Once you survey the NFL data, you realize that there are some absolute performance records that have never been broken or even matched. Speculations and surface observations are not suitable for the times we live in. Sportswriters need to recognize the facts and study the global and local data which stands up to the test of time.
For example, Tim Brown has been a Hall of Fame finalist for three consecutive years. He spent most of his career with the Oakland Raiders, spanning from 1988 to 2003.
In 1997, Brown had 104 receptions. The total yards for those receptions was 1408, and his average was 13.5 yards/receptions. Brown was definitely a war horse on the playing field. His record reminded me of another war horse who preceded Brown. His name is Warren Wells, a 69-year old retired wide receiver whose career was loaded with intensity and integrity.
The definition of intensity, in my opinion, is the high percentages over a career of five years or less. In order to have a bit of comparability, let's look at the first five years of Brown and Wells' careers. For more balance, Bob Hayes' data was added to the analysis.
Keeping in mind the definition of intensity, we see that both Wells and Hayes had extremely high production in the early stages of their careers. In the 21st century the coaches tend to give a player or wide receiver a couple of years to develop into a masterpiece.
Nonetheless, Wells and Hayes made big plays in the early stages of their career.Their percentages are very high during the first five years of their career as players on the NFL playing field.
Brown had longevity and his numbers are impressive. Overall, Brown had an illustrious and consistent career over a long time period. The research shows that the average length of an NFL career is about 3.5 years so a career of four or more years is outstanding.
With this criteria in mind, Wells and Brown can be compared because Wells lasted five years in the NFL. His career was interrupted, however, when he was drafted into the United States Army before becoming an Oakland Raider. Wells has a gap in his career because he served in the military.
Brown and Hayes did not have to deal with mandatory draft. Their careers had no gap in them. This means that even with the two year gap in Wells career, he still had outstanding performance on the playing field with the Oakland Raiders. He was the first player with the nickname War Horse. Indeed, he served his country and he served the Raider Nation with graceful, accurate and phenomenal performance.
Both Wells and Hayes had a few social challenges, but their performance on the playing field was unquestionably superior.
Tim Brown has avoided social conflicts and difficult situations. He has the data, the consistency on the playing field and in his social encounters, yet he has not been able to jump the hurdles to land in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
The local and global analysis of Tim Brown point to the fact that something is amiss when he continues to make to the finalist level for the Hall of Fame, yet he has not been enshrined.
Finally, if you look at the NFL players solely on their performance on the playing field, then you realize that others need to be considered. Bob Hayes had an advocate to help him make it through the Hall of Fame selection process. Wells has the data, the intensity and integrity on the playing field and only a few occasions has he been mentioned in those circles.
Tim Brown has had no issues and he is an Oakland Raider who had illustrious performance over a long period of time. He needs advocates and the best ones to do it are the fans in the Raider Nation.
Tim Brown should be supported for enshrinement to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Brown's data stands up to local and global analysis. He has consistent and meritorious performance both on the playing field which is what he is to be rewarded for, and even off the playing field.
Support Tim Brown for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.