NFL Films and HBO, undoubtedly at the behest of the Raiders, continue to tiptoe around the issues that have kept receiver Antonio Brown off the field throughout training camp. But one specific moment from last night’s episode shared a fundamental, and perhaps unintentional, truth wth the viewer.
In full uniform for pregame workouts prior to last Thursday’s preseason game against the Cardinas, Brown was wearing one of the various approved helmets. The show includes Brown telling a teammate that the helmet is “ugly as f–k yo.”
And there it is. It’s not about safety, it’s not about peripheral vision. It’s about how Brown looks in the new helmet, and about how he looks in his preferred helmet model.
That’s fine; plenty of players have that Billy-Crystal-as-Fernando-Lamas (timely reference, I know) viewpoint when it comes to football. For Brown, that’s a major factor in his ongoing helmet fight, if not the overwhelming factor.
Of course, that also may have been one of the reasons for Tom Brady to not want to switch helmets, and if you think that there’s no amount of vanity pinballing through Brady’s psyche, you’re not paying attention.
Brady got a one-year grace period in a banned helmet. Brown wants the same thing, now that the NFL has rushed to ban his helmet.
Soon enough, we’ll know whether an arbitrator will give Brown that extra year.