Posted: June 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 14 Comments »

Monday was the 20th anniversary of the death of Jerome Brown, one of the all time great Eagles.  That day in 1992 was incredibly sad for Eagles fans and players.  I’ll never forget it.

I could sit here and write about JB, but I’m going to do something else, and probably not the most popular of things.  I’m going to criticize Jerome.  He died in June of 1992 in a bad car accident.  So did his nephew, Gus.  We rarely talk about Gus.  It makes us more comfortable to tell JB stories and think about him as a football player and not an irresponsible adult who took the life of a young relative.

I almost did something very similar to Jerome.  In my junior year of high school, I was at fault in a bad car wreck that a friend and I were lucky to walk away from.  If not for seat belts, I would not be writing this.  I was 17 years old and a complete idiot.  Neither my friend nor I suffered so much as a scratch, but the accident could easily have killed both of us.  The car skidded more than 400 feet.  It ended up in a ditch on the wrong side of the road.  There was no drinking involved…just a teenager pushing the limits of how fast a car could go through a serious curve.

Jerome was also driving too fast…on a day when the road was slick due to rain.  Rain wasn’t an issue for me, just stupidity.  Unlike me, Jerome was an adult.  And that changes things entirely.  He should have known better.  I should have, too, but was so inexperienced that I didn’t properly appreciate the danger of speed.  Jerome loved speed.  He loved driving fast.

It bugs the hell out of me that he put his nephew in that car and drove that fast on a wet road.  You just don’t do that.  It would have been bad at 17, but at least you could have understood it.  At 27?  I don’t get it.

I have 2 nephews.  I have never done anything to put them at risk.  As the uncle, it is my job to look out for them.  It was Jerome’s job to look out for Gus 20 years ago, but he was too busy being a kid himself.  They both paid the ultimate price.

* * * * *

Please don’t mistake this as me hating Jerome Brown.  My name on the EMB is goeagles99 for a reason.  Jerome was a great player and someone I loved watching.  I just think we have to remember Gus from time to time and be honest about that day.  Such a waste…

* * * * * has some good Jerome coverage.  They have a 6-minute snippet from the NFL Films special on Jerome and Reggie.

They also have an interview with a co-producer of that special.

* * * * *

Rich Hoffman has some memories of Jerome.

Here are some thoughts from his former teammates.  Free tip to someone from the Daily News…Ron Pitts should be changed to Mike Pitts.  Ron was a DB, but not for the Eagles.  He’s now a FOX broadcaster.  Mike Pitts was a good DT for us.  He once sacked Steve Young on consecutive plays in a 1992 game.

Ron Pitts: “I really felt like if Jerome was there the next season, we probably would have made it deep in the playoffs. We did get there, but we could have gotten to the Super Bowl. When he passed away, there was a lot missing.”


14 Comments on “Gus”

  1. 1 Steve H said at 2:54 AM on June 26th, 2012:

    Glad you touched on this. I think a lot of people have trouble (not nescessarily people on this board) accepting that some of their favorite athletes might not be decent human beings. It’s remarkable to me how much support Mike Vick gets despite the horrifying nature of what he did in the past. I don’t believe for a second he regrets what he did, I do believe he regrets getting caught. That being said, he’s the quarterback of the Eagles and I’m going to root for his success and our success regardless. Outside of the context of football though I would never have any interest in the guy.

  2. 2 iskar36 said at 12:24 PM on June 26th, 2012:

    What Mike Vick did was an absolutely horrifying things and for those people who refuse to forgive him, I can’t argue against that. That is a fan’s right and considering the nature of Vick’s crimes, he certainly shouldn’t be simply handed a second chance or given the benefit of the doubt. Having said that, I think it has become too simple to just say he regrets getting caught. That statement is entirely based on a preconceived notion that a person can not regret his past and is incapable of change. I don’t want to say he has definitely changed and regrets his past, because frankly, like the rest of you, I do not know him personally, but at least publicly, Vick has done everything right since coming out of prison. He hasn’t simply shoved it away and said, that’s the past, I’m a different person now (which would be a copout). He has owned up to his past and taken steps to help fight against it. He has become a significant voice both for animal welfare and for being responsible for your own actions.

    Certainly, all of that can be an act intended to save face and make sure Goodell/NFL are satisfied with how he carries himself. None of his actions may be sincere, but from everything I have read and seen, there have been no indications to me that he is simply going through the motions. At the very least, he has made a clear effort to make a positive change, both for himself and others, and without really knowing him, it is really impossible to know if that effort is due to true regret or simply PR.

  3. 3 Steve H said at 2:25 PM on June 26th, 2012:

    He does have true regret, regret that he lost so much money and time. Do you think someone that tortures to death 30 some odd animals is suddenly going to be like oh man you’re right, torturing animals is pretty messed up my bad? Vick has handlers who are specifically there to make sure he comes accross as as much of a good citizen as possible, because theres money to be made if he ever returns to superstar glory.

  4. 4 Cafone said at 7:18 PM on June 26th, 2012:

    Horrifying nature of what he did? C’mon son. Let’s not over exaggerate.

    It’s amazing to me that Wall Street barons can wreck the life savings of thousands of hard working Americans, human Americans, and not one spends a day in jail. Take over companies and liquidate pensions of the people that have worked their whole lives for that pension and no big deal. Actually serve your time for dog fighting, and you’re still a horrible pariah once you get out.

    White crime vs. black crime I guess.

  5. 5 T_S_O_P said at 2:57 AM on June 26th, 2012:

    I remember that day clearly, where I was,what I was doing and who told me. It was going going to be a great year; Randall was coming back. Surely his injury was all that had prevented us from the winning it all. Leeds United had Eric Cantona and were Champions of English Football, moreover Manchester United (aka Scum) had still not won it for 26 years. Personally, I was experiencing a trip if a lifetime in the USA. 1992 – was a great year year.

    A strange fact that I remember about the 1992 Eagles when I watched a Sunday Night game (may have been Monday Night) between them and the Cowboys (who I hated despite not knowing at that time that was my rite as an Eagles fan) in a bar in Lawrence KS. We were the only team that Emmitt Smith had not managed to rush for 100 yards against. Moreover, statistically he had his least success against us. Wow, did Brown make a difference.

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 10:24 AM on June 26th, 2012:

    I talk about Emmitt’s struggles vs us in the Eagles Almanac. JB was a big part, but Andre Waters was huge. He is the one player Emmitt admitted to being scared of. Andre was nicknamed “Dirty Waters” for a reason.

    That was a Monday night game. Oct 92. We were 3-0 and Dallas was off to a good start. That was the closest thing to a reg season Super Bowl as any game the Eagles played in the 1990s. We won 31-7 and life was good for a whole 5 days.

  7. 7 T_S_O_P said at 11:30 AM on June 26th, 2012:

    I acted like a drunken soccer hooligan shouting at the TV in the bar that night. I may have been the lone Iggles fan. Maybe I did a good enough job to pass as a Philly native 😉

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 12:10 PM on June 26th, 2012:

    Ha. I watched the game from home, but did enough yelling that I’m sure the whole neighborhood was running for cover.

  9. 9 T_S_O_P said at 11:47 AM on June 26th, 2012:

    I talk about Emmitt’s struggles vs us in the Eagles Almanac. I haven’t got to that part yet, still reading some hacks draft review. Avoid, his brain is clearly mush.

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 12:10 PM on June 26th, 2012:

    Hack is putting it mildly.

  11. 11 brza said at 6:55 AM on June 26th, 2012:

    Thats a great point about his nephew. I think a few things are what make the facts you brought up rarely talked about.
    The fact that Jerome was such a great player and his death was basically the beginning of an end to a great era in Eagles football causes many people to lose sight of the true victim in the accident. Even after the tragic deaths there were still high hopes for the ’92 Eagles but after they fell flat that season that great defense was dismantled within a matter of a couple of years and Brown is always looked at as the first in a series of dominoes that ended Superbowl hopes, one of the best defenses ever and the Buddy Ryan Eagles.

    Sadly, if Jerome was a lesser player I think his irresponsibility and the death of his nephew would have remained at the forefront of the incident.

    On a side note, I took on the patron Saint Jerome during my confirmation the following year as a tribute to Jerome Brown.

    Also, I find it pretty odd that the Daily News got Mike Pitts’ name wrong. Do you think he has any parallels to Mike Patterson? Pretty much the solid, unspectatular DT that played a key part in many Eagles defenses but never received the recognition from fans or media?

  12. 12 TommyLawlor said at 10:25 AM on June 26th, 2012:

    Mike Patterson is a better player than Mike Pitts. Pitts was solid, but helped out greatly by playing with such talented DL.

  13. 13 Kevin_aka_RC said at 11:06 AM on June 26th, 2012:

    Patterson is without question the most underrated Eagle in my lifetime. He’s had a very good career, but isn’t a “star” because he doesn’t put up big sack totals. You win 10 games a year because of guys like MP.

  14. 14 rage114 said at 8:22 AM on June 28th, 2012:

    Kudos to you for writing this. One thing you left out was that he didn’t have any insurance either.

    The family got nothing for his recklessness.