On Sunday morning, fans of the Minnesota Vikings have gotten word that one of the team’s all-time greats has passed away.
Former Vikings’ running back Bill “Boom Boom” Brown, one of the offensive cornerstones of the early years of the Vikings’ franchise, passed away on Sunday. He was 80 years old.
Brown played his rookie season in 1961 for the Chicago Bears, and came to Minnesota the next season. He wound up playing 13 seasons for the Vikings, hanging up his cleats following the 1974 season. He played his college football at the University of Illinois, and the Bears selected him in the second round of the 1961 NFL Draft. He was also drafted by the New York Titans in the sixth round of the 1961 AFL Draft, but opted to go to Chicago.
Brown’s name is all over the Vikings’ record books for running backs. To this day, he still holds the Vikings’ record for games played as a running back (182) and most consecutive games played by a running back (101). He’s second in Vikings’ history in games started by a running back (111), as well as in rushing attempts (1,627). His 5,757 career rushing yards in a Vikings’ uniform is still fourth all-time, trailing only Adrian Peterson, Robert Smith, and Chuck Foreman. His 52 career rushing touchdowns tie him with Foreman for second place in that category behind Peterson, and his 456 career points put him ninth on the Vikings’ all-time scoring list.
Brown was inducted into the Vikings’ Ring of Honor back in 2004. He was a four-time Pro Bowler for the Vikings, garnering that honor in 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1968.
His son-in-law is former Minnesota Vikings quarterback and NFL MVP (though not with the Vikings) Rich Gannon.
We would like to send our condolences to the family and friends of Bill Brown on this Sunday morning.