Vikings Ironman - 270 Consecutive NFL Starts.
One of the NFL’s standout defensive lineman for 20 years. Jim Marshall set an NFL record for most games started with 270 consecutive games between 1960 and 1979. And you can 19 playoff games to that with 4 Super Bowls.
Playing at Ohio State he opted to forgo his senior year in college and join the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. After a year in the CFL he was sent back to the NFL via an “interleague trade” of sorts and played 1 season with the Cleveland Browns. In 1961 the Browns traded him to the newly formed expansion team Minnesota Vikings where he remained for the rest of his career.
During those early seasons of the Vikings he led the team in sacks (unofficially – sacks were not a legitimate statistic until 1982) every year until 1966. He is still considered Vikings franchise #2 All-Time leader in sacks with 127. But the statistic he is best known for is for is for longevity in the NFL. He set an NFL with 282 games played in and 270 consecutive games started. He is holds the NFL record for most fumble recoveries with 30.
But one blemish that will forever taint his impressive list of accomplishments is the infamous “Wrong Way Run”. Listed by NFL Films as the #1 blooper in NFL history Marshall recovered a fumble by 49ers runner Billy Kilmer in a 1964 game and ran it 66 yards in wrong direction to score a 2-point safety for San Francisco. It didn’t matter as Minnesota won but it still remains a staple of NFL blooper films for all-time.
As one of the standouts of the “Purple People Eaters” – the name given to the Vikings outstanding defense of 60s and 70s – he made the Pro Bowl twice. A member of the Minnesota Vikings Hall of Fame he has been nominated for the Hall of Fame but never inducted. He started in all 4 of the Vikings Super Bowl appearances and when he retired in 1979 Jim Marshall was the last remaining member of the original the Vikings inaugural team of 1961.