SPRINGFIELD Tim Brown played nearly two decades in the National Football League. None of them were seemingly memorable. It only makes sense that Brown accepted his nomination to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Average on Tuesday morning.
Brown was a reluctant star, obviously aware that his skills were typical when compared to other NFL receivers. Brown played for a long time and put up incredible cumulative numbers. But Brown never stood out among the pack. He never stood head-and-shoulders above his contemporaries in the sport. Brown never broke records or put his team on his back to lead them to the Super Bowl.
In short, Brown seemed average.
That is exactly why the Pro Football Hall of Average was founded. It is a refuge for the consistent player that put up decent numbers but fell just short of being a super star.
"We believe that Tim Brown exemplifies all the things that we consider to be average," founder Mark Anderson said. "Brown was not the flashiest, not the most outspoken, nor the best. He was an average receiver and that is what we are celebrating today.
"Too often we get caught up in receivers who dominated the game, or made a huge difference. Too often we overlook players that just show up, put up decent numbers, and seem to hang around forever. Those are the characteristics that Tim Brown exudes."
Brown joins other Hall of Average receivers such as Andre Reed, Art Monk, Drew Pearson and Sterling Sharpe. Admission into the Pro Football Hall of Average automatically disqualifies Brown from gain admission into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Brown and PFHOA founders seemed unconcerned. Brown retired as only the third player to have 1,000 career receptions, while he ranked second all-time in touchdowns (100) and third in receiving yards (14,934). Those numbers seem impressive when compared against the non-pass friendly eras of the early NFL. Brown only averaged 68 receptions for less than 1,000 yards and six touchdowns during his careers. Numbers that show that he was average. With players such as San Diego's Keenan McCardell closing in on 1,000 career receptions, Brown's marks are being called more into question.
"We need to be real here," Anderson said. "Tim Brown, for as average as he was, did not deserve to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That hall is reserved for the best of the best in the NFL. Can you honestly say that Tim Brown was one of the best football players of all-time? Hardly.
"In five years, there could be a handful of guys that have 1,000 receptions. What Brown did was nice, but in a few years nobody will remember that he was only the third guy to surpass 1,000 receptions. If anything, in five years he will seem even more average that he is right now."
The NFL will hold its Pro Football Hall of Average ceremony before the most average preseason game of the season when Arizona travels to Oakland on August 26. NFL commissioner Paul Tagilabue won't make the game, but will send his extraordinarily average henchman to the game. The commissioner noted that Arizona and Oakland have been two of the most middling franchises in the NFL over the past couple of decades so it is only fitting that they would come together to celebrate mediocrity.
"The NFL has thrived on parity for nearly a decade now," NFL PR man Brian Gooberman read in a written statement. "Everywhere you look around the NFL, you see average. Average teams, average players, average publications. It's good to celebrate those that have made the league what it is today... just average."
Just like Tim Brown.