William Dorsey Brown (born June 29, 1938) is a former American football player. Brown was a running back in the National Football League for 14 seasons, including 13 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, and was named to the Pro Bowl four times.
After graduation from Mendota High School, Brown played college football at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was an All-Big Ten fullback, and also won the Big Ten shot put title and set an Illinois record with a toss of 54 ft 10.5 in (16.73 m).
Brown was a second round choice (twentieth overall) of the Chicago Bears in the 1961 NFL Draft. He bought a German Shepherd pup after being picked by them, naming him Bear. Brown was traded to the Vikings before the 1962 season, for a fourth-round draft pick in the 1964 NFL Draft; subsequently, he renamed the dog Vikes. Brown played for the Vikings for 13 seasons, and was named to the Pro Bowl after the 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1968 NFL seasons, earning the nickname "Boom-Boom" for his reckless, and often violent, running style.
Brown holds many Vikings team records. Brown holds Vikings records for most games played by a running back (182), most consecutive games played by a running back (101), and most games started by a running back (111). He ranks fourth for career rushing yards (5,757), trailing Robert Smith (6,818), Adrian Peterson, and Chuck Foreman (5,887). Brown holds the team record for career rushing attempts (1627), and is tied for third in team history in rushing touchdowns (52). He ranks fourth in career points scored (456), behind Fred Cox, Fuad Reveiz, and Cris Carter. Brown's combined rushing and receiving yards (9237) ranks third, behind Darrin Nelson and Cris Carter.
Rich Gannon, former Oakland Raiders quarterback, is his son-in-law.