Original Reporting by Clay Skipper for GQ…
Superstar wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Antonio Brown [@AB84] is featured in GQ Magazine’s September issue where he opens up about his stunning smile, style and his one-of-a-kind “drip.”
“You got to have the smile,” he tells GQ, launching into an extemporaneous free lesson on personal swag. “The first time someone sees you smile, they gotta know you mean business.” Second, “you gotta have the right smell for the drip. When the person first meets you, they’re going to get that fragrance.” (And what, pray tell, does Antonio Brown smell like? “Like Chanel!”)
“You have the fragrance drip and you got the smile drip. That’s two ways to drip. Then you gotta get the fit. You can’t have no basic fit. You gotta have that different fit. When you got that different fit, you ’bout to DRIP.”
“I got all the drip,” he said. The divine-drip trinity.
Whatever the 30-year-old Brown has, it’s working. In 2010 he was the 195th pick in the NFL draft, an undersized five-foot-ten receiver who could maybe scrape out a career as a punt returner. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in his second season, and he’s made five more since, hauling in impossible sideline catches — and flipping into end zones.
His hands have the gravitational pull of small black holes—of the 174 passes fired his way last season, he dropped three. He’s football’s best current player not named Tom Brady, its most electric playmaker since Terrell Owens, and the most drippy since Deion Sanders wore a white bowler in a bubble bath for “Must Be the Money.”
“Maaan, I’m having a hell of a good time. It’s a great time to be alive,” he says. “It’s like, if you’re not having fun, what are you doing it for?” In a league that is often hostile to outsize displays of personality, he plays with a rarely seen brio.
Take his hair over the years, restless and eclectic and out there. You could plot the arc of his career in hairstyles alone. Then there is the fact that he might reasonably be credited with single-handedly bringing back the touchdown celebration from whatever dark place NFL’s tightly clenched executives buried it.
For his troubles, Brown has racked up tens of thousands of dollars in fines, including some $35,000 for “sexually suggestive” twerking/hip-thrusting. This last fact has caused some domestic distress:
“Whatever [my kids] see me do, they do. They try to hit some explicit dance moves. I told them that’s for Dad only.”
“Antonio Brown now gets a lot of notoriety, a lot of people watching him,” Brown said. “A lot of news. A lot of expectation.”
“I just feel that sometimes it can be hard as a player—a targeted player in the NFL—to really express yourself the right way. Anybody could say anything, and that’s what the public perception will be. If ESPN said I was a bad guy, or I was a killer, then that’s what people are gonna believe… I’m a real person. You just can’t say anything about my name and then show up thinking it’s cool. You gotta put some respect on it.”
For the entire story visit GQ.com.