NFL Hall of Fame: Tim Brown and 3 Oakland Raiders who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame


Elias Trejo – Feb 4, 2012

Congratulations to the 2012 NFL Hall of Fame inductees: Curtis Martin, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Dermontti Dawson, Willie Roaf, and Jack Butler. Anytime you get voted into the Hall of Fame it is a high honor. Tim Brown was a finalist for this year, but did not get voted in. His time will come, but the question is when? Brown has 100 touchdown receptions, 14,934 receiving yards, 1,094 receptions, and 19, 679 all purpose yards. That is good for sixth all-time or better in all of those categories and should be good enough to have him in the Hall of Fame. Brown wasn't only a top tier receiver, he was a top tier football player as he also returned punts and is fifth all time in punt return yards. The Oakland Raiders have 13 players in the NFL Hall of Fame, but the reality is they should have more. Let's take a look at three other Oakland Raiders who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

Jim Plunkett

Plunkett is the only quarterback with multiple Super Bowl Championships that is not in the Hall of Fame. To make things worse, he has a better winning and completion percentage and one more Super Bowl win than Joe Namath who is in the Hall of Fame. Namath had a 62-64-4 record as a quarterback, had a 50.1 completion percentage, 173 touchdown passes and 220 interceptions. Meanwhile, Plunkett was 72-72 as a quarterback had a 52.5 completion percentage, 164 touchdowns and 198 interceptions. Plunkett threw for 25, 882 yards while Namath threw for 27, 663 yards. With similar resume's you'd think one more Super win for Plunkett would be good enough to get him in, but a commercial with nice shaved legs and a good relationship with the media is why Namath and not Plunkett is in the Hall of Fame.

Tom Flores

Only 27 NFL head coaches can say they have won a Super Bowl, and only 13 of them can say they have won a Super Bowl twice. Flores is one of the coaches who can say he has won a Super Bowl two times. He won 11 games four times in his career with the Raiders and won 61 percent of his games in Oakland. His playoff winning percentage is higher than Chuck Noll, Jimmy Johnson, Don Shula, Joe Gibbs and Marv Levy and all of them coached over 10 playoff games like Flores. Flores not being in the Hall of Fame is a crime. He coached in 195 games and lost 90 of them and won 105 of them. He has a winning record in both the regular season and the playoffs, including two NFL Super Bowl rings.

Cliff Branch

Branch is another Oakland Raider who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and perhaps has more of an argument than Flores and Plunkett. Branch has three Super Bowl titles, 501 receptions, 67 touchdown receptions and 8,685 receiving yards. That is a Hall of Fame resume. If you don't agree, then we have to look at a great article written by our own David Wilson, that shows two other players from the same era that are already in the Hall of Fame. Lynn Swann, had 336 career receptions, 5,462 receiving yards, 51 touchdowns and four Super Bowl titles. You simply can't argue that his stats can be overlooked because of Super Bowl wins, if that is your argument, then put Plunkett and Flores into the Hall. Bob Hayes had 371 receptions, 7414 receiving yards, 68 touchdowns and two Super Bowl rings. Branch had a better career than any of these receivers and had three Super Bowl titles and is not in the Hall of Fame.

It's a shame that these three men have not received the ultimate honor of the NFL. It is also a shame that the ultimate honor in the NFL is given by members of the media who have never played the game of football, and who have been known to campaign for players they love and to campaign against players they dislike. It's no secret that the Raiders have never really been a favorite of the media because of owner Al Davis, and because of that relationship many Raiders who should be in the Hall of Fame are not. I could make an argument about many other players, but these three guys are a perfect example of players who should be in but are not.

They weren't flashy guys like Swann, and didn't appear in commercials with shaved legs like Namath, but they were great football players with great achievement and that is what the Hall of Fame should be about. Unfortunately in many cases, it has become a political thing that has more to do with impact off the field and not on the field.

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