The only goal as a player is to win a championship. You play hard, study hard and workout hard during grueling hours to get your body in shape. In the National Football League, you compete among the best but when you become one of the best, the next goal is to be remembered for it.
That time finally came for Tim Brown who will join Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Bill Polian, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff and Ron Wolf as the 2015 Hall of Fame Class. An honor many only dream about once their career is over. Brown who never won a Super Bowl spoke to the media yesterday about being inducted.
"I think I was 33 or 34 the first time someone mentioned to me that my numbers may be good enough to get in the Hall of Fame," said Brown. "It really wasn't something I thought about. I stayed focus on trying to finish my career and get to the Super Bowl and win a Super Bowl. You can't help but think about it a little afterwards."
Like Brown and so many others after retirement, wonder when will my name be called next? The highest honor of any sport is to be recognized by your efforts and performance on the field. Brown spent 16 years with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders after being drafted back in 1988. He became known as one of the NFL's most prolific wide receivers.
After failing multiple times to get into the Hall, Brown decided to protest the fact that no wide receivers went in during the years of 2011 and 2012. He approached Frank Cooney, one of the media members on the selection committee who had a voice about the section process. Brown rallied that a wide receiver should always be inducted, especially the number of great athletes awaiting to be called including Cris Carter and Andre Reed who were inducted in 2013 and 2014.
"Those are the only years I cry about," he explained. "My whole thing is I wanted to see a wide receiver go in. To go two years without putting anybody in was tough to deal with, no doubt about it."
Now it's his time to shine. Brown's playing days are a lot different from what we see on the football field today. Guys are bigger, stronger and can often work in a tandem of two. Reflecting back on his playing days Brown wouldn't change anything other than winning a Super Bowl. He earned his respect from his peers being deemed "Mr. Raider" for how he carried himself on and off the field, always putting God first.
"We did it the hard way," Brown said. "I had Willie Gault for a few years, James Jett, I think Jett was with me for 19 years. He was good for 25 or 30 catches every year and they were usually 50-yard or 60-yard catches sometimes. But everybody knew when it was 3rd and 10, and they needed to get the ball up the field, they were going to come to me."
"I played great football and that's why I earned my respect in the locker room while putting God first. It wasn't easy, especially playing gospel music in the locker room. It didn't happen over night."