Cincinnati Bengals: How Should Fans React to Chad Johnson and Carson Palmer?
Both players were the stars of the team for the past decade, but neither played a role in the team's playoff run last season.
Wide receiver Chad Johnson (or Ochocinco) was traded to the New England Patriots for two late-round draft picks shortly after the NFL lockout ended last year. A season after Johnson and Terrell Owens failed to lead the team to the postseason, Johnson found himself on the way out of town.
On the other hand, quarterback Carson Palmer made it clear early in the offseason he would retire if he was not traded. It took an injury to Oakland's quarterback the week before the trade deadline for a trade to happen, but Palmer finally forced his way out of Cincinnati.
While both demanded trades during their time with the team, they left on very different terms. With Johnson now in Miami, both former Bengals will make a return to the Queen City this fall.
Week 5: Miami Dolphins
While Johnson was in Cincinnati, he was a fan favorite. He was known for his explosive plays and the ability to find the end zone.
Last season, he finally made it to the Super Bowl and even recorded a catch. However, his team lost in the final minute.
The Patriots decided to part ways with him, so he went to his hometown team. The Dolphins are in a rebuilding mode right now, and they have yet to settle on a quarterback.
By Week 5, rookie Ryan Tannehill could be under center for Miami. No matter who is the quarterback for the Dolphins, this is a game in which Cincinnati will be favored to win.
ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio reported back in 2010 that Ochocinco (as he was known then) would buy the unsold tickets to games in order to avoid blackouts. He also takes fans out to social events such as dinners.
Johnson also accumulated over 10,000 yards receiving and 66 touchdowns while with the team. He owns numerous franchise records, so it is important to recognize how great of a player he was with the team.
He was one of the best receivers in the league, perhaps even a Hall of Famer, when he was in Cincinnati. His entertaining personality made the game fun even when the team was losing, and he did a lot for the fans.
Being favored, that may have an impact on how Johnson is received by the crowd. During introductions, Bengals fans should give him a standing ovation for everything he did for the team and city.
What should fans do?
If Cincinnati pulls away late in the game, fans should show him some appreciation if he reels in a few catches.
Week 12: Oakland Raiders
In this late-season game, both teams could be fighting for their playoff lives. With the return of Carson Palmer, this will be one of the most anticipated games of the season for Bengals fans.
After being drafted No. 1 overall by Cincinnati in 2003, Palmer now finds himself playing for the Raiders.
During his time with the Bengals, he made the Pro Bowl twice and was one of the top quarterbacks in the league for a few years. He also owns numerous franchise records, and he threw for over 20,000 yards during his career with the team.
Injuries ruined his career, and Bengals fans will always remember the 2006 playoff game in which Palmer's ACL was torn. Cincinnati fans always ask one question when it comes to that game: What if?
Even though he demanded a trade last year, fans need to remember the good times with Palmer. He led the team to two postseason berths after the team had not been there since 1990.
The Palmer-Johnson/Ochocinco connection rivaled Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison for several seasons, but they were unable to make a run in the postseason together.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy described what may have been the final straw for the star quarterback. On October 10, 2010, Palmer was booed after reaching the 20,000-career passing yard mark.
Last season, he arrived in Oakland in Week 7. He played the rest of the season without running back Darren McFadden and without a legitimate No. 1 receiver. With McFadden back this season, Palmer will feel less pressure to carry the team.
The AFC West will be a difficult division, but the Raiders will be able to contend for the division title.
With the Bengals making the playoffs last season, they were going to get more games in prime time. I expected this one to be a Monday night game. Instead, it is a normal Sunday afternoon game.
How will the fans react to Palmer? Well considering they booed him when he was with the team, expect him to be booed all day. However, they should cheer for him because he was a great quarterback when healthy.
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