Antonio Brown has been a lot of things during his life. He’s been with several NFL teams, but one thing he never did during his playing career, was play for an arena football team. Despite the fact that Arena Football is tied to his father’s legacy in the sport, the flame that was Antonio Brown burned brighter than his father and led him to the NFL. However now over a year removed from his playing career, with a Super Bowl ring on his finger, he looks to add to his noted jewelry collection in 2023.
Albany’s Unprecedented Run of Success
Antonio Brown didn’t just buy into ANY National Arena League team. He bought into THE National Arena League team if you are a prospective owner. Winners of three straight championships, despite playing in two different leagues, and weathering the storm that was covid 19. Winning the final Arena Football Championship in 2019, before watching the league fold, Albany leapt to the National Arena League in 2020.
With Covid standing in the way of an immediate repeat, and a new coaching staff on board no one quite knew what to expect from Albany in a new league. However they would come out firing in the next two seasons, and ultimately win 2021, and 2022 Championships in the National Arena League.
Eddie’s Ties to Albany
Eddie Brown has deep ties to the Albany area. A Miami, Florida native, Eddie played his entire professional career, which actually lasted longer than his son’s, with the AFL’s Albany Firebirds. Signing with the team in 1994, he wouldn’t retire until after the 2003 season, a decade later. Antonio Brown was 6 years old when his father began his AFL career, and this left a lasting impression on him:
Brown took this and ran with it immediately jumping into football when he was young. This early start would pay off by leading him on to a decorated NFL career. During his playing career, Brown was widely regarded as the best wide receiver in the league, much like his father before him in the AFL. Both men dominated their respective leagues, and collected countless awards along the way:
“Touchdown” Eddie Brown as he was known, was named 3-time All-Arena, including an AFL MVP season in 1994, and 2-time AFL Offensive Player of the Year. He was named as the top player of all time on the AFL’s top 20 player list in 2006, and was named to the 2001 15th anniversary team. He was ranked as the #2 player on the top 25 player list made in 2012. His #17 jersey was retired by Albany as well.
Antonio to his credit made 7 pro-bowls, was named First-team All-Pro four seasons in a row, led the NFL in receptions and yards twice. He also managed to lead the league in touchdowns one time. Before entering the NFL he was named First-Team all American for the MAC conference, and Special Teams player of the year twice as well.
With two men as decorated as they are, joining an organization where winning matters above all else, the marriage couldn’t make more sense for the two parties. I personally believe this is good for the NAL, and good for the game of Arena Football in general. Welcome back to Football Touchdown Eddie Brown and AB.