There were a lot of dumb things about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2018 regular season. I’m not sure if many of them were dumber than the possibility of Antonio Brown being mad that his teammates voted JuJu Smith-Schuster as the team’s most valuable player for the season.
It has been suggested that Brown, the 30-year-old man who won the award four times in his first eight seasons, felt that he deserved to receive the award more than his second-year, 22-year-old teammate, who at the time of voting had more receptions and receiving yards, though not even half the amount of scores.
Of course, many of the reports that discussed the matter got the timeline wrong, suggesting that it was the precipitator of the alleged Wednesday incident during a pre-practice walkthrough. The thing is, the voting for the honor occurred on Thursday. So if it had any effect, it was an exacerbating one, rather than as a catalyst.
While Brown has ignored the media since before the regular season ended, Smith-Schuster on the other hand has hardly seen a day go by in which a microphone was not in his face, whether it was fielding questions at the Pro Bowl or now participating in the buildup leading to the Super Bowl in a few days.
During an appearance on Undisputed, his hosts asked him questions about that team MVP award and if he thought that had an effect on the situation. He was asked if Brown acted in any sort of way toward him after it happened.
“Not necessarily. Obviously I heard about it, people told me about it. But nothing from him towards me”, he said. Later, he was asked if he felt it had an effect on what would transpire afterward. “Not necessarily. I never really thought of it like that”, was his response.
Of course, he doesn’t necessarily know, either. He has also admitted that he hasn’t spoken to Brown since the season ended. Even assuming that he did speak to Brown before the season finale, the last time he was at the team’s facilities, that was over a month ago.
It would be utterly ridiculous and recklessly immature if this were something that was eating at Brown, even if he truly felt in his heart of hearts that he was the only player on the team who was deserving of the award.
I hope for his sake that that’s not the case, but frankly I also don’t think it is. Maybe he wasn’t thrilled about it, but there’s no way I can believe it’s primarily responsible for everything that has happened. It’s just a drop in the bucket.