In a weird coincidence, Jim Brown and Michael Jordan were both born today -- Brown is 76, Jordan turns 49. Are they the two greatest American athletes of the 20th Century. I think undoubtedly, if you consider football and basketball to be the sports that require the most athletic ability. OK, then, which of them is the greater athlete. Brown, the running back:
Or Jordan, the high-wire basketball player:
For my money, it's Brown. Jordan was a great basketball player, the best ever, but he failed at his attempt to play pro baseball. Brown, meanwhile, was a very good college basketball player who undoubtedly could have played in the NBA, and was arguably one of the greatest college lacrosse players ever, even though he only took the game up after he got to Syracuse as a way of staying in shape in the spring.