For a guy who won the Heisman Trophy, played 17 NFL seasons and is a Pro Football Hall of Famer, Tim Brown was often overlooked in his career – at least by some.
“I always felt as if my peers knew how good of a football player I was,” Brown said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “When you go to Pro Bowls, when you’re hanging around with these guys in the offseason, you have conversations with guys. Now I always thought the media always looked at Tim Brown and said, ‘He’s catching all these balls because he’s the only guy out there.’ I don’t think they really paid attention.”
Neither did Sterling Sharpe, who was drafted one pick after Brown in 1988.
“Sterling Sharpe and I sort of had a little thing,” Brown said. “He thought he should have won the Heisman. Even though he wasn’t even up for the Heisman, he thought he should have won it.”
Sharpe was a standout wide receiver at USC, while Brown starred at Notre Dame. Sharpe spent seven years in the NFL, all with Green Bay, before retiring due to injury in 1994.
“He left the game earlier, obviously, and he really didn’t like Tim Brown,” Brown said. “But he did an hour interview with me when he was working for CBS. He said, ‘Man, I had to watch your film. I had to watch what you do on the field. I want to apologize to you because maybe I didn’t give you the respect that I should give you, but I know now how great of a football player you are.’ So I think from that standpoint, the people who needed to know, knew. And everybody else, I wasn’t too concerned with.”
It’s likely that Sharpe was envious of Brown, and given Brown’s career numbers – 1,094 catches for 14,934 yards and 100 touchdowns – who wouldn’t be?
“I think it definitely stemmed from the Heisman because they still talk about that,” Brown said, laughing. “We see them at golf tournaments and his wife will say (to my wife), ‘Where’s my husband’s Heisman?’ I think Sterling is pretty much over it. I don’t know if his wife is, but I think Sterling is pretty much over it. We play a lot of golf together, so it’s not something that comes up in conversation.”