James Norman "Dirty Thirty" Young (born June 6, 1943) is a former professional American football and Canadian football player. Young played running back and wide receiver for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings for one season (1965-66), and the CFL's BC Lions for twelve seasons (1967-79). Young is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the BC Sports Hall of Fame, and the Queen's University Football Hall of Fame. Young's #30 jersey is one of eight numbers retired by the BC Lions. In 2003, Young was voted a member of the BC Lions All-Time Dream Team as part of the club's 50 year anniversary celebration. In 2006, Young was voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL's top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.
Young was nicknamed "Dirty Thirty", for his aggressive style and jersey number. Sports journalist Jim Taylor would write a football biography of Young featuring the same name.
1 National Football League - Minnesota Vikings,
2 Canadian Football League - BC Lions,
3 Post football playing career and awards,
National Football League - Minnesota Vikings:
Young was the first CIS football player, playing for Queens University, drafted into the National Football League in 1965. He played Running back/halfback for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1965 and 1966 seasons (playing 6 games, rushing 3 times for 4 yards, and returning 6 punts).
Young ended up signing with the Canadian Football League's BC Lions in a multi-player "trade" between the NFL and the CFL teams, one of the very few transactions to ever occur between the two leagues.
Young wanted to return to Canada, and the BC Lions were very interested in acquiring him, however the Toronto Argonauts had his CFL rights.
The Minnesota Vikings were very interested in signing BC Lions quarterback Joe Kapp.
The Minnesota Vikings general manager at the time was Jim Finks, who had brought Kapp to Canada back in the 1959 CFL season, and their head coach was Bud Grant who had faced Kapp while coaching the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Both Finks and Grant, wanted to sign Joe Kapp to replace Fran Tarkenton who had been traded to the New York Giants.
To make this transaction possible, the BC Lions traded all-star defensive lineman Dick Fouts, and future Canadian Football Hall of Fame running back Bill Symons to the Argonauts for the CFL rights to Jim Young. They then managed getting Kapp waived out of the Canadian Football League.
The Minnesota Vikings managed getting Jim Young waived out of the NFL. The expansion New Orleans Saints wanted Young and it took some work from Finks to keep them from claiming Young.
Young, now waived from the NFL, signed with the BC Lions and Joe Kapp, who was waived from the CFL, was free to sign with the Minnesota Vikings, who had previously claimed his NFL playing rights from the Washington Redskins.
Canadian Football League - BC Lions:
Young played from the 1967 to 1979 season with the BC Lions (for 197 games,) primarily as a wide receiver. Young was named a CFL All-Star at wide receiver for the 1972 season, and was a two-time Western Conference All Star at two positions (running back in 1969, wide receiver in 1972). Young was awarded the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award in the 1970 and 1972 seasons.
He gained a reputation for his hard nosed play, hence the nickname "Dirty 30". His style of play forced defensive backs to watch out for him.
Young previously held several BC Lions team records, including most receptions, 552, most receiving yards, 9248, and most receiving touchdowns, with 65. These now are all held by Geroy Simon. He is one of only two Lions to surpass the 10,000 yard mark overall and he dominated the Lions offense for many years despite playing with 23 different quarterbacks. He saw action in five playoff seasons for B.C. and still ranks as the fifth all-time leading scorer in club history at 410 points.
Young's #30 jersey is one of eight numbers retired by the Lions.
Post football playing career and awards:
Young joined the BC Lions team management after his retirement, and briefly coached the Lions on an interim basis during the 1990 CFL season.
In 1991, Young was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. In 1994, he was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. In November, 2006, Young was voted to the Honour Roll of the CFL's top 50 players of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN. In 2011 he was an inaugural inductee in the BC Football Hall of Fame.