To say that Antonio Brown is having a strange week might be an understatement. But after last night, it seems he's fully gone through the looking glass. The Pittsburgh Steelers wideout not only stirred up some team beef with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and currently finds himself in trade rumors, but he also was the first contestant let go from one of the spookiest reality TV shows you've seen in a minute.
Out of the post-peyote, half-baked mishmash laboratory of pseudo ideas came a kind of hodgepodge reality show where celebrities wear giant mostly (but not always) animal costumes and perform songs with slightly altered voices called The Masked Singer. OK, fine, so the show is apparently based on a wildly popular South Korean reality show, but that doesn't stop it from being a hodgepodge.
The format of the show is that it's an expert panel's job to eliminate the worst performed contestant and wade through the nether regions of this fever dream to locate something familiar about this performer and see if they can guess who it is. It's fucking weird.
Just take a look at this giant hippo singing Bobby's Brown's 1988 hit "My Prerogative":
Or a disco lion singing some song that I have never heard before:
Or a Peacock singing another song I've never heard before:
Welp, since you read the headline, you're probably trying to guess which of these three Jim Henson workshop rejects was a football player, so I'll just give it to you straight: Antonio Brown was the hippo. Apparently, there was some correct speculation from the judges that it was an athlete, but they guessed Odell Beckham Jr. or Deion Sanders, only to find out that it was Antonio Brown under a Run DMC-inspired hippo getup. And yes, we only know this because he was eliminated in the first round for being the worst singer.
Now all of these "super-mysterious" clues make sense:
And here's the big reveal:
Sure, Antonio Brown is no stranger to reality TV, having appeared on Dancing with the Stars, but the reality TV drama is seeping into his day job now, too.
Brown did not play Sunday's game against the Bengals—which Pittsburgh needed to win and hope for some help from the Browns in order to make the playoffs—with the Steelers injury report stating that it was a knee issue. Reports did say Brown sat out of practices throughout the week, and head coach Mike Tomlin said on Friday the knee was not comfortable enough to practice, but it later came out that the knee had nothing to do with Brown missing the game.
We soon learned the real reason—the mask was lifted, if you will: Brown fought with Ben Roethlisberger at Wednesday's practice, going so far as to hurl a football "in Roethlisberger's direction." Add in the whispers of a potential trade coming out of Tomlin's season wrap up with reporters and you've got some full-on Kardashian-level shit.
Who knows, if the whole playing football thing doesn't work out, maybe he'll start up a career in music? Though he seems better suited to high reality TV drama.