Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015, Charles Haley, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Tim Brown, Bill Polian, Jerome Bettis and Ron Wolf, from left, take center stage Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015,after receiving their jackets in Canton, Ohio. Class member Junior Seau was honored posthumously. (Bob Rossiter/The Repository via AP)

Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015, Charles Haley, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Tim Brown, Bill Polian, Jerome Bettis and Ron Wolf, from left, take center stage Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015,after receiving their jackets in Canton, Ohio. Class member Junior Seau was honored posthumously. (Bob Rossiter/The Repository via AP)

Proud day for Bay at Hall of Fame

CANTON, Ohio — They may be the oddest couple in one market in a single Hall of Fame induction, pro football or otherwise.

One was a polished Heisman Trophy winner at Notre Dame, the other an undersized linebacker at unheralded James Madison.

One ran away from defensive backs, the other ran around offensive linemen and through quarterbacks.

One played with poise, the other like his feet and hair were on fire.

But there Tim Brown and Charles Haley were on the same stage on Saturday, a Raider and a 49er forever attached at the hip in the Class of 2015.

“To have a 49er and a Raider go into the Hall of Fame is always a great thing,” Brown said. “It has has been a pleasure, man. Charles is little different guy, you know. But at the same time, when you put the pads on and say ‘Hut-hut,’ he’s the guy you want lining up with you.”

Said Haley, “Tim always wanted to be a 49er, but he couldn’t get out of his contract, that’s what it was.”

“Tim is a good guy, man,” he went on to say. We’re polar opposites of each other. He’s very conservative, and I’m off the chains. We’ll put it together like that.”

Often controversial but never dull, Haley spent eight seasons as an excitable leader of the 49ers’ formidable defense. He also played five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, with whom he won three of his record five Super Bowl rings.

The 51-year-old Haley was choked up at the outset before he lightened the mood with a golf joke. He singled out his former wife, four children, mother, father, four brothers, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and ex-Cowboys coaches Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer among others.

Haley was especially profuse in his praise for the late 49ers coach Bill Walsh and owner Eddie DeBartolo, who introduced him at the ceremony.

“I had the greatest coach ever, Bill Walsh,” Haley said. “He’s a Hall of Famer, but guys, he was more to me. He followed me my whole career. … Two days before he died, he called me still asking me, ‘What can I do to help you?’ And I will always love him with all my heart. He was really special to me.”

Haley took the opportunity to lobby on behalf of DeBartolo for Hall of Fame induction.

“Mr. D, he won five Super Bowls,” Haley said. “He presented five [Hall of Fame] players. I won five. If the standard is winning, why is he not here, you know? I pray that Mr. D becomes the Hall of Fame sooner than later, guys.”

Haley also addressed his fight against against mental illness and the need to seek assistance. “But today, guys, I take my medicine every day, and I try to inspire others to do the same,” he said. “And that’s because I finally listened, and thank you.”

Brown played with the Raiders for all except his 17th and final season. When he retired after the 2003 campaign, he ranked second in receiving yards (14,934), third in pass receptions (1,094) and third in touchdown catches (100) in league history.

Brown credited family members, former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, former Raiders coach Jon Gruden and several assistants.

“If not for Lou Holtz, I would not have won the Heisman Trophy,” said Brown, 49. “I would not have been a first-round draft pick. I probably would have been drafted, but I just would have been [another] guy.

“I’m going to enjoy this honor. But when I wake up on Monday, I’m really going to enjoy this honor.”

Haley has another date with destiny next month, when he will be inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame.

“We’ve had quite the amazing week here,” Brown said. “It has been only two days, but it felt like almost a week with Charles. I’ve known him quite a while, but you cannot be within earshot and not know who Charles Haley is. He’s going to let the world know.”

Charles HaleyHall of FameTim Brown

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Azikiwee Anderson of Rize Up Bakery pulls and twists sourdough into shape on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s Rize Up Bakery serving up sourdough with a call to action

Azikiwee Anderson wakes up most mornings just before dawn to start cooking… Continue reading

<em>The San Francisco Peace Pagoda stands tall in between Japan Center East and West malls.</em>
 (Ida Mojadad/The Examiner)
Patrons return to the Japantown mall

‘We’re so happy—it’s really hard to make a profit’

Most Read