Keyshawn Johnson Started the Diva Attitude That Plagues the NFL Today

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IJuly 1, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 04:   Keyshawn Johnson #19 of the Carolina Panthers throws his helmet after an interception late in the fourth quarter by the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 4, 2006 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles won the game @7-24.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Nowadays in the NFL, it is well known that of all positions on the football field, only one stands out as a diva position, and that is at wide receiver.

Currently, it seems like almost every NFL team, good or bad, has a diva at receiver.

From the always exciting Terrell Owens of the Buffalo Bills, to Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals, to Brandon Marshall in Denver, and even Braylon Edwards of the Cleveland Browns.

Wide receivers are an extremely high-profile position and they are considered the "home run ball" when a deep pass is throw to them and they catch it for a touchdown, so it's understood that these guys love the attention.

But who is to blame for the crazy antics that current receivers display on and off of the field?

That person is the recently retired and played college ball for the USC Trojans and professional football for the Jets, Bucs, Cowboys, and Panthers.

He is Keyshawn Johnson.

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Drafted in 1996 as the No. 1 overall selection by the Jets, Johnson is one of the reasons that modern day receivers have this diva attitude around the league.

Johnson had it in his rookie season, and despite being coached for many years by Bill Parcells, kept his diva attitude throughout his career.

Whether Johnson was running his mouth to the press or to other players on the field, he definitely showed passion in his game while still wanting to be the focal point of everyone's attention.

One of Johnson's most memorable on-field spats was during his time with the Bucs. His outrageous remarks during the 2003 season caused an argument on the sideline with Jon Gruden that was seen by millions of people, this caused Gruden to deactivate Johnson for the remainder of the season until he was then traded to the Cowboys.

Another memorable off-field moment was in 2004 when Johnson called out former Bucs teammate Ronde Barber and referred to him as "Uncle Tom."

These are just a few of the most memorable moments of Johnson being a diva and there are plenty to other moments including excessive fines, throwing down his helmet during games (which was the result of the NFL creating a new rule), and just showing his cocky attitude throughout various games.

Johnson even commented on his paving the path of diva receivers by saying, "[In 1996,]I was the queen of the ball, the princess, whatever. And all those guys have come after me."

"I wrote the book on diva receivers. Truly, when you break it all down, I'm the first guy in the last 15 years of receivers who did all that stuff. I threw my helmet to the ground when no one was doing that."

Now we have to deal with TO overdosing, Braylon Edwards calling out the Browns fans, Brandon Marshall and his off the field issues, Ochocinco running his mouth and making predictions, Matt Jones partying way too hard with illegal drugs, Donte' Stallworth drunk driving and killing a man, and Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg.

The diva attitude needs to stop.

Why can't these guys take notes from Randy Moss on how to grow up, mature, and stay out of trouble? (Moss wasn't an angel earlier in his life.)

It's a shame these guys think they can get away with their attitudes, because NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is about to lay down some law with some pending suspensions that look to be extremely lengthy. Hopefully, Goodell can stop this ridiculous circus sooner than later.

Thanks, Keyshawn; thanks a lot.