I say Marlin, you say...

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Top Properties

Big-game fish?

Florida baseball team?

The daddy from Finding Nemo?

You'd, of course, be right on all accounts. But you'd also be missing out on a true piece of sports history that I'm guessing you know very little about. Marlin Briscoe.

Briscoe played football at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and began his pro football career with my favorite team, the Denver Broncos in 1968. He played quarterback.

Not huge news, really.....unless you are the first African-American starting quarterback in pro football history. 

And he was.

Briscoe played QB starting 5 games and appearing in 11 for Denver that season. Would you believe that his 14 touchdown passes that season are a Broncos rookie QB record? Current phenom, Jay Cutler, tossed 9 in limited action his rookie season and Hall-of-Famer, John Elway, tossed a mere 7 TDs in his rookie campaign.

Unfortunately, the starting job was handed to someone else (a white QB) in '69 and Briscoe, feeling betrayed, was released and signed with Buffalo where he was converted to Wide Receiver. After 3 seasons with the Bills (including a Pro-Bowl 1970 season) he went to the Miami Dolphins were he also played WR on a pair of Super Bowl Champion teams- including the NFLs only undefeated squad in 1972 in which he led the team in TD receptions. Briscoe became a journeyman finishing his career with stints in San Diego, Detroit and New England.

Sad that a young man that played QB his whole life attempted a mere 9 passes for the rest of his career after his ground-breaking first season.

More sad even than a quarterbacking talent wasted is the fact that, seemingly, just days after his playing career ended, Briscoe could be found in trashy motels in Los Angeles, smoking crack. Drug dealers once held him hostage for a weekend until an NFL check came in the mail. He lost his family, his money and his Super Bowl rings. Briscoe recovered from his decade or so battle with addiction and has since been a tireless advocate for at-risk youth. He currently is the director of the Boys and Girls Club in California and has his own football camp for children.

A feature film, "The Magician",  is being made about Marlins struggles and his road to redemption. Check out more about it at marlinbriscoemovie.com.

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Jim Ludes is a REALTOR with Century 21 Coleman-Hornsby in Grundy and Will County, IL. If you have a question about real estate that he might be able to help with, email him at Jim@JimLudes.com or call/text at 815-712-7786. If you'd rather observe from afar or become friends first, check him out at:

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Comments (1)

Peg Gilliland
Charlottesville Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
Broker, GRI, CDPE

Wow thank you for the great review sure looks good.


Mar 16, 2009 08:08 AM