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Friday, September 26, 2008
bidding farewell to Mr. Patriot, Troy Brown
By now it's almost cliche to lament the retirement of a player from one of your favorite teams by saying, "he was my favorite player!" Still, with the news that Troy Brown officially retired from the NFL yesterday, I can't help but think that they'll never be another like him.
A 15-year veteran wide receiver, that was drafted 198th overall (in the now obsolete 8th round) out of Marshall University was a classic overachiever. Brown played his entire career for the New England Patriots which is something pretty much unheard of these days. He'll go down in Patriots history as the franchise leader in receptions (557), second in yards (6366), the single-game catch leader (15) and a three-time Super Bowl champion among countless weighty accomplishments.
What makes Brown's departure so sad (even though it was completely expected) was that he was the rare star athlete with seemingly little to no ego. With the ridiculous amount of self-centered behavior and attention-seeking by numerous current NFL stars (particularly at wideout), Brown was the ultimate teammate and leader.
He even stepped in to play cornerback (along with receiver) in 2004-2006 when the Pats' defensive backfield resembled a morgue.
It's hard to pick a favorite memory of the Troy Brown era, he made the clutch, game-saving/winning play look routine. The 2001 AFC Championship game against the Steelers had a Brown trifecta: a blocked punt and lateral for a touchdown, a punt return for a score and a huge day receiving. The other foremost impression of Brown is one of his last plays: stripping the ball from the Chargers' Marlon McRee in the AFC playoffs two years ago after McRee intercepted it. New England recovered the ball and went on to defeat the heavily favored Bolts.
Troy Brown is obviously a shoe-in for the new Patriots hall-of-fame but it will be interesting to see if he makes it to Canton for the big Hall of Fame. Most likely not but that doesn't mean anything to Patriots fans. Troy Brown is one of the best players and men that we'll ever cheer on, end of discussion.