Talk of Fame Network
Lomas Brown wasn’t just an accomplished offensive tackle. He was so good that, during his 18-year NFL career, he played more games (263) than all but one offensive lineman, was a seven-time Pro Bowler, a six-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl winner.
He was a key member of the Detroit Lions’ offensive line that opened holes for Hall-of-Famer Barry Sanders, too, and was so durable he started all but one of the 164 games he played for them. But try finding his name on the preliminary list for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, and you can’t.
Reason: Lomas Brown is not included.
Call it an oversight. Call it a mistake. Call it whatever you will. But it’s wrong. Lomas Brown has the credentials to be included, and, as he mentioned on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast, he believes he has the credentials to be included in Canton, too.
“I do,” he said. “This is how I’ve been my whole career. I’ve always thought if it was meant to be it was going to happen. That’s kinda how my whole career has been — even going to the Super Bowl in my last year or going to my first Super Bowl in my 16th year (or) some of the things that happened to me later on in life.
“If you threw my numbers out on the wall… and my name wasn’t on top of those numbers … I just think people would look at that (and say) ‘Eighteen years, seven straight Pro Bowls, a couple of All-Pro bids’ … they might think that guy might be worthy of getting in there. But yes, personally, I do feel I’m worthy to be in the Hall of Fame.”
The Hall recently inducted a spate of left tackles, starting with Willie Roaf in 2012. Jonathan Ogden followed the next year, with Walter Jones in 2014 and Orlando Pace in 2016. Do the math, and you have four left tackles in five years.
So the Hall is receptive to the position. It’s just not receptive to Lomas Brown … not yet, anyway … with Brown never a Hall-of-Fame semifinalist, and it’s hard to figure why.
Granted, he spent most of his career with the Detroit Lions, and while they reached the playoffs four times during his tenure they didn’t reach a Super Bowl. But he started for the New York Giants on the 2000 Super Bowl team, and he was a backup in Tampa Bay two years later when the Bucs beat Oakland for the NFL title.
So what is he missing? Brown has no idea.
“I watch it every year,” he said of the voting, “and, believe me, I’m happy especially every time a lineman go in. Watching big Orlando Pace go in this year, I was so happy for him. And then what I do is put my numbers up against the person going in numbers. And looking at Orlando Pace’s numbers, mine are comparable with that.
“But I always knew when we were in the league … and as an offensive lineman you always know … that without team success you really don’t have a lot of individual success. If I (was on) another team with success, the wait might not be this long, I might have a little bit more success (because) my name might have been out there a little bit more. So I kind of know, as an offensive lineman, those two things go hand in hand.”
(Lomas Brown photos courtesy of the Detroit Lions)