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CBN.com Tim Brown is one of the greatest football players ever. He ranks number two in NFL history with nearly 15,000 yards receiving and third in catches with more than 1,000. Only five players have more than his 100 touchdown receptions. His 240 games in a Raider’s uniform are the most in franchise history.
The fans love him; maybe they love him a little too much…
“I’ve seen guys with Tim Brown tattoos on their bodies and that kind of freaked me out," Tim tells The 700 Club. "I called security when I saw him coming.”
Most of his fans know that Tim is a Christian and that God is at the center of his decisions. But it wasn’t always that way after the Heisman trophy winner graduated from Notre Dame and headed to the Raiders.
"Certainly being 22-years-old and being out in Los Angeles with a pocket full of money was not helpful to my Christian walk, that’s for sure," says Tim.
But after being in the NFL seven years, he wanted change.
“I just got tired of living the way I was living. I mean, I’ve never been a drinker or drugs. I never did that kind of crazy stuff, but the things I was doing were bad enough that I couldn’t even look at myself. I even got to a point it was so bad that when I got up in the morning, I wouldn’t even turn the lights on in the bathroom because I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror."
He committed his life to the Lord. But did players notice a difference?
“Yeah, you know they notice the difference, but they don’t necessarily believe the difference. I think they look at me like its just a matter of time before you curse that referee out again," tells Tim. "It's just a matter of time before we see you hanging out with some girl you probably shouldn’t be hanging out with, or something of that nature."
Shortly before his retirement, Tim was tested by his own teammates. During a losing streak, a few players made a request to their leader: “I think this team really needs for you to get in front of it and just curse everybody out, and that will turn the whole team around," they said.
"And you know for that split second that thought runs through your head because you know this is your career. I can do that and God will understand," Tim says. "But, I got to thinking this is nothing but the trick of the devil because I think if I would have done that [no matter what I would have said, no matter how great the year would have been], I think guys would always realize that when times get tough, Tim would break just like everybody else is breaking."
"So I just told them 'no.' I mean they were dead serious about me doing it, and I just said that’s not something I’m gonna do,” says Tim.
“I think God gives you a talent for a reason, and if He touches your life to live for Him and certainly to do it on the middle of a football field, it’s an incredible opportunity to really get some heads turned.”
Tim takes being a role model very seriously.
“Everytime I go to talk to kids, that’s the one thing I leave them with -- go to church, please go to church."
"You know, because in my opinion there is nothing more important you can do with your life. Education is great, but I tell them I know a lot of educated fools out there. There’s a lot of educated fools out there, but it’s the Word of God, and the Spirit of God that can keep you from being crazy and doing the things that we shouldn’t be doing,” says Tim.
There’s no question his walk with Jesus Christ has made an impact on his marriage.
"I told my wife before we got married, 'Hey, you don’t have to worry about me because I will always love God more than I will love you.' And initially she didn’t like that, but after being in the league a couple years she understood what that was all about."
Tim says, "Only when you're living subjected to God are you capable of leading a good, clean life -- not a perfect life because nobody’s gonna be perfect, but you can lead a clean life. If there are people out there that know me and know me to be a good person, I’m here to tell you that without God, I wouldn’t be that person. Without God in my life, I wouldn’t be that person because the ideas and thoughts that run through my head are just like everybody else out there."
Tim continues, "But it’s because of God that I’m able to go, 'hey, we don’t do that, that’s not who we are,' and I’m able to move on. But its only because of God that I’m able to do that -- not because I love my beautiful wife so much. I love my kids and God knows I do I love my kids and my wife tremendously, but as a man you know sometimes that just doesn’t matter."
"I tell my wife all the time love doesn’t have anything to do with what happens in our world in the NFL and sports world. I mean guys get caught up in it all and things happen, but its God that can keep you.”
Tim may not suit-up in a Raider’s uniform anymore, but he continues to seek the Lord for strength everyday.
“When I sung in the choir back in the day, there was a song we used to sing, a song called 'God Is' and the song started out, 'God is the joy and strength of my life,' and the song ended up God is my all and all." "And I think that’s what it all comes down to.”
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