Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

BEST OF THE BLOGS

Browns' Hickerson was always a leader

October 22, 2008|Greg Johnson | from "The Fabulous Forum"

I had the good fortune to see Cleveland Browns Pro Football Hall of Fame right guard Gene Hickerson play during the 1960s when I was growing up in Cleveland. My memories of the occasional games I saw live at Municipal Stadium were understandably dominated by Jim Brown's dazzling runs.

But I felt a kinship with Hickerson because, at the time, I played right guard for my neighborhood school. And, what better role model than No. 66, a guy who seemed to fly off the line to clear the way for Brown and subsequent Browns running backs?

The last time I saw Hickerson was during the bittersweet 2007 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Hickerson, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, crossed the stage in a wheelchair pushed by Brown, Bobby Mitchell and Leroy Kelly.

Bob Hickerson, who spoke eloquently for his father during that ceremony, described it as proof that his father was "still leading the way for Hall of Fame running backs."

Hickerson died Monday at age 73 at a care facility outside Cleveland. . . .

Greg Johnson

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|