Circus Far From Over With Albany Empire As Coach Walks Out
Few people around the Capital Region are surprised by the turmoil surrounding the Albany Empire and their lightning-rod owner, former NFL star Antonio Brown. This weekend was just another act under the big-top circus.
Empire head coach Tom Menas stepped down on Sunday. Menas had only returned to the team two weeks ago, after being fired on April 6th. Yes, that is all true but when the team owner is a walking tornado of issues, how can any of this be a surprise?
In early April, when Menas was first relieved of his duties, days before the franchise's season opening game, the head coach told Abigail Rubel of timesunion.com, “When you have new ownership groups put together, I respect what their vision is; their vision may not be my vision. It’s just time to part ways. No hard feelings, no blood in the water.” Menas was a man of his word. Menas returned as head coach on May 3rd, after interim head coach Damon Ware, who took over for the fired head coach, and six of the Empire players left the team amid paycheck disputes with the organization. Again, this is all easier to believe with Antonio Brown as the owner.
However, Antonio Brown is another story. Rubel reported that Brown tweeted, “New coach new trainer new players Who wanna Win?????” during the fourth quarter of the 79-34 loss to Jacksonville on Saturday, 18 days after Menas agreed to help stabilize the team by returning. Sunday, Menas said in a statement, “I came back to Albany because I wanted to help this team and this organization in a time where structure was needed. I have come to realize that my vision doesn’t match our ownership’s vision, and I need to do the right thing and step aside to allow the Albany Empire to find a head coach that matches their vision." After completely being disrespected, Tom Menas continued to be a class-act. Many are wondering if a match for Antonio Brown's "vision" really exists. This is far from over.