One could consider this the golden age of the cleat game in the NFL, as one-offs and specially designed shoes are all the rage. Gone are the days of no one noticing what kind of cleats a player is wearing on the field. It’s all about finding a way to one-up the competition on the scoreboard and looking fresh while doing it too.

No one in the NFL takes his cleat game as serious as Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. He’ll step his game up another notch this weekend with a tribute to his father, Eddie, who also was an Arena League legend with a nickname of “Touchdown.”

It’s just the latest in a long line of unique cleats and NFL fines this season for the brash and amazing wide receiver. Brown has given us a Kimbo Slice-Jose Fernandez tribute, some Muhammad Ali cleats (that the NFL made him remove at halftime) and perhaps my favorite, the Arnold Palmer tribute cleats.

So, why honor his father now and not earlier in the season? According to his shoe artist, Corey Pane, it was actually a surprise for Brown (via’s Jeremy Fowler):

“And with his father’s cleats, Brown didn’t know about them until this week. Pane surprised him. Pane tries to work in advance, then ships the cleats to Brown or gives him shoes in bulk if he comes to Pittsburgh.”

However awesome and well-received the cleats have been by fans and onlookers, the NFL hasn’t exactly taken too kindly to him. Brown has been fined a few times this year and asked to remove cleats on multiple occasions.

Don’t worry, he won’t be getting fined for these cleats though, as he will be doing what he’s done with other designs this season — take them off following pregame workouts.

It’s just a shame that the NFL doesn’t allow for some individual creativity to be shown, especially when there are good and personal messages behind the designs. Then again, they don’t call it the “No Fun League” for nothing.


About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a contributor to The Comeback as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10. He also is a member of the FWAA and has been covering college sports since 2011. Andy is an avid soccer fan and runs the Celtic FC site The Celtic Bhoys. If he's not writing about sports, you can find him enjoying them in front of the TV with a good beer!