Tom Brady and the Buccaneers Were Blown Out. Was It an Antonio Brown Curse?

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Last week, Brown, who wore a “TB12” cap denoting Brady’s health and wellness company, told reporters that Brady was instrumental in his return and had introduced him to the motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Brown said he has been “working on myself within and without” and “not listening to the naysayers.”

Still, he hoped to “win them over in my actions, how I move forward and how I handle my business.”

Television broadcasters have a different task when discussing Brown because they have a game to produce, too.

“Nothing should really overwhelm the game except the game itself,” said Fred Gaudelli, the producer of ‘Sunday Night Football’ at NBC Sports. “Brown will be covered but not at the expense of the game.”

On Sunday night, NBC used its pregame show to delve into Brown’s circumstances because there were no unscripted interruptions that might occur during the game. The pregame show, though, has half and sometimes one-third as many viewers as the game.

Mike Tirico, the show’s host, introduced the discussion on Brown as “the latest chapter in a saga that has lasted for nearly two years.” He reeled off a list of Brown’s transgressions and travails, including run-ins with his quarterback in Pittsburgh, injuring his foot in cryotherapy sessions, getting fined tens of thousands of dollars for missing workouts and his release by the New England Patriots after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Hosts went on to assess whether the “Antonio Brown experiment” would “work” in Tampa. “This has to work for him or he’s out of chances,” Michael Holley said. “And by the way, he’s staying at Tom Brady’s house. That has to work out, right?”

Tony Dungy, a former coach, said that Brady’s sponsoring Brown was critical. “Tom Brady, being your quarterback, a veteran, and he vouches for him, and comes to you and says, ‘Coach, we need this guy,’ that definitely impacts your decision-making.”



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