Route 66 News

Another Foyil athlete

The little Oklahoma Route 66 town of Foyil has turned out some spectacular athletes over the years. First there was Andy Payne, the distance runner who crossed the finish line first in the 1928 “Bunion Derby,” and now there’s NFL player Josh Brown, who will play for the Seattle Seahawks in next Sunday’s Super Bowl.

According to a Scripps Howard story, Brown grew up in Foyil and played eight-man football. He’s still pretty close to his hometown:

It’s a long way from Foyil, located in Rogers County just northeast of Claremore on historic Route 66, to the Super Bowl. …

Brown says sometime he’ll regale his teammates of his high school days, of scoring 50 touchdowns and kicking a 61-yard field goal. Then someone will spill the beans that it came in 8-man football.

“Just goes down the drain,” Brown said. “There’s no validity to your argument. I’ve dealt with that since I left Foyil.”

But in some ways, Brown never really left Foyil. He still returns often; his parents still live there and attend the House of Prayer. Brown comes back every summer for Bible School, where he’ll sing and work with the kids.

“You still want to help out the community,” Brown said. “They’ve always supported me. When I found troubled times, they stood beside me.”

You can read the full story here.

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times has its own story about Brown, including his memories about growing up near the town’s big totem pole.

“Just down the end of our driveway, probably 300 or 400 yards, a 90-foot totem pole,” said Brown, who could see it from the window of his bedroom, still a shrine to the athletic accomplishments of an eight-man football phenom who will represent his little town — population 234 at last official count — in Super Bowl XL.

“It’s pretty fun. I tell people, ‘Why wouldn’t you go to Foyil? The world’s largest totem pole is there.’ “


One thought on “Another Foyil athlete

  1. RoadDog

    One more reason to pull for the Seahawks, and besides they are NFC, even if I can’t get used to them not being AFC.

    Wouldn’t it be great if there were to be another Bunion Derby. I always have a problem spelling bunion, thanks to the Bunyan Giant in Atlanta. RoadDog

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