Tim Brown’s Long Overdue Hall Of Fame Wait Is Finally Over


It’s been a lot of years since former Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders great Tim Brown has been on the football field, but once again all eyes are on him. And deservedly so. For this weekend, Brown’s very long overdue wait for enshrinement into the Hall of Fame finally comes to an end.

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It seems mind boggling that a man who carries the credentials Tim Brown does had to wait as long as he did to get into the Hall – that’s six years after he first became eligible, if you’re scoring at home. And equally mind boggling to some, is the fact that Brown’s wait for enshrinement came while receivers like Cris Carter and Andre Reed – greats in their own right – but lacking the credentials that Brown has – were inducted before him.

Adding to the frustration, not only was Brown passed over several times, he was also forced to wait through two years when the Hall did not induct a receiver at all.

But the past is the past, we suppose, and this one glaring oversight has finally been corrected and Brown, Mr. Raider himself, is finally getting his due with his induction this weekend.

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Tim Brown almost didn’t become the Tim Brown Raider fans know and love. He started his high school career as a member of the marching band, in part because his mother didn’t want him to play football. But in his sophomore year, he opted to play for the team – but didn’t tell his mother.

"“I was still going to games on Friday nights, so she thought I was still playing in the band. Then I made a big play and it was in the newspaper. One of her friends told her that her son was in the paper, and my mom thought I was in trouble for something.What did you do?’ she asked me. She was upset. … I didn’t know I was in the paper, so we went through the whole thing. And then she saw the ‘Sophomore Sensation’ headline.”"

Though not thrilled with his decision – and continually trying to talk him out of it – Brown’s mother relented and let him play. And the history of the NFL – not to mention the history of the Raiders – is far richer for it.

Brown’s march through the Raiders’ – and the NFL’s – record books is arguably, one of the most amazing feats of any received in the Hall. Over his storied 17 season career, Brown played with 19 different quarterbacks. 19. The list of guys who threw him the ball — Rich Gannon aside — reads like a rogue’s gallery of guys you would not want to build your franchise around: Jay Schroeder, Jeff Hostetler, Jeff George, Steve Beuerlein, Brian Griese, Vince Evans, Todd Marinovich, Billy Joe Hobert, David Klingler, Donald Hollas, Wade Wilson, Bobby Hoying, Marques Tuiasosopo, Rick Mirer, Tee Martin, Rob Johnson, Brad Johnson and Chris Simms — all had turns throwing the ball to Brown. And despite that, he somehow still managed to be one of the best in the game.

There is no other receiver currently in the Hall of Fame who has had to deal with and overcome that sort of adversity and still find a way to not just be productive, but to thrive the way Brown did.

"“To be consistent for that many years with so many quarterbacks is something I’m very proud of. I don’t know if a lot of other guys weathered through some of the things that had to be done. It was sometimes more mental than it was physical to get on the same page of these guys and almost babysit some of the young quarterbacks.”"

Brown ended his truly remarkable career with some of the best numbers not just in Raiders’ team history, but in the history of the NFL as well.

With 1,070 receptions and 14,734 yards, Brown is the Raiders’ team leader in both categories – by an insanely wide margin. Fred Biletnikoff is currently number two with 589 receptions for 8,974 yards. He also has 99 receiving touchdowns to go with those numbers. Brown is also Oakland’s career leader in punt returns (320) and punt return yardage (3,272). His nine straight seasons posting at least 1,000 receiving yards is also the best in team history.

Brown currently sits at number six on the NFL’s all time career receiving yardage list with 14,934 yards. He is also number five in NFL history with 1,094 receptions and his 100 touchdown receptions make him the seventh best in league history. And Brown’s 19,682 all purpose yards make him the fifth best in NFL history in that category.

The point here is that Brown had one of the greatest, most remarkable careers in league history, and it’s well past time that the Hall of Fame recognize him for his achievements. It’s terrific to see that this oversight is being corrected this weekend, and Raider fans around the world will be watching, quite likely with a tear in their eye, as Tim Brown – Mr. Raider – who authored some of the greatest moments in franchise history, is finally getting his due.

It sometimes takes the Hall a little while to get things right. In this case, it took six years. But they finally got it square.

Congratulations to Tim Brown on a truly remarkable career, and a fitting capstone to it – induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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