Well, some of us did. I’ve had this written on a whiteboard in our office for about two months.
But for the rest of you, welcome aboard! Antonio Brown is not a Raider. He never will be a Raider. Like so many offseason fever dreams, this acquisition was as real as Zion Williamson photoshopped into a Knicks jersey.
When Oakland sent third and fifth-rounders to Pittsburgh to obtain Fussy AB, I will admit I assumed most of his self-centered behavior would continue to manifest itself throughout the campaign, but that Brown would still put up a world-class season for a 6-10 team, feeling endlessly irrelevant while producing anyway.
Too soon? https://t.co/moyOoKBWfM
— Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) September 5, 2019
Instead, we’ve gotten a disappearing act of historic proportions. A lesson learned in what it might be like to watch Houdini attempt to escape professional obligations. A master at work in torching everything in his path, his associates’ paths, and some other, irrelevant paths he hadn’t even considered touching yet on purpose.
Or, perhaps I’m examining this the wrong way. Perhaps, by throwing endless tantrums, all while resting damaged on the sidelines, Brown has morphed into the epitome of Raider Energy, and he’s, in fact, MORE Raider than any of the rostered Raiders.
After all, what’s more “Raiders” than being fined for incredibly public indiscretions which you certainly did commit, then getting so combative in arguing against their worthiness that you have to be held back from attacking your GM?
Antonio Brown was unhappy about being fined and had an exchange with #Raiders general manager Mike Mayock on Wednesday. He was held back by a couple of teammates, sources said, and is now facing a team suspension.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 5, 2019
I will not go so far as to say that we must view the Ben Roethlisberger-led Steelers with an air of sympathy; after all, Ben himself did plenty to increase the toxicity in that mismanaged room, and Le’Veon Bell’s great escape was far from meritless.
But, Brown’s summer of petulant behavior has been capped by the grandest gesture of all, a violent squirt of whipped cream on a sundae built from health risks, a melted hot air balloon, and chilled foot skin.
But after he didn't show up for Week 17, cooked his feet in an ice bath, demanded to wear a concussion-causing hunk of metal on his head, came to camp in a hot air balloon, and grew a blonde mustache, I ask you, WHO could've seen this latest Antonio Brown news coming?!
— 12up (@12upSport) September 5, 2019
He quit on the 2018 Steelers, with a playoff berth still in reach. He quit on the 2019 Raiders, a destination he was clearly unsatisfied with, by callously mistreating his own body, the greatest of all advantages, before trying to inflict more harm on it with the use of outdated, unsafe equipment.
Whether he had any intention to or not, his actions made it clear months ago that he would not be appearing on this team.
Just imagine how swiftly Brown’s 2019 would’ve catapulted off the rails, over a cliff, and into the ravine if the Steelers had managed to complete their initial deal with the Bills. Chills.