I got suckered into a Yahoo Fantasy advice column by Andy Behrens titled Ocho Sink-o. I thought, as I clicked it, "Oh, here we go."
It was not what I thought it would be. Behrens, fantasy mercenary that he is, recommended finding whoever in your fantasy league has Chad, and try to work a trade while his press is bad. As I happen to own Chad Johnson in my big time money league, I could safely ignore the advice. But Behrens did link to a "nationally read sportswriter" who had called out Johnson.
And that my friends, was a work of staggering silliness. The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy titled his column, "Shutting up Johnson is step 1 in Cincy's recovery"
Um yeah but what?
Behrens takes the short-cut in demolishing the headline with one paragraph:
Never mind that according to the team's website, T.J. Houshmandzadeh "had an animated conversation with Lewis on the sideline" after a third-down incompletion was intended for someone else. Or that the Cincinnati defense allows 32.3 points and 403 yards per game, and appears to depend almost entirely on unstructured individualism and pigeon droppings. Apparently, the Bengals' problems begin with Johnson.
Behrens, in short, dismisses the entire concept of DeCourcy's article, and well done.
I think DeCourcy eviscerates his own point when he lets loose with this particularly addled take on the Bengals: " [Chad] Johnson placing his own stardom above the team's success has defined the Bengals during Lewis' tenure, much more so than the string of arrests that made them a national punchline." (emphasis mine)
Really? Two heated arguments during two rather big games in 2 years is the problem here? I don't know that DeCourcy didn't watch the game, but if he did, he must of certainly noted that prior to the interception, Palmer had been consistently overthrowing his targets. Chad's frustration may have accumulated throughout the half, and hey, sometimes teammates get in spats in the course of a game. I don't know of an athlete who has played a team sport who hasn't let their temper get the best of them at least once or twice. It happens. I moved no further than Division III JV Soccer, and I can tell you I've yelled at teammates, at referees, at a coach. It fucking happens.
Is it possible that Mike DeCourcy has never lost his temper on the field? I'd say it is possible he's never taken to the pitch in an organized sport in his life:
The whole basis of this article seems to be that Chad Johnson lost his cool for a 2 minute stretch during a game in which Palmer was inaccurate with a number of throws (though Chad has admitted that he was at fault on the interception. Like a professional would.) At no point does DeCourcy mention the shoddy, shattered defense, the lack of fucking Rudi Johnson, or the lack of talented 3rd receiver Chris Henry, who is missing precisely because of those off-field arrests that matter so much less than two guys getting in an argument during a game. He barely mentions that the Bengals were playing a team that everybody and their addled cousin have in the AFC Championship Game.
In short, it was a stupid, dishonest argument that Mr. DeCourcy put out there. The biggest problem on that team isn't Chad Johnson's celebrations or his competitive fire. Their problem is jail sentences, and a shitty defense. Fucking Duh.
Still, he's no Gregg Doyel, though.