Jim McCusker Riding Taxicab Names Desire
By Jack McKinney
October 26, 1963
editor's note - The following story on Jim McCusker of Jamestown was written by Jack McKinney of the Philadelphia Daily News and appeared in the Pittsburgh Weekly Sports).
PHILADELPHIA - According to the amateur headshrinks, the Cleveland Browns have gone through the first five weeks of the NFL season on adrenal drive and momentum.
Big Jim McCusker has come the same distance in a taxicab named desire.
McCusker, a former Pitt star and a veteran of the Eagles' 1960 championship team, is a member of the Cleveland taxi squad, quasi-official adjunct of the regular roster. Jim works out with the Browns daily, attends all meetings, and draws full pay.
He lives like a Brown, works like a Brown and feels like a Brown. But, never on a Sunday.
Until such time as he is activated, McCusker can't sit on the Cleveland bench in uniform. That's where the desire comes in. It's what keeps Jim going.
"We've got a great thing going out here in Cleveland," McCusker was saying last night. "I want to be a part of it. I want to prove I can still play tackle in this league."
Hobbled by a knee injury throughout most of the 1962 season, McCusker underwent corrective surgery last winter.
But Jim isn't brooding over the way things worked out. It's tacitly understood he'll be on the Browns' active roster sooner or later, and at the rate the Browns' have been going that's not a tough fate to take. The rub is that Jim feels it could have been sooner.
"If the Eagles had made the move earlier, I'd be on the Browns' active roster right now" he declared. "As it worked out, I had lost time learning the new offense and now I have to wait for something to break."
Meanwhile, McCusker has been in a first-hand position to observe the Browns' gathering momentum and compare it with the force that he and his fellow-Eagles felt during the '60 championship season.
"That game Sunday in New York really put the cap on it," McCusker added. "Beating the Giants was like winning two games because it meant one up for us and another down for them. Now our guys are higher than ever."