Antonio Brown and the psychology of workplace teams

I am not a big football fan. But I know enough about the game to get invested in the Super Bowl or any big game the NY Giants are playing in. For the past year, the Giants haven’t been so good. That may be an understatement. But most certainly the Giants have potential as they have shown giving Brady and the Patriots two back to back Super Bowl losses. And those were unbelievable games. But I am not hear to wax nostalgic about the Giants’ glory days. The Giants did have an epic comeback this weekend and I watched those replays repeatedly. But I am not here to hope the Giants have a great season ahead, I’m hear to wonder how did Antonio Brown just lose it all.

By all accounts he was (is) a great wide receiver. He hit and broke records. He seemed motivated to succeed. He chose the jersey number of “84” since it represented the many beer of 32 teams who passed him over in the draft. He wore his motivation. Or, looking back now, he wore the proverbial “chip on his shoulder”. He played well for the Pittsburgh Steelers. But then something went sideways. Very sideways and upside down. As a fair weather football fan, it’s hard for to track what went wrong. I can only go by the headlines.

And, this is what I know. He “played” for three teams in 2019. Asked to be released by two of them. Went from $30 million guaranteed in March to having earned thus far, in 2019, a total of $158,333. That is a major free fall. All of his own doing. Supposedly it all started with an argument with his Steelers quarterback. Then it became all about a helmet. Then, a few threatening texts came to light when he was accused of rape. I don’t see how he comes back from all this, even if it’s possible. But he is a prime example of getting in one’s own way of success and self-sabotage. One can hope he gets the help he most obviously needs and that the truth comes to light in regards to the accusations against him. Whether true or not.

Antonio Brown was a great player who seems to have been steeped in a need-for-respect daze. He wanted to be the big star. He was a big star but it seems he wanted to be the biggest star. He wanted to be the quarterback while being a wide receiver. He wanted to be the front man for the rock band. Maybe he should have been a tennis player instead. His plays, including aces, would have been his own. His grunts laying claim to the microphone. Although, the length of his celebratory dances would still have to be okayed by a few others. And, disrespectful behavior would still be frowned upon. And, threatening texts would still be unacceptable. And, accusations of sexual assault would still have to be investigated. But, maybe being a solo player would have led to less trigger points. Hard to tell.

And, I jest about him being a tennis player. The point being that not every one is meant to be on a team. And, you need to figure out what is your best work environment. Recently, I was interviewing someone for a position on my team and I asked them in which type of work environment they succeed best. They paused for a second and noted they needed a fast-paced challenging environment in which they didn’t need to be front and center. They were ok, per them, being a supporting player. Interesting reflection. Now could be that they heard me loud and clear that I need people on my team who can keep up. Or maybe even get ahead of me. But I was fully transparent on my expectations. They seemed to not only be ok about them but to also want to be in such an environment. Life is short. A trite saying. But accurate in the grand scheme of things. Find your footing. And, give it your all.

1 reply »

  1. SMiLes.. Perhaps the most
    Successful are ‘Quiet
    Ones’ with Internal Rewards or Both
    Like Forrest Gump
    Other than that i am
    Impressed by the
    Chameleon of
    Your Intellect
    Like that Young
    Woman on Climate
    Change Never Dismiss
    Meek As Having no
    Teeth or Claws Men
    Who Abuse Women
    Have no Place
    In Civilization
    At Least
    As Real Men.


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