Thursday, June 19, 2008

Chad Johnson, great player....and petulant?

As we all know, Chad Johnson is a great football player. The man is a legitimate game breaking threat who's production is always top of the line, and who's presence makes his teammates better. Off the field, the guy is a basket case. He has always been a bit weird, but his actions have grown to be negative distractions to the team such as money disputes, trade demands, and calling out teammates. I am always the first one to defend Chad, as I think his actions are always overblown as well as what he says sometimes. I have never viewed Chad Johnson as a distraction on the field, as his dancing and him being an attention whore is what it is. It is just all in good fun, in my opinion. How exactly does "putting like Tiger Woods" after a touchdown mean that Chad is being a distraction? How is mockingly proposing to a cheerleader after a touchdown a "distraction"? How is the "Ocho Cinco chart", where he documented how the cornerbacks on the other teams fared with him in each week, a distraction? A little over the top probably, but distraction? I think not.

That being said the good fun, and him not being a distraction went out the window with how he has handled himself this offseason. He has been nothing short of a big mouthed cancer, who has been nothing short of a detriment to himself as well as the Bengals organization. He has demanded a trade, publicly criticized the Bengals organization, and loudly voiced displeasure on a fairly consistent basis essentially since the season ended. Now, his unhappiness isn't the issue with the whole situation. The fact that he's going about it in a public manner as if to FORCE the Bengals to unwillingly trade him is what's wrong here. He has done everything from publicly market himself to criticize the star quarterback. He has also threatened to sit out the season, and play for the arena league if the Bengals didn't trade him. He is made himself look like a fool.

This past Monday Chad decided that he would have surgery on his right ankle as it gave him trouble for the majority of last season. Mind you, the Bengals asked him to have this surgery at the end of the season, a request which he refused. I think it was a ploy to piss the Bengals off so they would be more inclined to trade him. So now coming into mini camps and OTAs, Chad has been spotted sitting out of activity due to this ankle. Now is the proverbial cherry on top, as Chad gets the surgery a day late and a dollar short. This, while it is supposed to be a minor surgery, can still linger (not to mention Chad's now built in excuse to not give a damn during training camp), and cause problems throughout training camp, and maybe in the season. Imagine that? Chad was asked to get surgery in January, instead doing it in June, then aggravates it during a game in September and misses time while costing his team. Imagine the outcry if that would happen.

This is an incredibly selfish and childish act. It might not amount to anything in the long run, but this is an indefensible act. The Bengals should fine him for this as he disobeyed team orders. As I said in the beginning, Chad is a great player but is he worth all the trouble? I think Cincy will rue the day they didn't trade him in a deal that could have netted them a potential two first round draft picks.

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