Thursday • July 18
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Jim Brown and Jennie Finch
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When you talk about the greatest players in NFL history, no doubt Jim Brown is near, if not the top of the list. We caught up with the Hall of Famer for a talk about his career on and off the field. Then, Jennie Finch is arguably the most famous women's softball player ever. Elliott caught up with her when she had her number retired by the Chicago Bandits.
Episode Segments:
 
Sports and Torts: Jim Brown

We've had some big names on the program in the past, but they don't get much bigger than Jim Brown. We had an extended conversation with the Hall of Famer about Syracuse, the NFL, his Hollywood career and the state of his relationship with the Browns.
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Sports and Torts: Jennie Finch

Jennie led the USA Women's team to Olympic Gold in Athens and Silver in China. But softball is off the programme for 2012 and 2016. Jennie tells us about the efforts to get the game back to the Olympics, and what it's going to take to get women's professional softball into the mainstream. She also talks about her decision to retire from professional play and being an ambassador for the game.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Jim Brown
Jim Brown is an American icon-perhaps the greatest running back in football history, an actor and a civil rights activist. He was born in Georgia but after his parents divorced, he and his mother moved to Long Island, where Brown earned 13 letters playing football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse and running track. After a benefactor paid for him to attend Syracuse University - he did not receive a scholarship offer - Brown became an All-American in both football and lacrosse (although due to racism - he was the only black on the squad and only allowed to play football in his senior year). Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1957, he immediately revolutionized the game with his combination of speed, agility and brute power. He was a threat to score from any place on the field and demoralized defenses by stoically shaking off their toughest hits. After eight dominating seasons, and having started acting, Brown retired from football after Browns' owner Art Modell ordered him to training camp while he was shooting the best known of his movies “The Dirty Dozen." When he retired, Brown was the NFL single-season and career leader in rushing yards, touchdowns and all-purpose yards. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in every one of his nine seasons, and in his last pro game, he scored three touchdowns in the Pro Bowl. Besides his career in film, Brown was a civil rights activist and worked in a program directed at youth gangs in Los Angeles.

Jim Brown's Page at NFL.com

 
Jennie Finch
Jennie Finch was born on September 3, 1980, in La Mirada, California and grew up in a close knit family. She is the youngest of Doug and Bev Finch’s three children. Family is important to Jennie and she credits them for much of her success. Jennie’s dad, Doug, spent countless hours working with Jennie over the years. Jennie’s mom is a huge Dodgers fan, and between her love of baseball, Doug’s infinite patience and devotion, and Jennie’s two older brothers who loved to play, Jennie grew up a true blue Dodgers fan with a passion for baseball. She was excited when just after her fifth birthday her parents signed her up for her first t-ball league. She couldn’t wait to play just like her brothers, but this was even cooler because girls were doing it. Her love for the game and competitive nature was evident from the start, as was her natural athletic ability. She had great hand-eye coordination, and she was bigger and faster than most of her teammates. She also had a cannon for an arm. During winter vacation in Iowa one year, she celebrated the first snowfall by packing a snowball and heaving it out of sight. Doug did whatever he could to accelerate his daughter’s progress. He constructed a batting cage in the backyard, and would sit for hours on an up-ended bucket while she threw to him. He even transformed a small trampoline into a pitch-back she could use on evenings when he worked late. He eventually became her personal coach. Jennie started pitching at age eight and by the time Jennie was nine, she was playing for a 10-and-under traveling all-star team. Every weekend was spent at a different diamond somewhere in suburban Southern California. The more competitive the environment the more Jennie thrived. She hated to lose, and worked exceptionally hard to make sure it never happened. At age 12, she led the California Cruisers to the 12-and-under American Softball Association national title in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Every summer, the sport took her to a new part of the country for a national tournament. In 1995, Jennie’s ASA team captured the 14-and-under crown. At La Mirada High School, Jennie made the varsity softball team as a freshman and lettered all four years. She also played volleyball and basketball, which helped her overall athleticism and fed her competitive drive. Still softball was her true love, and in 1997 she led her ASA team to an 18-and-under championship title. She was La Mirada High School’s Female Athlete of the Year her senior year. She was also named to the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s Softball Dream Team and was named the paper’s Player of the Year. She was a great hitter, but no one could touch her as a pitcher. In her four years as a La Mirada Matador, she went 50-12, with six perfect games, 13 no-hitters, and a 0.15 ERA. In 445 innings, she fanned 784 hitters. In between school and sports she found time to hang out with friends, shop and try on make-up. Sometimes it was a challenge to balance life with school and sports, but Jennie’s family helped keep her focused and Jennie herself hated to lose and loved to play. She was recruited by several top universities, and had a hard time making a decision. It was hard to say no! She found her perfect program at the University of Arizona under head coach Mike Candrea. It was a young and very talented team. Jennie pitched and played first base. As a first baseman she lead the team in doubles (14) and extra-base hits (21) and was second on the squad in homeruns (7). However when it came to pitching it was an adjustment for Jennie to face hitters who could handle her fastball if they knew it was coming. Jennie had to start mixing her pitches more effectively. In addition to a powerful fastball she had a curveball, screwball, dropball and riseball (changeup) in her arsenal and she spent her freshman year refining them and her pitching strategy. Her work ethic and the competitiveness that fueled it paid off. She finished her freshman year with an impressive 24-6 regular season record, but the best was yet to come.

Jennie's Webiste