Oh-No Ocho Cinco:Chad Johnson's Drama and Its Validity

Nick VandiverCorrespondent IJune 10, 2008

     Well, by now most people probably know all about the soap opera that is Chad Johnson. For a quick recap, Chad thinks that he is unappreciated and unwanted within the Bengals organization, so he felt that it was in his best interests to try to get himself out of Cincinnati. Marvin Lewis, the Bengals head coach, continually reminded the media that the Bengals had no interest in trade offers for Chad Johnson.

     I guess Chad just didn't get it. Maybe he hoped that with enough griping, he might get himself released or traded. He was wrong. Chad only has two choices: he can either continue what he's doing and sit out the entire year while losing money the whole time, or he can rejoin the team and try to fix his broken relationship with the team. Let's face it. No matter who's talking, Chad Johnson has got to be included in talks of the elite receivers in the game today. He does have a little room for leeway. Most people would say that his conduct towards his team has been inexcusable so far.

     I disagree.

     While he has been incredibly dramatic, maybe a little overly so, Chad has good reason to want out. Since their 11-5 finish a few years ago, they haven't had better than an 8-8 record or made the playoffs since then. If you look at Chad's number each year since then, his number have consistently been high. He even set the franchise record for receiving yards this last season. Chad has shown the kind of effort that it takes to win football games, so in this case, it is the Bengals who are to blame.

     I am a major Cincinnati Bengals fan. I'll admit it. But even I can see their many problems. Think about it. They didn't start trying to get rid of the trouble players, or even really pay attention to the many arrests until this off-season. They finally dealt with Chris Henry. I'm not quite sure releasing Odell Thurman was the greatest decision, but it happened. But I digress. To me, it seems as if the Bengals really haven't tried to put out the best team that they can. Almost everyone has criticized Chad's celebrations at one point or another, but he has reason to celebrate. Even the Bengals offense seemed to lost it's ferocity and big play potential last season. They do have one of the top 3 quarterbacks in the league in Carson Palmer, and their top two receivers, Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, probably form the best duo in the league. The running game has been lackluster, but now that Rudi Johnson is healthy, it should gain some spark. But the offense just couldn't get it going. One person can't win a football game. It takes the whole team. So when Chad celebrated a touchdown, I cheered him on. Chad's celebrations got the team and the crowd going, because they knew that if Chad Johnson scored, he was going to do something special. Shame on all of you. People are quick to judge others, but hasn't everyone celebrated something big in their lives? Scoring a touchdown in the National Football League isn't the easiest thing to do. It's a big deal. Chad's celebrations provided a boost. I hope he keeps up with them.

     I guess what I'm trying to say is that Chad Johnson is, in more ways than one, right. He wants to win a Super Bowl as bad as anyone else, and that means playing on whatever team is willing to do what it takes to get there. I agree with Marvin Lewis's new slogan: "Now". He says that the Bengals have enough talent in their locker room to win the Super Bowl now. I fully agree with that. But a team is like a jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces have to fit together for it to look the way it should: a work of art. Right now, Chad Johnson is the one piece that doesn't fit. I'm hoping they can change that. And I think they will.