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Harris Beats Brown at 40 Yards, Wins 2-Day Competition

January 19, 1985

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. AP — Former Pittsburgh Steeler running back Franco Harris defeated former Cleveland Brown running back Jim Brown in the 40-yard dash Friday to win a two-day competition.

The televised contest, called "I Challenge You," evolved from Brown saying on national television last year that he could beat Harris in the dash.

Harris, 34, was clocked in 5.16 seconds. Hampered by a hamstring injury, Brown, 48, finished in 5.72 seconds. Although each participant won two of four events, Harris won the overall title because he took the dash.

"Franco beat me fair and square," said Brown, who grabbed his left hamstring during the dash. "I don't have any excuses."

About 1,500 high-rollers were invited to watch the dash and the one-on-one touchdown pass-catching competition Friday night at a casino hotel, which installed a makeshift playing field with artificial turf.

The event was televised in New York and Los Angeles Friday night, and will be broadcast on 139 other stations today or Sunday.

Harris won the touchdown competition with an eight-yard advantage. New York Giant quarterback Phil Simms threw the passes.

Brown won the first two events of the competition Thursday, defeating Harris in racquetball, 11-4 and 11-8, and then winning at basketball by rallying from a 20-14 deficit to win the final game in the best two-of-three event, 22-20.

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