James "Jim" Lawrence Marshall (born December 30, 1937 Danville, Kentucky) played college football at Ohio State University. He left school before his senior year, and played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. He was then drafted in the 4th round of the 1960 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Marshall played the 1960 season with the Browns. He played from 1961 to 1979 with the Minnesota Vikings. He played in 282 consecutive games, a record since surpassed by Jeff Feagles. He still holds the record for documented consecutive starts with 270 although there is a question as to whether his consecutive starts streak is 270 or 282 due to a lack of documentation of his streak as a member of the Cleveland Browns.
He played in Pro Bowls after the 1968 and 1969 NFL seasons. He recovered 30 fumbles, an NFL record. He was a member of the Vikings' famous "Purple People Eaters", and was the final player from Minnesota's initial expansion team of 1961 to retire. The Vikings credit Marshall with 127 career quarterback sacks, second most in Viking History behind Carl Eller.
During his time with the Minnesota Vikings, Marshall was involved in one of the most embarrassing moments in professional sports history on October 25, 1964. In a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Marshall recovered a fumble, but ran 66 yards with it the wrong way, into his own end zone. Thinking that he had scored a touchdown for the Vikings, Marshall then threw the ball away in celebration. The ball landed out of bounds, resulting in a safety for the 49ers. Fortunately for Marshall, his Vikings won the game 27-22, in part because of a key sack and fumble he forced after his miscue. Marshall later received a letter from Roy Riegels reading "Welcome to the club". While playing for the University of California, Riegels was tagged with the nickname "Wrong Way" after making a similar blunder in the 1929 Rose Bowl. Unlike Marshall's mistake, Riegels' run cost his team dearly; the two points scored from the ensuing safety off of the blocked punt proved to be the margin of defeat in an 8-7 loss.