“I really have no clue. That’s not me playing coy. Nobody knows exactly what the parameters are and why they choose who they choose. To me, all I care about is if they spell my name right when I do go in.”
In a recent interview, former Heisman Trophy winner and Oakland Raiders legend Tim Brown expressed some concern that he will once again be passed over for induction into the football Hall of Fame. It’s utterly mind boggling that a player of Tim Brown’s caliber, consistency and accomplishments, now in his fifth year of eligibility, has yet to receive the call that he’s being enshrined in Canton. It’s more than mind boggling. It’s a crime.
Of the 22 receivers already inducted into the Hall of Fame, only Jerry Rice has more receiving yards than Brown’s 14,394. Only two have more than his 1,094 total receptions. And only three have as many or more than his 100 touchdowns. Tim Brown was one of the most consistent receivers to ever play the game and yet, he is still on the outside of the Hall looking in. The question is, why?
Some believe that with Andre Reed and Marvin Harrison also up for induction this season, it creates more of a logjam at the receiver position and might make it tough for Brown to get the 80 percent of the vote required to get in. All three have compelling arguments for induction, though Brown has assembled a better overall resume. With his 1,094 receptions, 14,394 receiving yards, 105 touchdowns, 19,683 all-purpose yards, and 9 1,000-yard seasons, Harrison and Reed, as great as they are, simply don’t measure up. Both Reed and Harrison are Hall worthy, of that there is no question. But neither should be enshrined before Brown who can boast accomplishments that neither of them can.
The common wisdom says that Harrison will get the votes necessary to be enshrined in this, his first year of eligibility while Brown will be forced to wait for another year. Or longer. The most compelling argument against that though, is that Harrison played the majority of his career as the favorite target of another sure fire Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning. Tim Brown compiled his impressive stats by being consistently great while having a series of far less than stellar quarterbacks throwing him the ball. Peyton Manning helped make Marvin Harrison while Tim Brown had to do it on his own. Barry Sanders is acknowledged — and rightfully so — for being a brilliant running back who accomplished all that he did without much of an offensive line to help him. If that argument is valid — and it most assuredly is — then Brown’s accomplishments, achieved mostly without a dynamic quarterback, sometimes without a competent quarterback under center, is equally as valid.
“I was able to accomplish some things that others couldn’t. So, no matter what happens with this Hall of Fame deal, there will always be things for me to look back and be proud of.”
Marvin Harrison was a great receiver. But so was Tim Brown. He shouldn’t have had to wait five years for induction to begin with. And he shouldn’t have to wait another day, let alone another year more. The Hall of Fame voters need to pull their collective heads out and do the right thing by inducting Tim Brown with the Class of 2014.