Saturday afternoon, the NFL continued to give evidence to those who claim that the NFL hates the Raiders. Tim Brown, who is an all-time top 5 wide receiver, was not voted into the hall of fame. The main reason is likely because he was up against Jerry Rice, a man who leads the NFL in every major receiving category. But just because of Jerry Rice (who certainly deserves to be inducted), why couldn't Tim Brown also have been inducted. Brown was the 1st WR to win a Heisman trophy in college, he holds NFL records for: rookie-season record for most combined yards gained, with 2,317 yards as a WR and special teams returner in 1988, record for 10 straight seasons with at least 75 catches and he is the oldest player to return a punt for a touchdown, 35. He leads all Raiders WRs in: games played with 240, 104 total TDs--99 receiving, 1,070 catches for 14,734 yards, 19,431 all-purpose yards including 14,924 from scrimmage.
Now that I'm done boring you with stats and big numbers, I will get to my point. Just because Jerry Rice was inducted, doesn't mean that Brown had to miss out. Imagine on August 7, 2010 the picture of Tim Brown and Jerry Rice being honored on the same night. That would be one of the most legendary ceremonies of all-time. Brown and Rice were the best tandem of Raiders WRs since the old days of Fred Biletnikoff and Cliff Branch. Tim Brown WILL be in the hall of fame some day, so why wait?
This article isn't just about the Tim Brown denial, Brown joins a group of Raiders who have been neglected the ensrhinement that they deserve. This year Tim Brown went further than any other Raider (I don't consider Jerry Rice a Raider because of how brief his time was here--2001-04 comapred to his 15 years in S.F.) Other Raiders turned down this year were:
Tom Flores (won 2 Super Bowls) , Lester Hayes (13 INTs in the 1980 championship season still an AFC record...Hayes added 5 INTs in the playoffs) and Jim Plunkett (a great comeback story...from out of the NFl to a 2-time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl XV MVP). Cliff Branch was also denied this year: he was part of all 3 Raiders Super Bowl Champion teams, and he had 501 catches for 8,685 yards and 67 TDs.
About the Tom Flores denial, how does a coach with 2 titles not get inducted? Even if he wasn't a 1st ballot, he should be in by now! Lester Hayes was denied because...? Stick'em was perfectly legal while he used it and most of his opponents and teammates have said he didn't need to use it to catch the ball. He set an AFC record for INTs...that means he is one of the best! He also had 2 rings.
Then there is Jim Plunkett. A Cinderella story career, he was out of the league and then Oakland signed him as a back-up, he entered the starting lineup because of injury. He took over while the Raiders were 2-3 and falling out of playoff contention. The Raiders went 9-2 with Plunkett and earned a wild-card spot. They were the 1st wild-card team to win a Super Bowl. I don't need to give you stats to prove that he deserves to be in Canton. If you're wondering: 16 seaons, 1,943 completions with 3,701 attempts, 25,882 yards and 164 TDs with 198 INTs giving him a career rating of 67.5. The stats aren't pretty but he was the 1980 comeback player of the year, so he had to go down to come back up.
So regardless of what the guys in suits with the ballots say, the Raiders legends are just as good, maybe better, than the players who are in Canton. Jerry Rice is the 19th player with Raider experience to be in Canton, many more belong.
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