Buffalo fans found someone new to loathe. Antonio Brown made our list of things to do today alongside various cheap shot artists and numerous Boston sports twerps. I didn’t expect this particular sulking ingrate would become an enemy late on a March weeknight, but football is a game with so much going on that there are bound to be surprises.
All-star crab Brown wouldn’t come to a team with a losing culture, so he’s off to… the Raiders. The Bills don’t play the cutthroat playoff outcasts this season, which means they’ll miss seeing what’s bound to be a calm and successful roster thrive firsthand. Oakland got the Dancing with the Stars contestant and Hippo on The Masked Singer they wanted. I understand he also plays football in between explaining why his teammates and employer are garbage. Mariah Carey has a relatively even temperament by comparison.
Pope John Paul I served longer than Antonio spent as an almost-Buffalonian. Get Brown’s name on a Bills jersey if you like explaining jokes.
If you thought teasing Adam Schefter was fun, there’s another reporter who’s earned indefinite mocking. Thanks to Ian Rapaport’s oh so unimpeachable sources, we went to bed not knowing if there was a deal for Antoniödinger’s cat. Figuring out whether the Bills landed Brown or dodged his antics added ambivalence to a weird and tense sports news night.
Did Buffalo learn from itself? The non-deal never happened a decade to the day after adding notorious headache Terrell Owens. I wonder if they’ll ponder adding a talented yet troubled wideout in March 2029. I’d bet he’s a cyborg who’s good at catching but keeps hunting down humans.
Brandon Montour remains the centerpiece of Buffalo’s biggest March trade. A wild rumor turned the aftermath of another Sabres letdown into a discussion about whether that other Pegula property made a radical addition. Wondering if Brown was Bills material offered a nice distraction from not firing Phil Housley.
The player’s crankiness aside, I thought for a moment they had the receiver they needed, which is any receiver. John Brown and Cole Beasley offer hope that Buffalo learned it’s necessary to have players who can catch to win.
Still, Antonio Brown would’ve been extra special. He’s thrived in almost any situation on his way to accumulating 837 receptions. And that’s all come by the age of 30 with his birthday pending in July. Like you, I will not be sending him an Omaha Steaks order.
The Bills are satisfying roster needs more quietly than with a loud trade, which says a lot. Still, they could go for a receiver with their first pick considering the one they didn’t add. The Bills won’t get to draft Brown, as he is technically not eligible. On the plus side, they can add a promising youngster with a sunny disposition. Sometimes, a known quantity is worse, as how a team still associated with Al Davis nabbed a player with a past more checkered than 2 Tone Records.
Brown may as well be a test case for whether talent outweighs what accompanies it. They don’t check for character in the end zone. But employers also should strive to not attract petulant sulkers. Those they hire will be moving to town, after all, as football is not a job for telecommuting. I’m guessing Pittsburgh’s motorists are used to seeing his middle finger.
I’m just another Buffalo fan with a tendency to focus on character to the detriment of performance. The one thing better for a locker room than having good guys around is winning. But some humans are so toxic that they make everyone else at the company miserable. Brown laid waste to Pittsburgh, which is not exactly a franchise known for inner turmoil.
Brandon Beane can still claim with a straight face that he pursues high-quality individuals. Brown’s habit of missing practice makes it seem like he thinks no more improvement is possible. I sincerely hope the Raiders enjoy playing by his rules.
Changing locker room culture for someone who says the team has to bend to his will is surely a fun way to spend the offseason. Darth Vader was more polite to officers he Force choked. This is the same guy who said he doesn’t have to play football, although that was way back last week. Joining a new franchise is a chance to stop calling ex-teammates Uncle Toms.
There will be no bracing for ranting. Missing pain is a joy in itself. If Mister Frowny couldn’t get along with Ben Roethlisberger, how was he going to coexist with a raw young talent? I wonder if anyone mentioned how the trade would’ve affected Buffalo’s quarterback. Josh Allen combines excitement about stretching the field paired with concerns about nearby accuracy. Even his boosters know there’s work left. Coping with Brown would’ve outweighed playing with him.
The Bills may have a lot to prove. But they don’t have to feel scuzzy about it. Like the faded Raiders, the have to win games for a change. Only one of them will try to do so with a pouter who faces his own struggle to show he can catch the ball with less drama.
Buffalo benefitted from a trade that never happened. They don’t have to justify adding a headache while pretending he could be pals with new teammates. And the salt from Bills-haters makes life delicious. Seeing who indulged in lame jokes about a city we adore was a blessing in disguise. One of the countless nice things about Buffalo is how miserable people who think it’s Hell’s Arctic outpost stay away. They miss what we enjoy.
In football terms, let the joyless snarlers not believe the Bills don’t have a quarterback with potential as far as he can throw, more cap room than they’ll be able to use, and a solid defense. Buffalo is better with people who want to be around. I’m glad to be here, and not just because Brown is not my neighbor.
Editor’s babble: Toss on top of this heap of free agency news the whiners who complain that the Bills didn’t sign OBJ. Suddenly the Browns have become a star franchise because they have a couple of diva receivers? Thanks, but as much as I despise the Patriots, I’ll take their “middling” approach and championship record over the Browns splash-making headlines every single time. Thanks to Anthony Bialy, as always for his contributions to our blog. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.