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Tim Benz: Get off Twitter, Antonio Brown. I dare you. | TribLIVE.com
Tim Benz, Columnist

Tim Benz: Get off Twitter, Antonio Brown. I dare you.

Tim Benz
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AP
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) carries ahead of New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport (92) on Dec. 23, 2018, in New Orleans.

On Tuesday, Antonio Brown said he isn’t giving the media any more “ammo.”

I assume that means the endless supply of hand grenades he has gifted us over the past year via social media.

“You trollers troll!” Huh?

Antonio, we never looked for “the ammo.” You basically hand deliver military launch codes to our laptops daily with your tweeting.

No one in the media baited you into doing #AskAB a few weeks ago. Or begged you to post the Mr. Big Chest video. Or take shots at Ben Roethlisberger, Art Rooney II, JuJu Smith-Schuster and others.

You did all that on your own.

Tuesday’s tweet is essentially part of a 10-month-long misunderstanding that you seem to have about how sports media and social media work.

Brown doesn’t grasp that his activity on these platforms creates the headlines. The headline makers were never trying to create negative stories about him, when — as of this spring anyway — he was still widely liked by the local and national fanbases.

It started in June when Brown had his minicamp news conference. A lot of that bizarrely emotional Q&A was centered around him feeling smothered by too much media attention. To that point on the calendar, though, most of the media attention was about things the All-Pro wide receiver said or posted online about Bruce Arians, his personal relationships with the mothers of his children and Le’Veon Bell’s absence.

That’s when he made those paradoxical complaints about waking up to Google alerts when he was making all of the news himself. He bemoaned that fans were showing up for his private workouts. Yet he’d routinely post video of where he was working out.

Please understand these tears that I’m crying aren’t of sadness that Brown may be leaving social media. They are tears of joy. I could use the break from my phone.

The hockey playoffs are upon us. Baseball is in full swing. And the draft is coming up. I don’t need the routine of trying to decipher A.B.’s daily cryptic, incoherent, emoji-filled, kindergarten-rebus tweets to determine whether he is taking a shot at the team I still cover or whether he is simply bathing in self-aggrandizing praise.

Don’t get me wrong, A.B. I’m not going to speak for anyone else in the media. But you make it easy. And you draw attention.

Heck, I’m grateful. In the 13 months since this section of Trib Sports has launched, you have been our MVP. I mean, I wouldn’t want to give that distinction to anyone else because you’d probably get upset. It’s true, though.

Even more than Bell.

Because of you, business for us has been — dare I say — boomin’!

But if you are telling me you want to get off Twitter, or at least cut down on the attention-grabbing posts, don’t threaten me with a good time.

Well, I suppose I’d rather you threaten me with a good time instead of the way you threaten other reporters.

Honestly, though. Who are we kidding? You can’t stay away from social media any easier than Bell can stay away from bad rap lyrics. You are addicted to it, Mr. Big Chest.

Sure. Go undercover for a while. You’ll be back. Probably over the NFL Draft weekend when the Steelers select some poor, unsuspecting wideout. You’ll likely rip him for taking “your spot” on the roster.

I hope they give whomever it is No. 84. That’ll bring you back to the surface in style.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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