With the eyes of the football world focused on Atlanta for the kickoff of Super Bowl LIII at 6.30 p.m ET on Sunday night, Antonio Brown figured that exact moment was the perfect time to reach out to Pittsburgh Steelers fans via social media in an effort to gauge how much they wanted him back with the team in 2019.
SteelerNation RT if u AB in Pittsburgh— Antonio Brown (@AB84) February 3, 2019
Assuming that Brown’s tweet was simply missing the word want, there can be little question that AB intentionally dropped this provocative post just as the Super Bowl began for maximum attention. And unsurprisingly, not all of the answers he received were as encouraging as he might have liked.
Ranging from obscene to indifferent, there were plenty of negative responses for Brown to sift through among the more positive replies.
You should want to be in Pittsburgh. Not the other way around.— Brandon Einstein (@BrandonEMC2) February 3, 2019
Nah. You quit on your team & teammates. You gave up & walked out the final week of the season. You want the spotlight & to be mentioned in every breath, but then you complain about it. It’s time to start anew. May you play many more years, but not in black & gold.— Jeffrey Seals (@theUNLVBigGuy) February 4, 2019
But based on the 30K retweets his post had received at the time of writing, it would seem most fans still want him back in Pittsburgh, despite all the recent drama.
AB! Plz plz stay!! You are an incredibly dynamic receiver, and have a whole supporting cast hacking you up! Plz stay my dude! You’re the man!— Liam Botos (@kmrshaliach) February 3, 2019
@AB84 Brotha. You the goat. Stay in the Burgh forever! Get that ring!— jake (@STACYs_mommm) February 4, 2019
Yes we want you please come back— Logan (@Beyond_626) February 4, 2019
There were also a number of responses from fans confused as to what Brown was actually asking in the first place.
I can't RT because I am not AB in Pittsburgh.— Steeler Chick ⚾️☠️ (@SteelerChickPGH) February 4, 2019
U high?— Will Dzombak (@RealTaylorGang) February 4, 2019
I have no idea what you mean but yes I agree— Riggsy (@t_riggsy) February 3, 2019
It is difficult at times to understand how Brown believes his use of social media helps his public profile and it often feels that AB subscribes to the theory that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Beyond the ego boost of seeing his phone light up with notifications when he posts, it is hard to see how his use of social media has helped his image recently.
Le’Veon Bell managed to alienate many of his fans in much the same way and it appears Brown is intent on following the same destructive path, one that is likely to end with Brown playing for another team in 2019, just like Bell.