Steelers’ receiver Antonio Brown made his grandest training-camp entrance yet last Wednesday, as he arrived at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, in a helicopter.
This immediately created a distraction — at least it did for me — because upon reading the story, I stopped focusing on football and started watching a YouTube video of the Magnum P.I. intro that features T.C.’s iconic chopper.
As you might expect, fans (at least those on the Internet and talk shows) were wondering why Brown didn’t arrive at camp while running the receiver route-tree over and over again.
Making grand training-camp entrances is nothing new for Brown, nor is it unique to him. Steelers players have been finding fun and article-inducing ways to arrive at training camp for years. Even legendary James Harrison, a gladiator with the focus and intensity of a Navy Seal and Army Ranger combined, came into camp last year driving a firetruck.
Would you ever accuse Harrison of lacking focus? (Insert your joke about sleeping in team meetings here.)
If you click on this link of the Steelers’ version of the Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe lip-sync video which a lot of teams distracted themselves by making in 2012, you’ll see Brett Keisel arriving at training camp driving a bulldozer and Charlie Batch arrives wearing funny glasses and stuff.
Wait a minute, you mean the Steelers actually videotaped a distraction (funny camp arrivals) while creating another distraction (funny lip sync video)? Mind = blown.
Now I know why they finished 8-8 that year.
Seriously, though, when did this sport stop being fun? I remember how I used to watch and read about silly training-camp shenanigans, and I’d simply laugh.
Even Chuck Noll, the former head coach who won four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s, once conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra during a training camp. That’s right, I said it. The architect of the greatest football dynasty of all time took moments out of his training-camp schedule to conduct an orchestra that had nary a single player in it who would help him win his fifth Super Bowl ring.
Come to think of it, maybe there really is something to these undisciplined activities that don’t involve football playing, thinking or breathing.
Take me, for example. Whenever someone arrives at training camp in a silly vehicle these days, the first thing I think about is the irreverent article I’m going to have to write that makes fun of the people who think this stuff really matters.
After that, I have to answer questions about why I wrote the article. As a result of this, my mind is preoccupied by nothing but sarcastic helicopter jokes, when what I really should be focusing on is the Steelers’ 4-2-5 defensive alignment, and how much they plan on using it in 2018.
They don’t let this stuff go on in New England. But, then again, they don’t let it happen in Cleveland, either.
Damn it, now I’m distracted by the fact that the Patriots and the Browns could both have the same focus and attention to detail.
Now I’ve got more irreverent jokes floating around in my cranium.
Thanks for yet another distraction, Antonio.