From the day that Antonio Brown was announced as a member of the Albany Empire's ownership group, to the present day, things have been anything but normal. Here is the complete timeline of Brown's tenure as owner.

Many more updates to come, we assume.

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Background - Why Albany for Antonio Brown?

For those that do not remember, Antonio Brown is the son of legendary arena football receiver Eddie Brown.

"Touchdown" Eddie Brown was voted the best player in AFL history during the league's 20th anniversary. As a member of the Albany Firebirds, Brown was a dominant force in the arena game for the better part of a decade.

Antonio Brown grew up around indoor football in Albany, and posted this picture on Twitter when news broke that he would be joining the Empire ownership group.

  Antonio Brown is Announced as a Team Owner

Antonio Brown was announced as member of the ownership group for the Empire, with Eddie Brown joining the organization's front office in a "day-to-day operations" role. Few other details were shared at the time.

Head Coaches: 1; Games Played: 0

Tom Menas 4-16-21

Days before the season began, long-time Empire head coach Tom Menas was fired by the team. Coordinator Damon Ware was named as Menas' replacement.

And, the Owner Is...

Around the time of the season opener, questions began to arise regarding the ownership of the Albany Empire, and specifically, who was calling the shots. Antonio Brown was announced as a part owner, while Mike Kwarta was still considered the majority owner.

No one outside of the team was sure who owned the team, or or more specifically, what percentage of the team was being owned by which party. Check out this news package done on the situation by WNYT in the aftermath of the game:

Somehow, it got stranger from here.

Home Opener Becomes a Home Oh No-pener

The home opener got off to a rocky start, as Antonio Brown was asked to leave the floor ahead of kick-off, and refused to do so.

Antonio Brown Faces Legal Troubles

Getty Images
Getty Images

Brown has also dealt with legal troubles during his tenure as team owner. He reportedly failed to pay child support on-time, and was sued by a former jeweler for more than $1 million.

Introducing the Antonio El-Allah Express Trust Enterprise...or Whatever That Means

At the height of all of the ownership issues, there was a moment in time where Antonio Brown claimed he did not own one bit of the Albany Empire franchise. Instead, it was owned by the Antonio El-Allah Express Trust Enterprise, an organization of which he is a trustee.

The quote that was provided to The Times Union was pretty wild: “I want to make it very clear that I am not the owner of this team, and any claims to the contrary are completely false.”

And yet...

Ownership Issue Appears to Be Addressed

The "Antonio El-Allah" story came and went, and from there, mostly everyone, including Antonio Brown himself, have operated under the assumption that Brown owns a 95% stake in the team.

Following the ownership controversy, former majority owner Mike Kwarta said this to CBS 6 in Albany:

Brown Negotiates to Buy Prominent Capital Region Residence

From there is appeared as though Brown was making an effort to be part of the Capital Region community. He was rumored to be interested in purchasing the famous Palazzo Riggi in Saratoga, which was available for $12 million at the time.

Damon Ware, Players Leave as Pay Dispute Boils Over

Then, things took a turn once again, as a pay dispute arose within the team. Eight players, as well as coach Damon Ware, stated that they had not been paid by the team in nearly two weeks. Brown had also reportedly locked certain players out of a team hotel in Albany around the same time.

Ware and the players departed the organization, and Brown had this to say about the ordeal:

The Empire were once again without a head coach.

Menas Returns as Empire Head Coach

A video was posted to the team's social media page showing Antonio Brown writing checks to Empire players, seemingly showing that the pay dispute had been put to bed. On the heels of that video, it was announced that Tom Menas would return as the team's head coach.

Here's more on that announcement:

So, after a bump in the road, it appeared as though we may have been headed for some stability.

Antonio Brown Says He'll Play for Albany Empire

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Jets
Getty Images

Then, the headline to end all headlines for the Albany Empire hit news stations, as Antonio Brown teased a return to the football field with the Empire in late-May. At that point, all we could do was wait.

Local Restaurant Left Saying: "Check, Please!"

Meanwhile, the folks at Taste of Italy in Latham claimed that they had not been paid after providing the Albany Empire with team meals. They were later compensated after the story made headlines locally.

Menas Resigns, and the Coaching Carousel Begins

Two weeks after he had returned, Tom Menas was out again. This time around, he tendered his resignation, a move which began the metaphorical spinning of a fascinating coaching carousel in Albany. First, it was La Salle high school head coach John Audino, who later turned down the offer.

Then, it was Pete Porcelli, who is an assistant at La Salle, who was fired after less than a week on the job.

Finally, the team landed on Moe Leggett, who transitioned from player to coach during his tenure in Albany.

  MVP Arena Crowd Left Disappointed; Brown Doesn't Play

While the mess at head coach was unfolding, the Empire held a home game at MVP Arena. Thousands of fans were left disappointed, as Antonio Brown chose not to play in the game. The team cited improperly filed paperwork as the reason for Brown not playing, though no concrete evidence was found of that actually being a rule.

Brown has yet to suit up for a game to this point in the season, but did briefly practice with the team before the 5/27 game.

Brown Asked to Leave by Albany Hotel, Police

In a more recent development, Antonio Brown was asked to leave an area hotel, after employees received complaints about noise and the smell of marijuana.

The Times Union's Mark Singelais posted this statement from the hotel's owner:

So, Where are We Headed Next?

Naturally, there may have been a few smaller developments that didn't get included here, but this story covers most of the major developments that have happened since the first ownership announcement in February.

From here, the Empire have another home game, and once again, Antonio Brown is rumored to be suiting up. Only time will tell, but hopefully, more positive news will surface by the time this article gets updated again.

More to come.

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