Brown Hoping for Hall Call


Q: Last couple years when this time was rolling around, we've reached you and you've said you didn't want to talk about. Why this time do you want to address it?**

Brown:"When I was introduced to this process, and what a gut-wrenching process it is, one of the things that I was told was that basically how you come in is how you're going to go out. How you get into the process is how you go out. That hasn't been the case, because Andre Reed came in before Cris Carter, but Cris went in before Andre. God knows my man, Charles Haley, has been out there all those years and people have gone in and out without him sniffing the HOF. I really think, not that this is my best shot, but now that I'm the veteran guy in the receiving group, I'm hoping that I will get a little bit more favor this time when it comes to this deal. We'll see what happens, but at the same time… I've always talked about Jerry [Rice], just suddenly because of the process, you know that you don't have any control of it. I would never want anyone to think I was trying to campaign for this. I'm going to be down at radio row next week and I'm sure we're going to get plenty of questions about this."

Q: Do you feel that the logjam may have subsided a little bit and that this is your turn?

Brown:"Certainly the logjam is not the same. Obviously Marvin Harrison is out there, so that's one guy, not two guys. We knew Jerry was a foregone conclusion. It certainly makes it a lot better when you look at geographically how we played, the three of us, Cris, Andre and myself, we literally divided the country. You got to know the country from the west coast to the east coast. From that standpoint, it was a difficult process. Now, it's been decided to go with the receiver, at least it's two guys and not three."

Q: What is it like emotionally for you when you're going through this process?

Brown:"Andre Reed is a really good friend. I really wanted this to happen to him, because I know how important it is to him. Not that it's not important to me, but it was a lot easier to digest it last year. Even when Cris was in it the year before that, because you know these guys deserve it. You can't say 'I should have gone in before him,' but I probably had a lot of people around me say that but it's never anything I'm going to say, for sure. How can one say 'my career was a lot better than his.' I can't get into that kind of thing. From that standpoint, it's a process that you just have to keep your emotions in check. Certainly the people around you, more importantly, you have to keep their emotions in check."


Q: Is that a strange thing to know that you probably are going to be a Hall of Famer but to have no idea when?**

Brown:"It is. If I had a dollar for every time somebody said, 'Oh you're definitely going to get in, it's just a matter of time.' If I had a dollar every time I can recount it. I said to someone the other day, the process can get so difficult that you almost wish they could tell you that this is going to be your year, and whatever that day is, you just prepare for that. Going through this process is very, very tough. I can deal with it. I'm used to the tough questions and the tough defeats and big wins. The people around me have no idea how to deal with this stuff. It's amazing that I have to talk other people off the ledge and not myself."

Q: Some people believe that if you deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, you should go in, regardless of the position. Would you say you agree with that?

Brown:"The problem is they have this thing limited to five people, seven counting the Veterans Committee. I would have thought by now, because of the influence of the guys who are eligible, they would have extended that number up to seven guys plus the two, or maybe even a total of 10 guys to go in. I understand the exclusivity deal. But, believe me, that must be something that the voters think about, because as a player you could care less how many guys are going in with you. You want to be in. Obviously that's how we feel, but at the same time, there's nothing that can be done about the process or will be done about the process. It is what it is and you just have to live through it."


Q: Do you ever try to talk to any of the selectors and find out what went on inside that room or your presenter? Or would you rather not know?**

Brown:"I think the first year, everybody had hyped me up and everybody was saying there was a chance, I may have sat down with him after that year and tried to figure out exactly what was going on. Basically, I get the same thing from them every year. He said when he talks to people everybody said that they're going to do it, but then nobody does it, then everybody says they did it. Everyone says I voted for him. From that standpoint, it becomes a useless process of going around the room and trying to figure out who did what and why didn't they do what they said they were going to do. When these folks make up their mind that they're going to put you in, they're going to put you in. From that standpoint, I don't think there's anything else you can do about it."

Q: Did it catch you off guard that a receiver, Marvin Harrison, made it a step further you even though he came in after you?

Brown:"I didn't even realize that, to be honest with you. All I knew is that I didn't make the top 10, then after that I pretty much… I was in the helicopter ride from Atlantic City to New York the last year when all of this was going on. By the time I landed, I knew what the final deal was. I don't think I knew about the breakdown. It is what it is."

Q: How much has it hurt your candidacy since you've retired that guys are putting up bigger and bigger numbers because of the increase in passing stats?

Brown:"I don't know why it would hurt what we did, because it's not like all these guys are racing by our numbers. Yeah, they're putting up great numbers. I know Larry Fitzgerald got to 900 quicker than anybody, but the last couple years for him have just been OK by his standards, not by anyone else's. It's going to be interesting to see how these guys finish up. We all had pretty long careers. I don't see these guys playing that long, simply because they're going to make so much money, there's not going to be any reason for them to. The only reason to play long is to have your name in the top five, top two or top three in the NFL. It's going to be interesting to see if these guys can fight through to get to that. I tell people all the time that football is not a rich man's sport. Once you get the riches, it's pretty hard to go in the middle of a field and take a hit in the head. I know you can't get hit in the head anymore, but still, to take those shots, it's not something you're going to want to do. It's going to be interesting. I think that argument, I don't necessarily agree with it. It would be one thing if you have 20 receivers who were racing by, but I don't think that's going to end up being the case."


Congratulations Tim Brown - Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015! Check out some of the best moments of his career.

Q: We've been talking a lot about the stress that goes along with this process. Will this process change the way you view being a Hall of Famer, if you get to that point?**

Brown:"Sort of yes and no. Once you're in, you're in. All the glory or whatever that comes with that, comes with that. Sitting on the outside is a difficult process even to think that way. For me, I tell people one of the things that people say to you all the time is, 'Hey, once you get in, it's going to be great, whatever, whatever.' In the five years, now six years that I've been up, I've lost my dad in that time, lost a great friend in Chester McGlockton, who was my best friend in the world, and Mr. [Al] Davis has passed away. Those are three people that I won't get an opportunity to shake their hand and get a congratulations from them. Or Chester hitting me in the back of the head saying, 'Boy, I can't believe they put your sorry butt in the Hall of Fame.' Those are things that I don't get the opportunity to enjoy. So from that standpoint, you can't get those moments back. Will it be sweeter than it would have been? Absolutely not. I've said that since the day I lost those guys that not having those guys around, it's going to make this process – even once you get in – it's going to make it bittersweet."

Q: What do you think Tim Brown's legacy is going to be when people look back at your career?

Brown:"One of the things I hear is people trying to figure out how I got done what I got done with the group I had around me. I take a little onus of that, simply because everybody looks at the names and say, 'Well, this guy was not the kind of caliber of this guy or that guy, but these guys were quality football players.' We had a lot of different circumstances going on at the time that may have caused their careers to not go as they should. For me, I think the one thing that I am proud of is the fact that no matter who the quarterback was, who the GM was, who the offensive coordinator was, I was able to go out and put up numbers. That's the one thing that I am super proud of and the one thing that I think sets me apart from anybody that is out there because the one question that somebody asked me is, 'If you were in the room, what would you ask the voters?' I said I would ask them one question: You name one other receiver that was willing to trade positions with Tim Brown? Name one guy that would say, 'I'll give up Peyton Manning, I'll give up [Joe] Montana, [Steve] Young. Jerry [Rice] and I have had this conversation for years. Michael Irvin and I had that conversation for years. I used to ask him all the time at the Pro Bowl, 'You want to switch with me? C'mon, switch with me.' But he would never take me up on that offer. (laughing) I probably did it the hard way. I probably could have left and gone. I actually did try to sign a contract with the Broncos way back in 1994, but the Raiders brought me back and I decided that I was going to be a lifetime Raider. Maybe that is going to be my downfall in this deal. I should have left and went to some team with some great quarterback and put the numbers up. But I'm happy that I stayed where I was and did what I did."

Q: Has the fact that some Hall of Famers campaigning for you contributed to your optimism? And do you think the committee is listening?

Brown:"I don't know what kind of effect that has on the committee. Again, Andre [Reed] and I, going back to my rookie year in 1988, we made the Pro Bowl together. I think it was his first, and obviously it was my first. We have been really, really good friends through all this and through the end of his career. It's just one of those things. It's much bigger than just the Hall of Fame with the two of us. From that standpoint, I am not shocked that he is saying that. I was with him London for the Raider game. He talked about it then and wanted to do a whole bunch of stuff. I said, 'Andre, man, I am not asking you to do anything.' He is who he is. And of course Jerry [Rice] and I, I think Jerry had a totally different respect for me once he came over and played with the Raiders and understood everything that I had dealt with and how I kept fighting through it and getting it done. Again, he's a guy who is a good friend. He's a good friend and I wouldn't expect him to say anything other than what he said. At the same time, I don't know it's affecting the voters or not. I heard one time that if a guy played with you or is the same position, then they don't take that into consideration. But if a guy that played against you is saying that – that's not a teammate – then they make take it into consideration. I appreciate what the guys are saying, but I don't know if it's having an effect on the voters."

Q: Do you think the special teams statistics and aspect of your game get overlooked?

Brown:"It's hard for me to say yes on that, but I would assume so because you never hear people bring it up for the most part when they're talking about it. I know one year, I told Frank Cooney, who is a guy that represents me, to make that the emphasis of his conversation. But it didn't seem as if people wanted to hear that. I think that was the year that they didn't put in a receiver. It must have been the year before Cris Carter went in, 2012. I don't know what it is about that because, again, that was obviously a big part of who I was. I did see on one broadcast that they had me listed as wide receiver/kick returner/punt returner. That was exciting for me to see because that's the thing that I have been telling people, even before this process came about that you couldn't look at me as just being a receiver because obviously I had to do more on the football field than just play receiver."

Q: What do you think of the Jack Del Rio hire and the Raiders' progress?

Brown:"I don't want to say I was shocked, but at the same time, I thought Del Rio was one of these guys that didn't like the Raiders. It was good to hear that he grew up being a Raider fan. Jack and I go way back. Obviously we played against each other back in the day. I think it's a great hire for the Raiders. This is a guy that is a tough guy, a guy that has a lot of experience. I think the number I saw was 139 games he has coached, and that's big. I think the Raiders needed a coach that had been there, done that already. I think second time around he knows exactly what to do and what not to do. I think he's going to be great. I am looking forward to coming out there and shaking his hand and congratulating him in person. I have done that on Twitter and all that kind of stuff. I think Jack is going to be great, and I am looking forward to see what he is going to be able to put together."

Q: Who would be presenting you should you make it in this year?

Brown:"It would definitely be my brother. He is the reason why I started playing football. I thought I was going to be a basketball player, but he is the one who convinced me to start playing football, so it would definitely be him."

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