BREAKING: Antonio Brown's Albany Empire Just Got Kicked Out of the NAL

Elsa. Getty Images.

In the sports comedy blogging business, life comes at you fast. One minute, you're taking a deep dive into an insane press conference Albany Empire owner Antonio Brown delivered:

And the next, the National Arena League is doing something unheard of in the annals of struggling, semi-professional sports leagues. Telling their most famous, deep-pocketed franchise owner he can go piss up a rope:

Source - After exhausting all avenues, the NAL board of owners have decided unanimously to terminate the membership agreement of the Albany Empire.  The decision was reached after an emergency conference call of the members in good standing to discuss the Empire’s failure to pay their league mandated and overdue assessments. Each team is responsible to pay for 1/7 of the league’s operating budget via monthly assessments starting in April.  The Empire’s owner, Antonio Brown, was also fined $1,000 for Conduct Detrimental to the League for his recent public comments.  Mr. Brown refused to pay that fine.  

After acquiring the Albany Empire, new team owner Antonio Brown paid the Empire’s April assessment.  The team then failed to make their May 15th assessment payment and last week just before the Empire’s game in Orlando, the league was notified that the April assessment was being challenged.  That payment was subsequently credited back to Mr Brown.  The league informed his accountant, Alex Gunaris, who in previous communications requested that the league communicate directly with Mr Gunaris regarding financial obligations with the Empire.  Mr Gunaris was informed of the league's attempts to collect the delinquent assessments and he  communicated to the league that it didn't seem like Mr Brown was going to pay the assessment or fine.

Once the league was alerted of Mr Brown’s intentions, an emergency conference call was set up.  During the call, it was decided to give the Empire until Thursday at noon to make their payment, after which time the league would be forced to cancel their home game with Jacksonville, and terminate their membership in the National Arena League effective immediately.  Unfortunately Mr Brown has failed to meet the deadline to his teams required financial obligations, and as a result the league has terminated his membership Agreement.

And so ends the most fascinating, tumultuous, disastrous and utterly bonkers ownership stint in the history of American sports. I can't keep repeating how, no matter how crazy you thought Brown's tenure would be, it's even crazier than that. But just because I've said it every time we get an update on this guy doesn't make it any less true. I mean, when he was first announced as the owner of the Empire back at the beginning March with this meet and greet:


… I don't think a man, woman or child among us thought he'd be booted from the league for non-payment inside of four months. But we all underestimated the power and majesty of his insanity. 

And what a way for him to go out. Not with a whimper, but this defiant, self serving bang:


Sadly, the fans who paid money to see the Empire the first time he said he was going to play now won't have the chance to see him Saturday when he said he was going to play. 

But in the long run, it's the NAL who are the victors in all this. They succeeded in doing what the Steelers, Raiders, Patriots and Buccaneers couldn't do: They quit on Antonio Brown/AB before he quit on them. And so yet another phase of his remarkable journey ends with him shirtless on a football field.

I cannot wait to see what's next for this truly unique individual. The gift to bloggers that simply will not stop giving. Stay tuned.

P.S. Never forget that Tom Brady let this crackpot live under the same roof as his family. Twice. One of the great "What was he thinking?" scenarios of all time.