The Oakland Raiders may not view releasing wide receiver Antonio Brown two days before the opening game as a laughing matter. After all, this is a very serious matter that brings up questions about mental health and the long-term effects of concussions, as well as the repercussions of breaking terms of a contract. However, not everyone agrees with this viewpoint. In fact, the radio voice of the Raiders, Brent Musburger, found time to have fun at Brown's expense on Saturday afternoon.
With the Silver and Black hosting the Denver Broncos on Monday night, Musburger had to fly into Oakland in order to call the game. Apparently, the flight was smooth, but Musburger did see something odd during the trip. As he wrote on Twitter, "I’m just flying into Oakland for the Monday Nighter and some dude in a hot air balloon is headed in the opposite direction. Can’t imagine who that might be."
This joke, of course, is in reference to the way that the former Oakland Raiders receiver arrived for training camp. Brown turned heads when he took a hot air balloon to Napa. This was a new method for the man that had previously shown up in a classic Rolls Royce and a helicopter.
AB lifted off in a hot air balloon in Napa, and his caption is on point 🎯July 27, 2019
"I thought it would be exciting to switch it up," Brown said at the time. "Napa Valley, obviously, is known for the hot air balloons. This camp is so important for this team because, you know, there is a lot at stake. We kinda got to develop our identity. I think it all starts today with the commitment of the guys there and everyone there understanding the reason we there and the reason they're putting the hand in the pile. To make the Raiders great again. It all starts today."
What made the situation even wilder is that Brown showed up to training camp with the hot air balloon, but he didn't stay for very long. He actually disappeared from the building while recovering from frostbitten feet. This was the start of a very contentious situation in the Bay Area, one that ultimately led to Brown's release from the team on Saturday morning.
In hindsight, the hot air balloon arrival was a poor choice by the embattled wide receiver. It only added to the stigma surrounding him after a highly-publicized departure from Pittsburgh, and it served as an omen of things to come. For Brent Musburger, however, it's something that he can joke about for the foreseeable future.