If Antonio Brown Doesn't Play Football This Year Will Anyone Notice?
If you've ever read my posts, you'd know I generally support Professional Athletes--despite their crazy antics because they should be allowed to be themselves and honestly because they are exploited by the Billionaires who own the teams.
But I'm really having a hard time empathizing, sympathizing or well, feeling any other form of support for tentative Oakland Raiders WR Antonio Brown.
Brown's latest attempt at being a prototypical "Diva" NFL Wide Receiver picked up steam this weekend when he went on record saying if he doesn't get to use the Football Helmet he's worn since entering the league some 9-years ago, he'll---not play. Brown is demanding the NFL waive its rules on Safe Helmets to accommodate him or he's going to sit out.
Yes the NFL has acknowledged the demand--allowing Brown to state his case during a hearing, which is an honorable allowance. I'd be stunned if they waive the rules specifically for Brown, a very talented and....um, enigmatic player who when active is among the Top 10 players at his position in the league. But then again it's the NFL we're talking about---so anything is possible.
Believe it or not, for once, the NFL is on solid ground here. Some time ago, the Shield introduced rules regulating the life span of a Football Helmet based on the ability to protect players heads during contact. Which is a legitimate concern. The legislation came in to play last season with a life span on helmets now restricted to 10-years and the results of annual impact testing. Again, solid reasoning.
Brown's "Helmet" is a 10-year old model built by a manufacturer struggling to meet the league requirements. In fact---the "Helmet" is no longer in production and hasn't been for a couple of years, Brown has kept his helmet for the length of his run with the Pittsburgh Steelers which came to an acrimonious end after the 2018 season.
Brown says if he doesn't get is way, he'll retire because he "Doesn't need football". And in some ways he's right. He's made more money during his relatively young life than most of us will make during our entire lifetimes. He's still relatively healthy and if he invests wisely could potentially live off what he's already made. He says the new helmets approved by the NFL impedes his ability to see football's coming his way. Thus far he is the only NFL player who has complained about the issue publicly.
Heck, maybe he is right and other players don't like the helmets either but won't complain about them. Nah, NFL players are more than willing to speak out, particularly if someone else starts the conversation.
Listen, Antonio Brown is a very good football player and I'd like to see him suit up for an Oakland Raiders franchise who desperately need some sort of pulse to become relevant for the first time in about 20-NFL years. Having him on the field makes them a dangerous team.
But if he wants to take his helmet and walk away, I'm pretty sure the league will survive. I'm pretty sure a handful of people might notice, but will quickly move on. It also would be the most Oakland Raider thing to happen this year....but that I suppose is a totally separate story....
Oh, and how exactly does one forget to put something on ones feet when entering a "Cryotherapy Chamber"??? Just wonderin'.......