American Football Database
Jerome Brown
File:Jerome Brown of the Philadelphia Eagles (ca. 1991).jpg
Brown playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.
No. 99     
Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1965-02-04)February 4, 1965
Place of birth: Brooksville, Florida
Date of death: June 25, 1992(1992-06-25) (aged 27)
Place of death: Brooksville, Florida
High School: Brooksville (FL) Hernando
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 292 lb (132 kg)
Career information
College: Miami (FL)
NFL Draft: 1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Debuted in 1987 for the Philadelphia Eagles
Last played in 1991 for the Philadelphia Eagles
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Games Played     76
Quarterback sacks     29.5
Interceptions     3
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

Willie Jerome Brown, III (February 4, 1965 – June 25, 1992) was an American football defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He played his entire five-year NFL career with the Eagles from 1987 to 1991, before his death just before the 1992 season. He was selected to two Pro Bowls in 1990 and 1991. He played college football at the University of Miami.

College career

Brown played college football at the University of Miami, where he was a standout player for one of college football's most successful and perhaps its most dominant program. He graduated from the university in 1987.

Among his more notable moments as a Miami player, five days before the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, at a promotional Fiesta Bowl dinner with the Penn State team, Brown led a walkout by the Miami players. Leading the walkout, he asked: "Did the Japanese go sit down and have dinner with Pearl Harbor before they bombed them?" Brown and his teammates felt that the Penn State players had disrespected them by openly mocking Miami's coach, Jimmy Johnson, at a pre-game banquet. Penn State beat the heavily favored Hurricanes 14-10, and were declared National Champions.

Days earlier, Brown and fellow University of Miami players drew even greater national controversy when each were seen deplaning a chartered University of Miami plane at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport, wearing Battle Dress Uniforms.

Professional career

Brown was drafted in the first round (ninth overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. During his five-year professional career with the Eagles, he was twice selected to the Pro Bowl (in 1990 and 1991).


Jerome Brown graduated from Hernando High School in Brooksville, where he was often seen in the off season running laps around the track. In June 1988, Jerome Brown received praise for his calm demeanor as he helped disperse a group of Ku Klux Klan protesters in his hometown of Brooksville, Florida.[1]

Death and legacy

Brown died on June 25, 1992, at the age of 27, following an automobile accident in Brooksville, in which both he and his 12-year-old nephew Gus were killed when Brown lost control of his ZR1 Chevrolet Corvette at high speed and crashed into a utility pole. Brown was buried in his hometown of Brooksville.

In 2000, the Jerome Brown Community Center was opened in Brooksville in memory of Brown.[2]

Brown's son Dee Brown (born 1982) plays professional baseball as an outfielder for the Winnipeg Goldeyes.[3]

Brown and former teammate Reggie White were documented in A Football Life.[4] It was White who broke the news to many Philadelphians the day of Brown's death, as he was informed moments before he was to speak at a Billy Graham Crusade at Veterans Stadium that night and relayed the information to the crowd.


Brown's jersey number (#99) was retired by the Eagles on September 6, 1992 in an emotional pre-game ceremony at Veterans Stadium, prior to the Eagles' first game of the 1992 season. After his death, Eagles players and fans started the unofficial motto "Bring it home for Jerome," an indirect reference among Eagles fans to bringing a Super Bowl title to the city in Brown's honor.

Brown is mentioned in The Wonder Years (band) track "We Could Die Like This" off their 4th album The Greatest Generation with the lyrics: "We watched the 92' Birds take to the field without Jerome Brown".[5]

See also

  • Deaths in Sports