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Original Issue

JIM TAYLOR 1935-2018

FOOTBALL IS a contact sport," Jim Taylor said in 1962. "You've got to punish tacklers—deal out more misery than they deal out to you." The Packers fullback then added, as if he had to, "I like to knock heads."

Standing 6-feet tall but weighing 216 pounds, Taylor was described by Time magazine as a "driving, crablike runner" who "uses his head like a battering ram [and] swings his free elbow with the authority of a mace." Taylor, who starred at LSU before Green Bay drafted him in 1958, became the first runner in NFL history to surpass 1,000 yards in five consecutive years. The third of those seasons, 1962, was his finest. He ran for 1,474 yards—becoming the only man to beat out Jim Brown for an NFL rushing title. In the '62 NFL Championship Game, he scored Green Bay's only touchdown in a 16--7 win over the Giants in a brutal, physical matchup at Yankee Stadium. New York's defense was filled with guys who, like Taylor, enjoyed contact. Chief among them was Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff, who a month before the title game said, "They ought to relax the rules. It's not right that you should get a penalty for piling on Taylor. You gotta pile on to keep him down."