The phrase "do a Brodie" (or "pull a Brodie") gained colloquial signifigance thanks to the recklessness of a New York saloonkeeper named Steve Brodie who, on July 23rd, 1886, jumped from the three-year-old Brooklyn Bridge to win a $200 bet. Some claim that he faked the stunt, but his story was supported by The New York Times, and the police arrested him for his seemingly-suicidal 135-foot dive. While any dangerous, pointless stunt may be referred to as "doing a Brodie", the term is particularly applied to spinning maneuvers in surfing, skateboarding, and amateur automobile racing.

Reference: The People's Almanac;David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace; Doubleday; 1975