John Bramlett

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John Bramlett
No. 56, 57, 62
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1941-07-07)July 7, 1941
Place of birth: Memphis, Tennessee
Date of death: October 23, 2014(2014-10-23) (aged 73)
Place of death: Memphis, Tennessee
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
College: Memphis State
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

John "the Bull" Bramlett (July 7, 1941 – October 23, 2014) was an American football linebacker who played from 1965 to 1971 on four teams, the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins and the Boston Patriots in the American Football League and the Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League . He was a two time AFL All-Star. Bramlett served as a minister before his death.

Bramlett was an All-State and All-American at Humes High School in Memphis and played college football at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), where he was named an honorable mention All-American his senior year. Bramlett signed a professional baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals but was kicked out of baseball after a few years after getting into trouble. Bramlett then signed a contract with the Denver Broncos and was named runner-up AFL Rookie of the year behind Joe Namath in 1965.

Bramlett only lasted two seasons with the Broncos, making one appearance in the Pro Bowl before being traded to the Miami Dolphins for a fourth round pick in the 1968 NFL Draft. He played two seasons with Miami, making another Pro Bowl appearance, before being traded to the Patriots along with quarterback Kim Hammond in exchange for Nick Buoniconti in 1969[1].

With the Patriots, Bramlett was named the Most Valuable Player for the team in 1970 but also got in more trouble and was nicknamed the "Meanest Man in Football." [2]. Bramlett was then traded to the Green Bay Packers for Rich Moore.[1] However, he balked at reporting to Green Bay[2] and was released by the Packers before the 1971 season.[3] He was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons and played one season for them before retiring.

Bramlett is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Post-football career[edit]

In 1973, Bramlett became a Christian and abandoned his wild lifestyle. He was active in Christian ministry for many years.[4] He resided in Memphis, Tennessee, with his wife, Nancy, until his death. He had two sons, Don and Andy, and four grandchildren, Rebecca, Rachel, Hunter, and Jordan. His ministry was John Bramlett Ministries.

Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick, who were rookies on the Dolphins in 1968, tell several amusing stories about Bramlett in their book Always on the Run.[5]

Bramlett also wrote his own autobiography called Taming the Bull: The John "Bull" Bramlett Story (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989).


Bramlett died on October 23, 2014, in Memphis, Tennessee, according to the Shelby County Mayor's Office.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Milwaukee Journal, "Packers Trade Moore for Linebacker", July 31, 1971, page 12.
  2. ^ Bud Lea, "New Packer Bramlett Refuses To Report", Milwaukee Sentinel, August 2, 1971, p. 8.
  3. ^ Terry Bledsoe, "Packer Releases Reflect Second Thoughts By Coaches", Milwaukee Journal, September 14, 1971, p. 11.
  4. ^ "John 'Bull' Bramlett dies at 73". Associated Press. October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick, with Dave Anderson, Always on the Run, pp.147-154. Random House, 1973 OCLC 632348
  6. ^
  1. ^ A quick timeline of Dolphins History Retrieved March 7, 2006
  2. ^ A biography of Bramlett Retrieved March 7, 2006

External links[edit]