The Truth Hurts: Has Adam "Pacman" Jones Really Changed for the Better?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2010

I can't wait to have kids one day.  Having children of my own, scampering about in a little Aaron Rodgers jersey would definitely be the greatest thrill for me.  I guess what everybody says is true, "When you have kids, it's the greatest joy that could ever come out of life."

But as exciting as this must truly be, what if your son became an NFL star, only to become one of the most controversial players in the modern era of football? 

Well, I guess you'd feel proud to have raised your son to become a professional athlete, and it is of course every father's dream to see their son playing in the NFL.  Surely there would be cause for concern when you see your son's name constantly debated on every sports talk show on ESPN, right?


Now, I'm no old school parent by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd damn sure be mad if I found out my son had blown thousands of dollars showering females at a local strip joint.

However, that is the reality that has faced Adam "Pacman" Jones in recent years. 

It's the lifestyle he has been used to, and for the most part, we haven't heard too much come from Adam's family.  I guess it is only fair to assume that Adam's family would indeed rather steer clear of any media scrutiny, and avoid an all-out barrage of questions from the media, fans of the game, and society in general.

So why the sudden change of heart from Pacman Jones? 

He claims he is a changed man, and after doing some thorough "soul searching," Adam now knows what is morally right in the world of NFL football.

Now I am aware that everybody out there is commending Pacman's new change of heart.  It seems nowadays, as soon as someone speaks of a possible change, the world automatically turns into Frasier Crane and responds with the quote of "I'm listening."

Personally though, I'm not one to pat Pacman Jones on the back just yet. 

Sure, he's back in the NFL and he has gotten his life back on track, but if we compare this to other players' controversial histories, a case could be made that Pacman Jones may once again revert back to his old ways, and follow the yellow brick road back into yet another scandal.

For me, this story relates a lot to Michael Vick.  The dog killing scandal broke loose, Michael Vick disappeared for a while, and then he came back to the NFL with a changed attitude toward life. 

Fortunately for Michael Vick, he has done everything right recently.  He's been quiet, he hasn't spoken out, and he has been a true team player for the Philadelphia Eagles.  Sure, he's not the starter just yet, but Michael Vick has been on his best behavior since being reinstated into the league.

So can Pacman Jones follow in Michael Vick's footsteps? 

Of course he can, but will he?

That's the question that we all want answered, and more importantly, Cincinnati Bengals fans want answered.  As much as I'd like to give my in-depth opinion on this question, I honestly don't know.  No one does, and I have been racking my brain trying to decipher whether or not Adam truly does have a changed attitude.

If you are a more humble fan, then perhaps you might take note of what Adam Pacman Jones stated in a recent interview.

"Of course, you change as you grow," Jones said. "Like I said, it ain't overnight.  I'm 26 years old now, so I can't do the same things I was doing at 21, or I'm going to be dead or in jail.  I know what my passion is, and my passion is football.  I know what I've got to do to keep playing football, and that's what I'm working on doing."

For the less experienced fan, these words may sound more than just convincing.  But if you've been watching the NFL for as long as I have, you and I both know that this statement is about as irrelevant as the WNBA.

No one cares if Adam Pacman Jones is a changed man, except for his followers. 

For you see, Pacman Jones has already done enough wrong.  At the end of the day, the rowdy fans sitting in the bleachers supporting the opposing team at Paul Brown Stadium won't hesitate in shouting lewd statements to the former star cornerback.

As a man of faith, I do believe everyone can change, but they must want to.  Adam Pacman Jones recognizes that he was hanging around the wrong people, so this is a positive start.

If there is one thing I can give Pacman credit for, it is talking this out with the media.  Nothing has been hidden, and all has been spoken about.  Kudos to Pacman for wanting to change.

Now, it's simply time to put words into actions.

Bengals fans, don't sweat.  This signing may go south fast if Pacman misbehaves, but at least he is only signed to a two-year deal.

Criticism is what makes the world go around, and like my old physical education teacher used to say, opinions are like noses—everyone has one. 

Pacman's opinion is that he is a changed man.  What is yours?


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