Antonio Brown Begins His Career as a Football Team Owner in the Proud Tradition of Antonio Brown
It all began, as things with Antonio Brown sometimes do, on a positive note:
Fox News - Antonio Brown, a former NFL superstar wide receiver who was last seen on a football field waving goodbye to fans at MetLife Stadium as he stormed off following a tiff with then-Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians in January 2022, was named the part owner of the National Arena League franchise Albany Empire.
Empire majority owner Mike Kwarta introduced Brown to reporters on Thursday morning. Brown is the son of Eddie Brown, who starred for the Albany Firebirds back in the Arena Football League days. The Empire previously played in the Arena Football League before it folded and was known as the Firebirds for a period of time in that organization. The team won the final Arena Bowl before the league folded.
Such a nice, heartwarming, feel good story, right? A life coming full circle. A touching tribute to a father from a son. Sure, there are a few bankruptcies involved in the mix there. But such is life living on the edge of professional sports. It's still the sort of thing you find in uplifting documentaries like Welcome to Wrexham or a personal favorite, The Battered Bastards of Baseball. Were we talking about any other figure in sports.
Because it continued, as things with Antonio Brown always do, on an Antonio Brown note:
If anything, you have to admire AB's consistency. He's an agent of chaos, and never, ever breaks character. Even when he's now, presumably, one of the bosses. A million owners would hold a press conference where they're being introduced as chief executive of the franchise they just purchased, and 999,999 of them would show up on time, slide the gaudy, oversized trophy two feet over to the empty space on the table just to their right, and let the poor wretches who are so low on the sports media totem pole they're covering Arena Football League press conferences get a look at him and a photo or tow. Brown is the outlier.
Though this is what you get with him. Introductory Press Conference Tardiness and Weirdness is an art form he might not have invented, but he's certainly made 1st Team All Pro at it:
Time is a flat circle, indeed. At that one in Oakland, 2019, he tried to say all the right things:
While doing everything in his considerable power to drain of energy, a surge of negativity, a bad force, and make it all about him. And it was a triumph of his unique brand of childish narcissism. Today, nothing has changed except his signature will be on the lower right of the paychecks, not the back. And oddly, I admire his commitment to the bit. A lesser crackpot might have broken character here and behaved slightly close to the way normal people act in this situation. But not him. It's truly remarkable.
My sincerest wish is that Brown holds onto his stake in the Albany Empire for years to come. And that he ends up with a roster of guys as petty, infantile, egomaniacal and unnecessarily self-possessed as he is. It'd be fun watching him have to deal with his own Antonio Brown. It's just a damned shame no one else like that exists.