Troy Brown leads the champs' charge on the Patriots' Hall

Troy Brown leads the champs' charge on the Patriots' Hall
April 11, 2012, 9:00 pm
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Troy Brown is the leading edge of a "tsunami of quality" that is about to crash into eligibility for the Patriots Hall of Fame.

The term "tsunami of quality" was blurted out by longtime Patriots reporter Ron Hobson, formerly of the Patriot Ledger, on Tuesday at a meeting to discuss candidates for the 2012 Patriots Hall of Fame class.

Brown is the first of the Super Bowl-winning Patriots to become eligible since he's been out of the league for five seasons. Next year, Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison and Willie McGinest are eligible. Ty Law becomes eligible in 2014 and Mike Vrabel and Lawyer Milloy are eligible in 2015.
It is indeed, a tsunami.

On Tuesday, the 19-member Hall of Fame nomination committee gathered at Tavolino at Patriot Place to discuss the candidates for this year's class.

Each year since 2007, the committee votes for three candidates to be presented as finalists for the Patriots Hall of Fame. Fans then vote on the finalists and the winner of that fan vote is the inductee.

Last year, Drew Bledsoe was inducted. The other nominees were Bill Parcells and Houston Antwine, a three-time finalist who dominated as a defensive lineman in the AFL.

Brown's eligibility and the presence of former finalists Parcells and Antwine means there are three likely nominees already in the mix. But a significant amount of time was spent discussing other Patriots greats, including Leon Gray, Irving Fryar, Julius Adams, Raymond Clayborn, Jim Plunkett, Curtis Martin, Mosi Tatupu and Fred Marion.

Coaches Chuck Fairbanks and Mike Holovak were also debated.

Personally, I cast my votes for Brown, Parcells and Antwine.

In the past, I've cast my vote for Leon Gray, a tremendous tackle who played alongside John Hannah to form one of the greatest guard-tackle duos in league history. But there's no real groundswell for Gray aside from myself and a couple of others and I believe Antwine deserves to ultimately get in given his three-time finalist status.

No player epitomized the Patriots' rise to prominence more than Troy Brown, an eighth-round pick who contributed on offense, defense and special teams and was the best football player on the team from 2000 through 2003.

Parcells, despite his messy departure, was there for the first dawn of the Patriots post-Kiam Era and impacted everything with his presence, ability and personality.