrative, and get an NFL team named after you. They aren’t the Cleveland Browns for nothing.

Welcome Paul Brown to the Hustle Hall of Fame!