Marlin Oliver Briscoe, who was nicknamed “The Magician,” was the first black quarterback to start in the American Football League. The legend passed away at age 76 on Monday.
The heartbreaking news was confirmed by Briscoe’s daughter, Angela Marriott to The Associated Press. She claimed that Marlin was hospitalised for poor circulation in his legs before dying of pneumonia in a Norwalk, California hospital.
In the 1960s, Briscoe began his career as Omaha University’s standout quarterback. Including throwing yards (4,935) and touchdowns(52), he set 22 school records while leading the squad to three conference championships.
The Denver Broncos selected Briscoe in the fourteenth round of the 1968 AFL draft, and the squad attempted to turn him into a cornerback. But at the start of the 1968 season, when Denver’s starter went down with an injury and the backup displayed poor performance, the Broncos started Briscoe at quarterback, making him the first black quarterback to start in the AFL.
Briscoe made the most of the opportunity, setting a rookie record for the Broncos that year with 14 throwing touchdowns. He played for the Bills, Chargers, Lions, Patriots, and Dolphins during his eight-year NFL career, where he won two Super Bowls. He was also a part of the unbeaten Miami club in 1972.
Briscoe started a football program for youngsters after his time in the NFL and served as the director of a Boys and Girls Club in Long Beach. May his soul rest in peace.
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