Monday, June 4, 2012
Troy Brown Elected To Patriots Hall Of Fame, Bill Parcells Still Missing Out
When I visualize the prototypical New England Patriots from the past decade, namely the three Super Bowl winners, Troy Brown is always one of the first players that comes to my mind. No ego, tough, hard working, would do whatever it takes to help the team win, that's what he was all about. It was impossible not to root for him and I didn't even mention how he was undersized and an eighth-round draft pick.
Today, it was announced that Brown will be the 2012 inductee into the New England Patriots' Hall of Fame. He'll be honored at a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 15 outside Gillette Stadium which I assume will be free and open to the public. If that's the case, I might have to dig out my old blue No. 80 jersey (assuming the weather is nice) and head on down to Foxborough. That happens to be a big weekend too since the Pats host the Arizona Cardinals the next day in their 2012 regular season home opener.
Brown was the winner of the fan vote, who interestingly enough beat out his first professional head coach Bill Parcells and safety Fred Marion (they were all selected by a 17-person nomination committee in April). This was Brown's first year of eligibility while Parcells missed out for the second straight year (he lost to Drew Bledsoe last season). The Marshall University product has never really left the spotlight in New England since he retired following the 2007 season because he's featured regularly on CSNE during Patriots season with his former teammate Ty Law.
Patriots owner Bob Kraft should make a special exception for Parcells, otherwise he will probably lose out to more popular players from the Patriots' glory days year after year. Old school Pats footie pajama fans will probably never give Parcells enough credit since he bolted to the Jets right after the Super Bowl loss to the Packers in 1997 but let's be real: who did more than Parcells? Especially in such a short time frame. He was the main component that began to turn one of the NFL's laughingstocks into what can now objectively be called its model franchise.
Brown's credentials speak for themselves: he is the franchise's all-time leader in receptions (557) and second in receiving yards (6366). Numbers don't even do him justice though since he was about so much more than that. He was the most clutch Patriots wide receiver that I've ever seen, he always made key catches and first downs. Plus, late in his career he started playing cornerback as well when New England had a rash of injuries in the secondary. I don't think it's hyperbole to say that every NFL team would dream of having a guy like Troy Brown play for them at some point.