Tim Benz: New info shows Antonio Browns helmet tantrum might have been unnecessary

 triblive.com  08/13/2019 10:11:15   Tim Benz Tue., August

The details surrounding Antonio Brown’s helmet holdout keep getting more amusing.

According to one national report, Brown’s meltdown might have been even more needless than originally thought.

Via ProFootballTalk.com: “Brown can’t use his preferred helmet — a Schutt AiR Advantage — in 2019, because that specific helmet is more than 10 years old. However, because the NFL has not affirmatively banned from use the Schutt AiR Advantage, Brown apparently could use one that is less than 10 years old, if he can find one.”

Oh? Do go on!

“A PFT reader communicated directly with the NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) on this subject, and Executive Director/General Counsel Michael Oliver has confirmed to PFT via email that, indeed, the NOCSAE continues to recertify Schutt AiR Advantage helmets that are less than 10 years old.”

In other words, Mr. Frostbitten Feet can still use his preferred brand of helmet. He just needs a more recent model, as PFT claims to have verified with a source.

To be fair to Brown — and I literally gagged while typing that — the story says the Schutt AiR Advantage was discontinued in 2011. So he needs one manufactured between 2009 and 2011, and he needs one in his specific size.

So, that’s a tough search.

And maybe those with the Raiders equipment office, the NFL, the NFLPA and Brown’s representation should’ve been aware of this potential loophole.

Brown staying away from practice and threatening to retire was basically a child stomping his feet — with pun thoroughly intended, by the way — when that energy could’ve been better served searching for a more equitable solution.

But, hey, why do that when creating a sideshow is so much easier to do?

On social media Monday, Brown posted that he wasn’t happy with the NFL’s ruling against his grievance over the helmet debate.

“While I disagree with the arbitrator’s decision, I’m working on getting back to full health and looking forward to rejoining my teammates on the field,” Brown posted on Twitter. “I’m excited about this season appreciate all the concerns about my feet.”

The next episode of “Hard Knocks” is Tuesday night on HBO. Let’s see if he makes a cameo. Or if this topic does at all.

Based on how scrubbed last week’s debut was, I’m dubious of how directly this issue will be addressed.

Speaking of selective silence, I wonder where all those highly critical national media types are today. Folks such as Amy Trask, Pat Creighton, Andrew Brandt, Kevin Van Valkenburg, Mike Greenberg and that lot.

They are a portion of the group who, back in March, tried to push blame on the Steelers for why Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell left. They tried to make it look like the organization was at fault for forcing those players out of town, instead of realizing those two for being the greedy, spoiled, petulant divas that they are.

If you need a refresher on their hot takes, I have one handy.

Since Brown and Bell left, all Brown has done is bring his circus act to Oakland. And Bell has made more news with his rap career than his practices.

I say now, as I said then, I still expect those two to be Pro Bowl performers in their new cities. My commentary about their personalities is independent of my praise for their remarkable talents.

But they are both ungodly goofballs.

This latest uneducated layer to Brown’s unnecessary helmet tantrum is further proof of how narcissism and rational behavior are rarely compatible.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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