ThePostGame caught up with Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown as he was set to be honored at his high school in Manhasset, N.Y.
ThePostGame: What were your thoughts on the draft after the first day?
JIM BROWN: Heh heh, I really can't say. I’m very sorry, but I have no opinion right now on that. I know there have been a couple of surprises … I imagine a young man by the name of Mr. Smith (was) not feeling too good (after the first round).
TPG: Do you have any advice that you give to newly drafted players?
BROWN: When I talk to players, I remind them this is a business and general managers and coaches and even owners are going to have a feeling for their business. (I remind them) not to take anything personally but take whatever opportunity that you get and make the best of it. It's only one chance to prove yourself and if you prove yourself you’ll get the fame and the money. But there's things that are going to surprise you and the things that are going to disappoint you … I look at the downside and how you face the downside determines a lot of your success.
TPG: What's the biggest obstacle in your career that you had to overcome?
BROWN: When I went to Syracuse I had a person that I thought was recruiting me. But I later found that someone had made a deal with sponsors from my high school to give me a tryout for the first year, so I was left without a scholarship at first. It hurt my feelings, but I put that aside and continued to work and eventually became an All-American.
TPG: You said in an interview last month that while you were playing you never had the problem of dropping your head into a tackle (like players are being penalized for now). What was different then?
BROWN: You almost have to put your head down and purposefully ram it into someone. As a running back, I was trying to run away from people and my last resort was to drop my shoulder pads so I would have the momentum and the leverage to get a few extra yards. But I never thought of using my helmet because it seemed dangerous to me. To put my helmet into someone else helmet seemed unwise.
TPG: You’re heading back to your former high school in Manhasset, N.Y., to be honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate as a "Hometown Hall of Famer” -– where does this honor rank for you personally?
BROWN: I have had a lot but I've never had this one. This is fantastic, just thinking of going back to my high school and being remembered and just to remind (the school) that I was once there. I was very fortunate to go to Manhasset -- it made my life much better than it would have been … I feel tremendously grateful to be recognized as one of their children.
TPG: When's the last time you went back?
BROWN: I went back about a month and a half ago with my wife and children, to show them the school I had gone to. It was just us and it was really very nostalgic for me and it was …my kids enjoyed it to see part of their father's life.
TPG: Back to your current career, I heard you were mending fences with the Cleveland Browns and discussing a new position there. Have you finalized what it is?
BROWN: I am in discussions with the owner about being an advisor to him … and that would be an ideal situation to give my point of view and do what they felt was necessary to help them achieve all of our goal, which is to win a Super Bowl. I will work with the community, the owner, if they desire the players if they desire I will be available to do whatever I can do to make successful.
TPG: As a former player do you have any opinion on the concussion litigation between some other former players and the NFL right now?
BROWN: I don't. I have been dealing with the NFL from the standpoint from working out with the situation of the owners to share in revenues from images that come from our likeness and have not really been involved in anything else. But I know that the commissioner (Roger Goodell) is totally concerned about the health of the players, as a lot of people are. From now on, I think there will be tremendous interest in the welfare of players and a wealth of scientific data and (innovations to help players' health). I don't know anyone that’s against making it safer for players.