Just when you thought it was safe to go back on social media again… The debate surrounding Antonio Brown’s touchdown celebrations is back on the front burner and I admit that both sides have valid arguments but the only guy that matters in all of this is Mike Tomlin.
In fact, all of this – the entire situation in fact – could be a moot point but Mike Tomlin won’t put an end to it. I’m on record already, I enjoy Brown having fun after a score. As a kid, I had no problem with Billy “White Shoes” Johnson or Washington’s “fun bunch” but my feelings don’t matter here.
The National Football League, regardless of how ridiculous, has made it clear that many types of celebrations are not going to be tolerated. Antonio Brown has not gotten this message. He’s been penalized three times this season and he’s been fined twice.
Ya, I know. He’s just having fun and the NFL is stupid!
Chances are, your boss has rules you don’t like but if you don’t follow them you don’t have a job. Because the NFL is such a unique monster, Brown knows that he could pretty much bring in all of the naked ladies from Blush Exotic to dance with him and he still wouldn’t face any consequences from Mike Tomlin. He’s the best receiver in the game and he knows he isn’t going to be benched.
But isn’t that the problem in and of itself? If Mike Tomlin has the type of “players’ coach” reputation we’ve all heard about then why hasn’t he had a “friendly chat” with Brown? Why hasn’t he said, “AB, you’re putting yourself ahead of the team. These 15-yarders aren’t helping the defense and in the end they could cost this team.”
I’ve seen many comments today about how if AB is dancing three times in a game then we are probably blowing someone out so why do the penalties matter anyway?
How much more of an example do you need than last week in Indy? That game was two plays (two fourth and goal stops actually) from being a one score game in the fourth quarter. Besides, how often Brown celebrates doesn’t matter. The fact that his head coach has refused to lay down the law does.
Ben Roethlisberger shouldn’t have to go on his radio show and explain that he’s talked to AB about this. Ramon Foster was on in Pittsburgh today too and said pretty much the same thing. Big Ben and Foster are leaders are on this team so I’m not surprised by their actions but where is Tomlin?
What gets lost in this entire episode is not whether Brown should be able to “have fun.” Almost all of us are of the mind that he and all NFL players should be able to as long as they aren’t taunting the other team. Unfortunately, the NFL doesn’t see it that way.
Antonio Brown is going to continue to celebrate and whether one of those 15-yard penalties costs the Steelers a game I cannot say. This entire debate however could all go away if Mike Tomlin simply said, “Enough.”
Photo courtesy USA Today