You’ll get no argument from me. Antonio Brown’s forward flip, in which he stuck the landing better than Mary Lou Retton, was awesome. It was the culmination of a long catch and run in which Brown put the game away against Cleveland.
The flip was instant social media fodder not just among Steelers’ fans but throughout football fans on Twitter, Instagram and so on. Heck, I thought it was so cool I even tweeted about it.
OMG!!! He just nailed the landing!!! TD AB!!! #steelers
— Steel Dad (@SteelDad) November 15, 2015
Once the excitement of Brown’s athletic achievement died down, common sense questions started to come in and to be very honest, they are valid.
“What if he gets hurt doing that?”
“What if he gets a 15-yard penalty for that?”
“How does Mike Tomlin feel about that?”
As a strong believer in old school football principles for the most part, let me say that I think team end zone celebrations should be allowed. I understand the NFL’s attitude toward individual celebrations especially those like what we used to see from Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson. But I have no problem with group celebrations. It’s a team game and scores should be celebrated by the team.
Brown’s end zone flip is certainly something that draws attention. How couldn’t it? While I’m on the fence over whether I’d like to see that again from him, it doesn’t matter what I think; it matters what Mike Tomlin and Art Rooney II and Dan Rooney think.
The latter two can’t be overly thrilled but as Neal Coolong of USA Today reported, Tomlin is fine with it and his only comment was “Judge it.” Whatever that means…
What concerns me more than the act itself is not the injury possibility, it’s the way it makes Tomlin look. This is a coach in recent years who has banned players from the pool table and the ping pong table as “punishment” for not doing things the right way. He’s also told players, Brown among them, not to be “jersey swapping” with other players yet they continue to do it anyway.
Tomlin has in the past expressed his disapproval of flipping into the end zone but he has apparently changed his tune. I can’t help but wonder what Tomlin’s comments would have been had the Steelers lost this game.
From here on, I don’t see anything stopping Brown from flipping into the end zone unless someone with the last name of “Rooney” says otherwise.