CBS Sportscaster James Brown: It’s Not About Me
By Jocelyn Hu
There's nothing quick about a short walk through the streets of New York City with CBS sportscaster James Brown, affectionately known to millions of viewers as simply "J.B."
The Emmy Award-winning studio host of the network's NFL coverage and special correspondent to CBS News is so popular and effusively cordial that it can take 45 minutes to travel three blocks with him in between work assignments.
"He's going to stop and talk with every employee in the hotel," said Tony Dungy, a close friend and former NFL head coach. "People are going to recognize him on the street, and he's going to stop and say hi. My wife says I do that a lot, but he really does. You feel good watching it. That's how you're supposed to interact with people. That's what it really means to let your light shine-but you can't be in a hurry if you're with him!"
At the heart of it all for J.B. is love-first, his love for Christ and, as an extension, his love for people.
"Part of what makes James so special is his tender heart," said his wife, Dorothy. "One time we were stuck in an airport after missing our flight. I was tired and ready to go to the hotel. But he stayed around to make sure people got any help they needed. He's always going the second mile."
And he loves to give, generously tipping waiters, bellmen and cab drivers, and once surprising Dorothy with not one coat, but three.
"I want her to know how much I appreciate her and that I'm not just giving her the minimum, but I'm giving to her abundantly," he said. "She's incredibly supportive, incredibly selfless and incredibly giving herself, so I try to spare nothing when I'm in a position to do for her."
By all accounts, J.B., 63, lives his life consistent with the gentlemanly, God-honoring image he exudes on television. Though he's in the communications business, he says he tries to live by the premise that "well done" is better than "well said."
He has worked on NFL studio sets with retired legends of the game such as Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson at Fox Sports and Bill Cowher, Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason and Shannon Sharpe at CBS.
On the studio set: James Brown (far left) with fellow NFL Today commentators (L-R) Tony Gonzalez, Bill Cowher, Bart Scott and Boomer Esiason. Gonzalez and Scott are new additions to the group this season.
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