Great athletes being the product of athletic parents is not uncommon. In fact, a large portion of the pro and college athletes we see every week had parents who played at the same level.
But it’s odd when that story isn’t told, especially when it involves one of the best and most noticeable athletes currently in North America, Antonio Brown.
Brown, who went to Central Michigan in case you didn’t know, has turned into one of the NFL’s premier wide receivers over the past few years, racking up more than 4,700 yards and 35 touchdowns over the last three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Add that in with all the marketing he does both in commercials and by himself online, and he’s a huge star.
And until today I had no idea that his dad was basically the 1990s version of Antonio in the Arena Football League.
His father, “Touchdown” Eddie Brown, played 10 season in the Arena Football League, all for the Albany/Indiana Firebirds.
In those 10 years he was named to the All-Arena First Team three times, was AFL MVP in 1994, was twice the offensive player of the year, made the league’s 15th Anniversary Team in 2001 while he was still active, and in 2006 was named the AFL’s greatest player.
And it’s easy to see why, in that 10 year career he hauled in 950 passes for 12,736 yards, a whopping 303 touchdowns, rushed for 32 more touchdowns on 89 career carries, and also added nine touchdowns on kick returns for a grand total of 344 touchdowns.
To break that down by year, he averaged roughly 90 catches, 1,270 yards and 34 touchdowns per year in the AFL. Which, given that the field is only 50 yards, is amazing. Basically he scored one out of every three times he touched the ball.
If you would like to know more about what Eddie has been up to in the 13 years since his last game in the AFL, and his relationship with Antonio, the Indy Star has a pretty cool story about Eddie that led me to learning about his famed AFL career, it’s worth reading.