Today’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN launches the Prime Numbers series on Monday, with a look at the best players who have worn No. 81. Few have worn it better than receiver Tim Brown.
In an interview to air on Monday’s show, Brown explains how he ended up wearing the number with which he has become forever linked.
“When I got to Notre Dame I wanted number 6 because that’s what I wore in high school and Milt Jackson, a veteran older receiver, was wearing number 6 so I couldn’t get it,” Brown tells Erik Kuselias. “So they said, ‘Hey, you’re going to wear number 81.’ So they told me Ken McAfee and all these great Notre Dame guys have worn it, I believe even Alan Page had worn it at Notre Dame. So I said, ‘Okay, well, I’ll put on the number and maybe I can do something a little different with it.’”
Brown put it on, and he never took it off. Even though it took some effort once he got to L.A. and the Raiders.
“When I first got to the Raiders I actually wore 85 in preseason and I was crying the whole preseason,” Brown said. “I was trying not to go to the media about it, but finally I had to make a deal with the tight end who was wearing the number 81. I gave him like $4,000, but his wife was mad because she had just had this diamond 81 pendant made so she wasn’t too happy about that.”
Brown would have wanted a lot more than that for the number later in his career, due to his own wife.
“She was the one wearing the jerseys to the game so she would’ve named the price, and believe me that would’ve been high,” Brown said.
For more from Brown, including his favorite memory of the late Al Davis and what Al Davis would think of this edition of the Raiders, tune in at 5:30 p.m. ET, where we’ll also talk No. 1, No. 2, and No. 54.