John “Bull” Bramlett was born July 7, 1941 in Memphis, Tennessee. As a two-time NFL All-Pro Linebacker, his career spanned over seven years (1965 thru 1971) with four different teams:
the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Boston Patriots, and Atlanta Falcons.
Bramlett was a two-sport athlete at Humes High School in Memphis, TN. John won All City, All-State and All-American honors in football and All City and All State honors in baseball. Bramlett signed a scholarship at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis) to play football and baseball. At Memphis State he was named an honorable mention All-American his senior year and also played in the Senior Bowl in 1962. After leading Memphis state in hitting for four straight years, Bramlett signed a professional baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1963. John earned the nickname “Bull” while playing baseball in Winnipeg, Canada. During a game, Bramlett ran through a wooden fence after catching a foul ball down the third base lines. He played in that organization for 2 years until he was handed a lifetime ban from professional baseball after seriously injuring a man during an altercation at a bar in Homestead, FL. 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 lasted two seasons with the Broncos, making one appearance in the Pro Bowl in 1966 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 in 1968, before being traded to the Patriots along with quarterback Kim Hammond in exchange for Nick Buoniconti in 1969.
While playing for the Patriots, Bramlett was named the Most Valuable Player for the team in 1970. Because of Bramlett’s on the field aggressiveness and off the field antics, he was nicknamed the “Meanest Man in Football.” Bramlett was then released and played one more season with the Atlanta Falcons before retiring from the NFL in 1972.
Today, Bramlett is a lay evangelist after experiencing a conversion to Christianity in 1973. He has spoken to hundreds of churches, schools, prisons, conventions as well as NFL and MLB chapel services for the past 40 years.