Patriots.com – The New England Patriots announced today that Troy Brown has been voted by fans as the 18th player and 19th member to enter the Patriots Hall of Fame… The three finalists were Brown, former free safety Fred Marion (1982-91) and former Head Coach Bill Parcells (1993-96)… “Troy Brown will always be special to me, as he was my sweetheart’s favorite player during his career,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “Clearly, a lot of Patriots fans shared her sentiment and I am proud that we will honor Troy with his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame this fall.”
For all the levels of accolades a pro athlete can achieve- All Star/ Pro Bowl appearances, individual awards, MVPs, getting his number retired, Hall of Fame induction, a statue and so on – Troy Brown has what’s probably the highest praise any of them can ever get: being a “Mr. ___.” Seriously, how many guys are ever so highly though of that you can call them Mr. [Insert Team Name] and really mean it? There’s not a man, woman or child with a rooting interest in Patriots football who hasn’t been proud for the last 19 years to call Troy Brown “Mr. Patriot” and mean it. Because nobody has personified the Patriots Dynasty era the way he has. Not Tom Brady, not Tedy Bruschi. No one.
There were hundreds of better athletes in the NFL during Brown’s career. Scores of more highly regarded players. Dozens of guys who got more credit. But no one matched Troy Brown in terms of actual accomplishments. No one. Name me one guy in the NFL from 1993-2007 who can touch Brown’s overachieving, clutch plays and winning. On second thought, don’t bother. You’ll fail. Just to name a few that come to mind without too much thought:
*Check the 0:45 mark of the video for a play he made against the Giants in 1994. It was a crucial 3rd down catch that he made while flat on his back that picked up the 1st, saved the game and sent the Pats to the playoffs.
*In the Snow Bowl game, playing on a skating rink, he had the longest play from scrimmage, a 29 yard catch & run.
*In the 2001 AFC Championship Game, the Steelers Special Teams emphasized all week they were going to attack Brown up the middle and force him to return punts up the sidelines. So naturally he broke the game open with a 55 yard TD return where busted right down their throats, never even changing direction, much less veering outside the hashes.
*Then in the same game he grabbed a loose ball on a FG blocked by Brandon Mitchell, brought it to midfield, lateraled it to Antwan “Who the Hell is Antwan Harris?” Harris, who took it the remaining 49 yards and put the game away.
*On the last drive of Super Bowl XXXVI, Brown had a 23 yard catch & run where he outran the entire Rams defense to snake his way out of bounds, stop the clock and set up the game winning FG.
*In that Super Bowl Brady had 145 total yards passing. 89 of them were to Brown.
*Brown saved the 2006 Divisional Round game in San Diego with a forced fumble after a Brady INT that would’ve sealed the game for the Chargers. The difference between true winners like Brown and born losers like the Chargers franchise was never more apparent.
*When Belichick asked him to take snaps at defensive back in 2004, Brown produced 3 INTs, including one in the endzone vs Cincy (5:30 mark) and one off Drew Bledsoe (6:00).
…And that’s just scratching the surface. This doesn’t even include setting team records with 101 catches and 1,199 yards in a season. Not bad for a guy who was the 198th pick in the draft and was cut twice. And all the while, playing a position known for d-bags, egomaniacs, criminals, attention whores, coach-killers and divas obsessed with their own personal glory, Troy Brown never once made a wrong move, embarrassed himself or his team and never, ever made you anything but proud he was on your side. His college coach at Marshall called him the best player he ever had, even though he also coached Randy Moss. After 15 years, 557 catches, 6,000+ yards and 3 championships, I can see where he’s coming from. And now Brown is not only a Patriots Hall of Famer, he’s permanently Mr. Patriot. Bingo. He’s got Bingo.