Tim Brown woke up at 4:40 a.m. on Saturday morning. A television appearance prompted his early alarm, and the activity forced him to focus on the present. Then he spent three hours as guest host of a radio show. After that, his schedule opened up.
The legendary Raiders receiver had some respite, and went back to his hotel room for a nap. Problem: Brown couldn’t sleep. Not with the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection meeting ongoing in Arizona, which would determine whether he gets a gold jacket.
“I couldn’t sleep, so I was trying to stay busy,” Brown told CSN Bay Area on Saturday night. “Knowing that you were going to get a call between 4 and 5 o’clock made that effort pretty tough. Those last couple hours were mind-boggling. You keep staring at the phone, wondering when it’s going to ring. When it doesn’t ring, you start listening for a knock at the door. It was all good because of the outcome.”
The positive outcome was six years in the making. Brown was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, after several years as a finalist. It was a moment well deserved and long awaited, for a player who at times grew tired of the election process.
[RELATED: Former Raiders WR Tim Brown voted into Hall of Fame]
“A friend told me last night that I wouldn’t even remember the wait once I got in,” Brown said. “I looked at him like he was crazy. I mean, I’ve been waiting six years. You know what? He was exactly right. Now it doesn’t feel like I’ve been waiting long at all. I’m just so excited.”
Excitement built over the last few days and crescendoed on Saturday night at the NFL Honors show in Phoenix, where the class of 2015 was unveiled.
“I was getting some positive feedback from a lot of the voters,” Brown said. “That was the first time I didn’t hear, ‘This year may not be your year, but it’s coming.’ You never want to take something and run with it but, after what I’ve been through the last five years, you look for every bit of hope you can find. .... I felt better, and the reception was better. I’m glad to know that I wasn’t crazy and I was hearing the right things.”
Brown was proud to join the Hall of Fame as a Raider, where he played 16 seasons of an incredible 17-year career.
"The Raiders have a legacy of greatness," Brown said. "I had a lot of live up to. I had a Hall of Fame coach. You’re reminded every day of the standards you have on the field. From that standpoint, I knew I to work and be as good as I could possibly be every single day.
“…I’m all over the place right now. I’m just trying to take it all in. I understand the responsibility we have now and I want to live up to it. It’s an incredible honor."