Jerome Brown

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Jerome Brown
refer to caption
Brown playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.
No. 99
Position: Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1965-02-04)February 4, 1965
Place of birth: Brooksville, Florida
Date of death: June 25, 1992(1992-06-25) (aged 27)
Place of death: Brooksville, Florida
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 292 lb (132 kg)
Career information
High school: Brooksville (FL) Hernando
College: Miami (FL)
NFL draft: 1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games Played: 76
Quarterback sacks: 29.5
Interceptions: 3
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Willie Jerome Brown, III (February 4, 1965 – June 25, 1992) was an American football defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He played his entire five-year NFL career with the Eagles from 1987 to 1991, before his death just before the 1992 season. He was selected to two Pro Bowls in 1990 and 1991. He played college football at the University of Miami.

College career

Brown played college football at the University of Miami, where he was a standout player for one of college football's most successful and perhaps its most dominant program. He graduated from the university in 1987.

Among his more notable moments as a Miami player, five days before the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, at a promotional Fiesta Bowl dinner with the Penn State team, Brown led a walkout by the Miami players. Leading the walkout, he asked: "Did the Japanese go sit down and have dinner with Pearl Harbor before they bombed them?" Brown and his teammates felt that the Penn State players had disrespected them by openly mocking Miami's coach, Jimmy Johnson, at a pre-game banquet. Penn State beat the heavily favored Hurricanes 14-10, and were declared National Champions.

Days earlier, Brown and fellow University of Miami players drew even greater national controversy when each were seen deplaning a chartered University of Miami plane at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport, wearing Battle Dress Uniforms.

Professional career

Brown was drafted in the first round (ninth overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. During his five-year professional career with the Eagles, he was twice selected to the Pro Bowl (in 1990 and 1991).


Brown graduated from Hernando High School in Brooksville, where he was often seen in the off season running laps around the track. In June 1988, he received praise for his calm demeanor as he helped disperse a group of Ku Klux Klan protesters in his hometown of Brooksville, Florida.[1]

Death and legacy

Brown died on June 25, 1992, at the age of 27, following an automobile accident in Brooksville, in which both he and his 13-year-old nephew were killed when Brown lost control of his ZR1 Chevrolet Corvette at high speed and crashed into a utility pole. Brown was buried in his hometown of Brooksville.[2]

In 2000, the Jerome Brown Community Center was opened in Brooksville in memory of Brown.[3]

Brown's son Dee Brown (born 1982) plays professional baseball as an outfielder for the Winnipeg Goldeyes.[4]

Brown and former teammate Reggie White were documented in A Football Life.[5] It was White who broke the news to many Philadelphians the day of Brown's death, as he was informed moments before he was to speak at a Billy Graham Crusade at Veterans Stadium that night and relayed the information to the crowd.


Along with teammate Reggie White, Brown helped anchor an Eagles defense that intimidated and dominated offenses of the late 80's and early 90's. By the end of the 1991 season, Brown had established himself as one of the league's premier defensive tackles, being elected as an All-Pro for a second consecutive year. Brown was not only a fan favorite, but a favorite of his first NFL head coach Buddy Ryan, who once remarked, “if you had 45 Jerome Browns, you would win every game.”[6]

Brown's jersey number (#99) was retired by the Eagles on September 6, 1992 in an emotional pre-game ceremony at Veterans Stadium, prior to the Eagles' first game of the 1992 season. After his death, Eagles players and fans started the unofficial motto "Bring it home for Jerome," an indirect reference among Eagles fans to bringing a Super Bowl title to the city in Brown's honor.

Brown is mentioned in The Wonder Years track "We Could Die Like This" off their 4th album The Greatest Generation with the lyrics: "We watched the 92' Birds take the field without Jerome Brown".[7]


  1. Scheiber, Dave (1988-08-29). "Cool Under Fire: WHEN THE KKK SHOWED UP IN HIS HOMETOWN, JEROME BROWN OF THE EAGLES PLAYED EXCELLENT DEFENSE". SI Vault - Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2014-02-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Jerome Brown". City of Brooksville, Florida. Retrieved 2014-02-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Brown looks for renown," Winnipeg Free Press, May 24, 2009.
  5. "A Football Life: Complete Episode List". 2011-12-06. Retrieved 2012-09-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>