Raiders great, Tim Brown, has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the past three years and has fallen short each time. In the meantime he has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and can now add Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame to that list.
"Initially, I'm like, ‘OK. All right,'because at that time I was waiting to see about the Pro Football Hall of Fame." Brown told Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group. "But somebody who is a baseball fan said, ‘Dude, you're going to be in a friggin' Hall of Fame with Willie Mays." I'm like, ‘Whoa.' It just sort of changed the whole perspective of what this is about. This is not a football Hall of Fame, this is a Bay Area sports deal. And from that standpoint, we really started to look forward to this night."
Known as "Mr Raider", Tim Brown was the greatest Raiders receiver since the days when Fred Biletnikoff suited up in Silver and Black in the 70's. And while he was setting records for the Raiders in the 90's and 00's, Biletnikoff was his position coach. In fact, there was only two of Brown's 16-year career (88, 04) he wasn't coached by Biletnikoff and only three of Biletnikoff's 18-year NFL coaching career (04-06) he didn't have Brown to coach. So, it was only right that it was Biletnikoff who presented him at the ceremony.
"To me, it was the only choice. Freddy was, what did I play, 15-16 years with the Raiders, and he saw the whole maturation process," Brown said. "From struggling coming off my knee injury to being just happy be on the field to wanting to play hard to more to starting to making Pro Bowls and until the end of the 16 years.
"From that standpoint, I needed him to be part of the ceremony tonight. Whatever he's going to say, he's going to say because it's not or ever was about his words. It's just about him being part of the ceremony."
"Watching Tim play for all those years was amazing," Biletnikoff said in his induction speech. "I could never be so proud."
It may not be the all-important Pro Football Hall of Fame, but it is a Hall of Fame and an accomplishment none the less. Perhaps when he has been inducted into every other Hall of Fame, he will finally break through into Canton.