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Brown, Tim

Tim Brown

1966-

American football player

A standout at Notre Dame and one of the best wide receivers in National Football league (NFL) history, Oakland Raider Tim Brown continues to break records and propel his team to the top of the standings. Though not without some rocky times with team management, he's the only Raider who has scored points four different ways: on a pass reception, on a rush, and by running back a kickoff

return and a punt return. He is the Raiders all-time scoring leader and has been selected to ten pro bowls. In 2002, Brown entered the record books as only the third receiver in NFL history to have over 1000 career catches.

Growing Up

Tim Brown was born on July 22, 1966, in Dallas, Texas, to Josephine and Eugene Brown. He was a child gifted in many areas, possessing athletic prowess as well as brains, dedication, and determination. During his high school years, he was an all-around outstanding student and athlete, and according to his NFL.com biography, was named a Prep All-American and was twice an All-District running back for Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas.

Brown developed into a great leader, and by his senior season was the team captain in football, basketball, and track, as well as being the sports editor for the school paper. By the time he graduated, he had over 4,000 all-purpose yards and was a prodigy at returning punts and kickoffs for touchdowns.

Though Tim Brown is known today for his excellence on the football field, like many great athletes he could have easily gone to another sport. His NFL.com biography lists him as All-District guard in basketball his senior year, and his senior spring he set a district record with a 24 foot 3 inch long jump. He was also one of the fastest quarter-milers in the country.

Despite not having racked up many victories in high school football (in his last three years at Woodrow Wilson, the team won only four games), Brown chose to continue his football career at Notre Dame, where he became one of the most outstanding players in Notre Dame history.

While at the school he played for both Gerry Faust and Lou Holtz. His junior season he earned his national reputation as a standout player, hauling in 45 receptions for 910 yards and five touchdowns, rushing the ball fifty-nine times for two touchdowns. But Brown's speed and versatility transferred to special teams, as well, where, in his junior year he had twenty-five kickoff returns for 698 yards, averaging just under twenty-eight yards per return. In all, he averaged 176.1 yards per game, a school record.

He would be just as impressive in his senior season at Notre Dame, and by the time he left, he was regarded as one of "most explosive all-around talents in Notre Dame History," and culminating a phenomenal college career by winning the Heisman trophy (1987). He also won the Walter Camp Trophy, a Timmie award, and was the Sporting News College Football Player of the Year. Tim Brown's name tops the Notre Dame record books in many categories, among them receiving yardage, kickoff returns, and kickoffs and punts returned for touchdowns.

Chronology

1966 Born July 22 in Dallas, Texas
1984 Graduates from Woodrow Wilson High School with over 4,000 all-purpose yards
1984 Chooses to go north to University of Notre Dame for college
1988 Graduates from Notre Dame as one of the best players to ever go through the famed program
1988 Drafted by Oakland Raiders
1988 Rookie selection to Pro Bowl as kick returner
1989 Out for season with injury in first game of the year
1991 Named to Pro Bowl as kick returner after sharing AFC lead in punt returns (11.4 yard average)
1992 Leads Raiders in receiving yards and touchdowns
1993 Leads AFC with 1,180 receiving yards
1997 Becomes Raiders all-time leading receiver and Raiders all-time total yardage record holder
1997 Marries Sherice Weaver
2000 Surpasses 1000-yard receiving mark for eighth straight year; has career-best 11 touchdown receptions
2001 Becomes all-time Raider leader for Pro Bowl appearances with ninth selection
2001 Becomes Raiders all-time scoring leader in touchdowns, reaching 100 touchdown mark (first Raider to do so)
2002 Begins season having caught at least two passes in 140 straight games
2002 Surpasses 1000 catches mark for his career, becoming only third receiver in NFL history to do so; later in same game goes over 14,000 yards receiving, tying him for second all-time
2002 Selected to his 10th Pro Bowl at the conclusion of 2002 season

From Irish Gold to Silver and Black

The then-Los Angeles Raiders selected Tim Brown in the 1988 NFL draft as the sixth pick overall, and Brown quickly made an impact with the team, setting a Raider rookie record for all purpose yards (2,317). But after his first season he would face disappointment. In the first game of his second year, Brown suffered a knee injury, keeping him on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

He returned for his third season a strong player, dominating the team's receiving statistics and embarking upon a string of Pro Bowl appearances. Beginning with a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993, Brown would not miss a game for the next nine seasons.

He became the Raiders' all-time scoring leader in 2001, the first player for that franchise to surpass the 100 touchdown mark. He consistently excels on the field, and at the beginning of the 2002 season held the second-longest streak among active NFL players by having caught at least two passes in 140 straight games.

Hall of Fame Bound

During a Monday Night Football game on December 2, 2002, Brown become only the third player in NFL history to surpass 1000 catches. It was an appropriate national spotlight for this milestone, as he joined Raiders teammate Jerry Rice, who has over 1400 receptions, and Miami's Cris Carter. When he made the famous catch, the game was stopped and a brief celebration took place on the field.

Trailing 10-6, Brown's momentous [1,000th career] 6-yard catch across the middle set up the Raiders' first touchdown, a 26-yard pass from Rich Gannon to Jerry Rice. Was it the kind of catch Brown dreamed it would be? "Nah, not at all," he told the San Francisco Chronicle with a laugh. "I was like, 'No, not one this one!' But hey, I'll take it." Brown also reached another milestone that evening. In the second half of the game he surpassed 14,000 yards receiving, moving into second place (again behind Rice, who has over 21,000 career yards).

Loyalty in the Face of Adversity

In this day and age it is impressive for one player to remain with the same team for his whole career. But Tim Brown doesn't appear to be the average NFL player. He doesn't jump to the next best offer, choosing instead to bide his time as he seeks the coveted Super Bowl Ring. During his career he has had substantial offers from the Denver Broncos and the Dallas Cowboys. But Brown remains faithful to his club, even though he often thinks he's not utilized enougha feeling recently brought to the surface when the Raiders acquired Jerry Rice from the 49ers. Sports Illustrated noted that "while other receivers of his caliber have game plans built around them, [Brown] has been, for much of his career someone to go to in case of emergency." He doesn't like feeling like a last-chance guy, and though his numbers don't indicate that this is the case, some of the maneuverings of the front office suggest otherwise.

Career Statistics

Receiving Rushing Fumbles
Yr Team REC YDS AVG TD ATT YDS AVG TD FUM LST
LA: Los Angeles Raiders; OAK: Oakland Raiders.
1988 LA 43 725 16.9 5 14 50 3.6 1 5 0
1989 LA 1 8 8.0 0 0 0 0.0 0 1 0
1990 LA 18 165 14.7 3 0 0 0.0 0 3 0
1991 LA 36 554 15.4 5 5 16 3.2 0 1 0
1992 LA 49 693 14.1 7 3 -4 -1.3 0 6 0
1993 LA 80 1180 14.8 7 2 7 3.5 0 1 0
1994 LA 89 1309 14.7 9 0 0 0.0 0 1 1
1995 OAK 89 1342 15.1 10 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
1996 OAK 90 1104 12.3 9 6 35 5.8 0 1 1
1997 OAK 104 1408 13.5 5 5 19 3.8 0 1 1
1998 OAK 81 1012 12.5 9 1 -7 -7.0 0 3 0
1999 OAK 90 1344 14.9 6 1 4 4.0 0 0 0
2000 OAK 76 1128 14.8 11 3 12 4.0 0 0 0
2001 OAK 91 1165 12.8 9 4 39 9.8 0 0 0
2002 OAK 81 930 11.5 2 6 19 3.2 0 0 0
TOTAL 1018 14167 13.9 97 50 190 3.8 1 27 3

Though he has weathered some rocky times with the Raiders franchise and club owner Al Davis , Brown seems to have come through the adversity a stronger and more devoted Raider. Nancy Gay wrote in Sports Illustrated that Brown "remains an anomaly in the transient world of today's NFL." Brown wants a Super Bowl victory. His team has made it into the AFC playoffs with the best record in the league. "I just didn't want to be known as the guy who ran out of the burning house and left everybody behind," he told Sports Illustrated. His loyalty may yet pay off.

Awards and Accomplishments

1983 Voted high school All-American at Woodrow Wilson High School
1986 Voted consensus All-American
1987 Winner of United Press International and The Sporting News and Football News College Player of the Year; voted a consensus All-American
1987 Named College Player of the Year by the Walter Camp Foundation
1987 Named winner of Heisman Trophy
1990 Selected to Pro Bowl for 1st time
2002 Selected to 10th Pro Bowl

CONTACT INFORMATION

Address: Tim Brown, c/o The Oakland Raiders, 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway, Alameda, CA 94502.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Books

"Tim Brown." Almanac of Famous People, 6th ed. Detroit: Gale Group, 1998.

Periodicals

Gay, Nancy. "Brown goes for 1,000th catch; One of Davis' favorite Raiders twice considered leaving team." San Francisco Chronicle (December 2, 2002).

Knapp, Gwen. "Brown's major milestone was no time for a party." San Francisco Chronicle (December 4, 2002).

Murphy, Austin. "Sweet Moves." Sports Illustrated (July 6, 1998): 89.

Reilly, Rick. "Mister T. (Notre Dame's Tim Brown)." Sports Illustrated (August 31, 1987): 67.

Other

Irish Legend. http://www.irishlegends.com/Pages/calendar/0702.asp (December 15, 2002).

NFL.com. http://www.nfl.com/players/1267_bios.htm (December 15, 2002).

Sketch by Eric Lagergren

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