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News is still boomin’ with Antonio Brown three years after leaving the Steelers

The Steelers and Antonio Brown will always be connected, and when he does or says something provocative, it’s going to dominate the news cycle. And it should be talked about.

Syndication: USATODAY Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sport

The 24/7 news cycle moves so fast today. It moves so fast, in fact, that the 24 part of “24/7” has never seemed more appropriate.

Remember that time when the guy hit the other guy at the awards thingy?

Many other things have happened since then—like every 24 hours—that we’ve debated, dissected and been banned by people/banned people over.

I can’t really remember what any of those things were, but the rage and the bannings were cool.

Because I can’t remember what those other things were that happened since the slap at the awards thingy, I figure I should probably write some stuff about former Steelers receiver, Antonio Brown, and his tweets from Monday that dominated the 24/7 news cycle for about a day—at least the Steelers 24/7 news cycle, anyway—while it’s still fresh in my cranium.

What did Brown tweet? Only that he wanted to retire as a Steeler.

This immediately generated many retweets, likes and replies—believe it or not, those replies were diverse with regard to the people and their feelings about AB.

This tweet by Brown immediately led to the publication of thousands of articles about what Brown said, as well as millions of polls, a bunch of “What do y’all think?” quote tweets and perhaps even a seismic shift in the universe. Not long after that, Brown did a rather refreshing thing by actually clarifying what he meant via another tweet:

This clarification led to more of those responses I just mentioned. Nevertheless, the “Antonio Brown wants to retire as a Steeler but only after he’s all done with football” development was all anyone could talk about on Monday.

As it should have been, even if there were a bunch of “Why are we still talking about ANTONIO BROWN!?!?!” comments followed by the steaming mad emoji on every Steelers-related Twitter feed, Facebook thread and comments section.

Are you kidding me? Why are we still talking about Brown? For one thing, he’s a former Steeler and arguably the greatest receiver in franchise history. For another thing, his divorce from the team couldn’t have been more chaotic and drama-filled if it was scripted by a writer for The Real Housewives of Atlanta/Beverly Hills/Real Husbands of Hollywood.

Third, did you see how much activity Brown’s initial tweet got all by itself? We’re talking over 5,500 replies, 11,700 retweets and 59,000 likes. It was like a Twitter version of his career in Pittsburgh, a time that included the most prolific six-year run for any receiver in the history of the NFL.

For writers, podcasters, reporters and radio hosts to not talk about what Antonio Brown said after it generated such a response would be like your ex-lover, someone who you had a steamy and rollercoaster relationship with, tweeting @ you, “I still love you,” followed by another tweet, “Well, I don’t love you, but I wouldn’t mind grabbing a cup of coffee sometime,” and you refusing to even bring it up the next time you saw your friends, who are all just waiting for you to, you know, bring it up.

It would be disingenuous to publish an article about the strengths of a 5-technique defensive lineman when everyone else is talking about Brown’s latest antics.

Brown and the Steelers will always be connected, and the next time he does or says something that may or may not have anything to do with his original NFL team, we will talk about it.

Same with Terry Bradshaw the next time he disses Ben Roethlisberger and/or the Steelers organization (I believe he’s overdue). If Le’Veon Bell goes on Twitter and says his walk-off touchdown against the Chargers on Monday Night Football back in 2015 was more impressive than Franco Harris’s Immaculate Reception, we’re going to spend the day talking about it.

The Steelers have a long and rich history filled with great players and coaches. Many are beloved. Many are not.

Like it or not, the business will always be booming when a former member of the organization, but especially an unpopular one, has something to say.