It is Thursday, December 22, 2022, and the Cleveland Browns are two days away from their Week 16 gameday on Christmas Eve.
Kickoff is at 1:00 PM EST against the New Orleans Saints at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Thursday edition of Browns Nation news and notes does not talk about the upcoming game.
It is a trip down memory lane as the NFL continues to mourn the sudden death of Franco Harris.
Enjoy this Throwback Thursday tribute to Harris.
1. The 40: Jim Brown Vs. Franco Harris
The story of Franco Harris and Jim Brown running a 40-yard dash in 1984 resurfaced on Wednesday.
Brown, 48 at the time, was not too thrilled that Harris could potentially surpass his rushing record; he did not like Harris’s running style which he thought involved too much running out of bounds.
On an appearance on the “Donahue” talk show, Brown challenged Harris to a 40-yard dash and threatened to come out of retirement if he won.
— PGH Sports History (@PGH_Sports_Date) February 7, 2019
This turned into a televised event yet efforts to find a video of the race were unsuccessful.
As a kid, I remember seeing on TV Franco Harris racing against Jim Brown. The premise was that Brown was considering coming back to football because Franco was going to pass him for most rushing yards. I can't seem to find this anywhere. Am I the only one who remembers this?
— Sean's Ramblings (@seansramblings) December 21, 2022
In the end, Brown, who had a hamstring issue, finished the 40 in 5.72 seconds, and the 34-year-old Harris won by finishing in 5.16 seconds.
One of the more bizarre sports stories about Franco Harris. Jim Brown hated Harris' style of play so much, at 48 years old he challenged Harris to a sprint, lost and pulled his hamstring in the process.https://t.co/oLfhumEKzo
— Josh Rizzo (@J_oshRizzo) December 21, 2022
Efforts to draw Walter Payton into the race were not successful though he appeared on the same episode of the talk show.
#NFL rushing studs Walter Payton, Franco Harris, and Jim Brown appear with Phil Donahue on the daytime talk show "Donahue".
February 6, 1984 pic.twitter.com/GGAZqRA0wr
— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) February 17, 2022
Payton got the last laugh; he surpassed both of them with 16,726 yards.
Harris finished in his career with 12,120 yards approximately 200 yards shy of Brown’s record (12,312).
2. Browns Fans React To The Harris News
As Tom on Twitter put it:
— Tom (@BigTontoLove) December 22, 2022
“You can hate the Steelers…and I have for 50 years. But we could never hate Franco.”
RIP Franco Harris! 🙏
As a Browns fan I hated what he did to us. But as a man I have nothing but 100% respect for him.
— TrueDawg 🏈⚾️🏀 (@TimRyan23690548) December 21, 2022
— Dawg Nature (@DawgNature) December 21, 2022
“Even as a #Browns fan, I’m saddened to hear of the death of Franco Harris. Especially 2 days b4 the anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. May the #Steelers never have a RB of your greatest [greatness] again.”
Happy Thursday Browns fans!