Did Tim Brown "sabotage" his Hall of Fame candidacy with his talk of former Raiders coach Bill Callahan allegedly sabotaging Oakland's most recent Super Bowl appearance?
Brown, a four-time finalist for enshrinement in Canton, was among the first five candidates eliminated Saturday in New Orleans, where voting took place to announce the Class of 2013. Two of Brown's contemporaries -- Cris Carter and Andre Reed -- made the cut to 10, and Carter was among the final seven elected, despite all three receivers having similar career numbers:
* Brown -- 1,094 receptions, 14,934 yards, 100 TDs, 255 games, 17 seasons.
* Carter -- 1,101 receptions, 13,899 yards, 130 TDs, 234 games, 16 seasons.
* Reed -- 951 receptions, 13,198 yards, 87 TDs, 234 games over 16 seasons.
It was the sixth time Carter had been a Hall of Fame finalist, the seventh time for Reed.
The Raiders recognize 19 Hall of Famers as their own in Marcus Allen, Fred Biletnikoff, George Blanda, Bob Brown, Willie Brown, Dave Casper, Al Davis, Eric Dickerson, Mike Haynes, Ted Hendricks, James Lofton, Howie Long, Ronnie Lott, John Madden, Jim Otto, Jerry Rice, Art Shell, Gene Upshaw and Rod Woodson.
Warren Sapp, who played the final four seasons of his career in Oakland, would be No. 20, though fans will have a hard time accepting that with the way he bashed the organization as a member of the media.
And while Brown's numbers are indeed Canton-worthy, in this corner he is only fifth in the pecking order of Raiders deserving of enshrinement, behind Jim Plunkett, a two-time Super Bowl winner with a storybook comeback story, Tom Flores, who owns four Super Bowl rings and is the first minority coach to win a Super Bowl, Cliff Branch, who has three rings and stacks up sadistically with Hall of Famer Lynn Swann, and Ray Guy, who revolutionized the punter position, not to mention the likes of Lester Hayes, a four-time Hall finalist who had a 13-interception season, Ken Stabler, a league MVP and three-time finalist, and Dave Dalby, a starting center on three Super Bowl winners.
The final Hall of Fame class of 2013, then: Carter, Sapp, OL Larry Allen, DT Curley Culp, OT Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells and LB Dave Robinson.