Antonio Brown

USA Today

The Year Of Antonio Brown

For all the wrong reasons though.

August 12, 2019 - 9:49 am
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How was your last couple of weeks? Mine was pretty decent. Actually, better than decent, but not nearly as much of an adventure as Antonio Brown’s. My guy?! – have yourself a summer. How’s business? Business is freaking boomin.’

This has been the Year of Antonio Brown. But, for all the wrong reasons. There were all the embarrassing and desperate stunts he pulled to get people to look at him… or to force his way out of Pittsburgh: or both. You know… going on that singing competition, livestreaming from his cardio sessions, self-glossing with one of the most idiotic names ever, getting into Twitter beefs with former teammates, and the list goes on.

But I said from the start, I didn’t think he could keep it up all offseason. Well…, it takes a big man to admit he’s wrong. And I was wrong. So incredibly wrong. Because not only has he kept it going, it’s taken it into overdrive.

There is so much to the Antonio Brown circus in the last two weeks, I’m not sure I can fully recap it all in one segment or even one show. I’m going to have to pick my spots.

Let’s start with those pics on Instagram of his feet. At least, I think those were feet. Because I have never seen anything like that.

I know a lot of athletes have jacked up feet, and receivers spend so much time running, and cutting, and jumping, that their feet are going to take a beating. But no pair of feet have ever looked like those before. Ever.

My man??!! Hit that with some lotion! In fact, hit Jerry Rice up: I love Jerry Rice. And one of the things I love most about Jerry Rice, is once before I interviewed him on TV, he lotioned up his feet. True story. Hit him up AB. He’s one of the few guys who was a better receiver than you; and clearly had a better plan for his feet than you. And if you’re not going to do that, at least hit that with some foot Nivea. Or go to one of those places where you stick your feet in water and tiny fish nibble off the dead skin. Antonio Brown’s feet would be like an Old Country Buffet for those fish.

Are we even sure they were actually his feet and not some sort of prop?

Because those looked like loaves of bread fresh out of the oven, with the crust cracking perfectly. Except, that’s not a crust. That’s skin. And that cracking isn’t perfect, that’s layers of skin coming off.

And the only thing better than the hideousness of his feet is the alleged reason behind it: frostbite.

In July. In France. 

There is only one person on this planet who could get frostbite in July. In France. And that person is Antonio Brown.

And if frostbite wasn’t good enough, it’s because he allegedly got frostbite going into a cryochamber without the appropriate footwear. If that’s true, that’s just about the dumbest thing ever.

Cryochambers can get down to negative 170 degrees and even colder. You go into them wearing gloves and foot coverings for a reason. And that reason is:

Antonio Brown’s feet.

Only Antonio Brown could approach a cryochamber in France and say, I don’t need to cover my feet properly. I wonder if he went Evel Knievel with it. Yo, YOU KNOW WHO THE HELL I AM?  YOU KNOW WHO THE HELL THOSE FEET ARE ATTACHED TO?? It’s going to be negative 170.  Pssst pleeasseee! I played in Pittsburgh.  You want to see badass, watch this! Are you kidding me about that? What the hell was he thinking??? Imagine this dude trying to run routes… WITHOUT HIS FEET?!  I’M GUESSING HE’S NOT GETTING THE SEPARATION HE’S ACCUSTOMED TO GETTING… WITHOUT FEET.  AS GOOD AS HE IS RUNNING THAT GO ROUTE, HE’S NOT RUNNING IT… WITHOUT FEET. What the hell is he doing? His feet are right next to his hands when it comes to being his moneymakers; I’d be careful as hell with those things. 

Luckily, he still has his feet. Or what’s left of them. But he also has frostbite. Again, and I can’t stress this enough, Antonio Brown has frostbite in the summer. And it’s keeping him from practicing with the team.

Or is it? Because there’s another story with him, one that might actually be even dumber and even more ridiculous than getting frostbite in the summer.

And it was detailed by Mike Silver in one of the all-time great Twitter threads. Now this this thread goes for 20 tweets, so I can’t read all of it, but here are a few highlights, starting with the first tweet:

THREAD: 1) Even before suffering bizarre injuries to his feet, Antonio Brown alarmed Raiders coaches and teammates by railing against the NFL’s enhanced enforcement of helmet regulations, a policy change which will likely force the star receiver to switch to a new model... 

And then there’s this tweet:

4) Brown initially left to seek an additional medical opinion on his frostbitten feet. Before leaving, Brown pushed back for a third time against the league’s prohibition of the helmet model he has worn for his entire nine-year career...

Look, playing in the NFL is violent and dangerous. Every player should get as much money as he possibly can and should do whatever he can, within the rules, to feel safe and comfortable.

And I really don’t want to bother getting into the details of the NFL and the NFLPA’s rules about helmets and what can and cannot be used. So here’s my simple rule:

If you get frostbite in the summer, you can’t argue about helmets.

That’s it. That’s the rule. If it’s summer and you’ve got frostbite on your feet, you can’t talk about what goes on your head. By showing me those jacked up feet, you are telling me that you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to safety.

I don’t care if Albert Einstein himself walked into the Raiders practice facility tomorrow to talk helmet safety, if he showed up with frostbitten feet, I’m not listening. 

But there’s more to Silver’s twitter thread: And the 13th tweet in this thread might be the most important tweet.

13) However, sometime in the next couple of weeks, Brown once again tried to take the field with his old helmet, which he had since had repainted with colors approximating—but not completely mimicking—the Raiders’ silver-and-black design...

HE SHOWED UP WEARING HIS OLD HELMET, BUT HE’D TRIED TO PAINT IT TO LOOK LIKE A RAIDERS HELMET.

Amazing. Maybe the most amazing Antonio Brown thing ever. 

This guy went home and either he or someone he knows, took the helmet, got some silver and black poster paint, and tried to paint it up and fool everyone. They treated that NFL helmet, the thing that’s supposed to protect your skull from repeated blows to the head, like a sixth-grade art project.

That’s the best. Might as well just show up wearing a Home Depot bucket on your head and spray paint it silver.

Like I said I could an entire show on this topic, but to button line it right here…is there anyone, anywhere, surprised that Mr. Big Chest is pulling this crap? 

You shouldn’t be. Most of all the Raiders shouldn’t be. There’s a reason Pittsburgh got rid of him. And there’s a reason the Raiders got him so cheaply. In fact, lots of reasons.  Again…, this is the same guy who abandoned his teammates with a game left in the season while they were still in the playoff hunt. The same guy who bleached his facial lettuce blonde. The same guy who self-glossed. Not only self-glossed, but went with the self-gloss, Mr. Big Chest. The same guy who lost his bleep when he wasn’t named team MVP.  The same guy who forced his way out of town, and then lit the organization on fire on the way out the door. An organization that had always done right by the guy. So, of course, none of this is a surprise. This is who this guy is. Maybe not who he has always been, but this is who he is now. This is who he is; this is where he lives, this what he does, and this is what you get when you bring him in. And the Raiders had to know that when they brought him in. And if they didn’t, they should have because he’s been pulling this crap for a while now.