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Collected wisdom: Sportscaster James Brown

by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 4, 2014



AGE: 62


James Brown has become a fixture on NFL broadcasts over the past two decades. Nicknamed “J.B.,” Brown has served as the studio host for both Fox and CBS. He spent 11 seasons hosting the NFL on Fox pregame show and currently hosts The NFL Today on CBS.

But before he became synonymous with NFL broadcasts, Brown was a basketball star in the Washington, D.C., area. He nearly carved out an NBA career before getting into broadcasting. But the backbone of his success, Brown says, is strong family ties and a commitment to education, something instilled in him by his parents.

I was blessed to grow up in a solid middle class family. Two-parent household. My mom and dad were high school graduates, but I'm fond of saying they had PhD's in drive and determination and perseverance to ensure that their kids, all five of us, get a better opportunity and crack at life than they did, with educational excellence being the foundation stone.

My mom was a tremendously talented and strong woman. All she wanted to do was be an excellent homemaker.

Our household was not a democracy. It was a dictatorship.

I was the oldest of five. My job was using that old-fashioned, hard Johnson's Bowling Alley Wax to wax our floors. My other two strengths were in ironing and washing the dishes.

My father worked two jobs and a third during the holidays. He was a prison guard as his main job at a prison outside of Washington, D.C. He also drove a taxi cab. And during the holidays, he worked for a rental car company.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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