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Tim Brown gets excited every year he’s named a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist. After five years of hoping in vain, he’s found a way cope. He certainly hopes the sixth time’s the charm, but it’s no slam dunk with the finalists announced on Thursday evening.
“I was feeling good until I saw that final list last night,” Brown said on Friday in an interview with 95.7 FM’s John Lund and Greg Papa. “There are some great players in the group, including several first-ballot guys. It’s never easy to get in the hall of fame, and this year won’t be any different. We’ll see what happens. My only hope and prayer is that, if they put a receiver in, that they put the ‘80s in and not the 90s guy so we can move on with this process. We’ll see what happens.”
A logjam at receiver has thinned out, but competition remains.
That guy from the 1990s is Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison, who made hay as Peyton Manning’s favorite target for a dozen years with the Indianapolis Colts.
Harrison has 1,102 receptions for 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns. He’s a six-time All-Pro and an eight-time Pro Bowler.
Brown has 1,094 receptions for 14,934 yards and 100 touchdown catches. He had five more touchdowns as a rusher or a return man and his 19,682 yards of total offense ranks No. 5 in NFL history.
Just because a receiver’s on the ballot doesn’t mean one gets in the Hall of Fame. Brown learned that his second year on the ballot, when the Super Bowl – the Hall of Fame vote is always at that site – was in Dallas.
“People were saying (the voters) were going to make it happen for me in Dallas, my hometown,” Brown said. “When it didn’t happen, that was one of the lowest points of my life in terms of being disappointed, second only to when I got hurt my second year in the league and I thought my career was over.
“It was a tough place to come back from, because that year they didn’t put a receiver in at all.”
Brown has calloused some since that year, but hasn’t given up hope that he’ll finally get a gold jacket.
“It’s tough. It really is,” Brown said. “I do a good job of handling my own emotions, but it’s the people around you for whom you have to manage expectations. Twitter Nation and Raider Nation and Irish Nation don’t get it.
“You just have to keep being the guy with the smile on your face, you know?”