I normally do not write solely about sports figures because I recognize my vast audience of readers, which consists of my mother, daughter and occasionally my wife, do not really care that much about sports figures. But I just cannot resist writing about Antonio Brown.
For those who do not know, Antonio was a wide receiver for the Pittsburg Steelers for nine years. He is one of the best all-time, but he also had lots of off-field issues and some on-field issues, and eventually the Steelers said enough and traded him to the Oakland Raiders. Once traded, he signed a contract for something like $60 million-plus. Now that is a lot of money, but understand most of these type contracts guarantee only a portion of the money and the rest may, or may not, be paid, depending on all types of things that must occur. In Antonio’s case, he was guaranteed $29 million if he could simply still be on the team by last Sunday (Sept. 8) and not have been fined for conduct detrimental to the team. In short, he needed to act halfway decent for about four months to get $29 million.
Well, I suppose Antonio has a little more stored away in the bank account than I do. He first refused to report to training camp because he did not like his new NFL-mandated helmet and wanted to wear his old helmet. The team could not do this because it would violate league rules.
Listen, I have owned many cherished objects in my life, but not a one is worth $29 million. I would play an entire NFL season without a helmet for $29 million. I’d play naked the entire year for $29 million. I’d give up my autographed Bo Jackson jersey for $29 million. My children might best be somewhere other than home if an offer is made for them for $29 million.
But Antonio is willing to throw it all away for his favorite helmet. Earth to Antonio: Your cherished helmet must not be working too well if you will throw away $29 million.
Antonio also decided to treat his feet to cryotherapy. In case you do not know, cryotherapy is the same thing they use to freeze a dead person at about 200 below zero in hopes one day they can be brought back to life. In Antonio’s case, it did not bring anything to life but did severely frostbite his feet ... in July. He is the first NFL player to be placed on the injured reserve list for frostbite in the summer ... in Oakland ... California.
Brown finally decided to post a video of an argument with his coach on YouTube and another meme on Instagram about the club general manager. As Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise.” Oakland decided to let him go less than 12 hours before he earned his $29 million. I don’t know what to make of the entire affair. He came out fine, as New England hired him less than a day later. But I think his new contract guarantees only $10 million with no further yearly options.
Oh well, what’s $20 million? I bet he gets his favorite helmet in New England.