Most Candid Athlete - 2004
As the Raiders spiraled (comically) out of control last season, scores of Bay Area sports fans and pundits were left scratching their heads, wondering what in the name of Al Davis was going on over there. Lawsuits, injuries, suspensions, BALCO innuendo, open player revolt -- last year's Raiders had it all. And every week, during the drive time on KNBR-FM's (680) Razor and Mr. T Show -- hosted by Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert -- legendary Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown would head up an hourlong call-in show. Most athletes would have wilted under the pressures of a long, horrible season or ruined this talk show's integrity with a parade of clich?s, but Brown, even in the twilight of his career, was always gracious, hilarious, perceptive, and honest. It must have stung some in the organization to hear him talk so openly about the team's problems, but Brown never backed down from his truth-telling. Many players -- especially some who wear the silver and black -- care only about their paychecks and publicity, but Brown evinced the qualities that make fans passionate about the game in the first place.