Written by: Rob Brown
It was only two years ago that Chad Johnson was a thousand-yard receiver averaging seven touchdowns a season. Now he sits in an unemployment line dealing with a domestic violence charge he received over the weekend.
The gut-reaction of many is that OchoCinco was on a one-strike policy with the Dolphins thanks to how much trouble the wideout can bring to a ballclub.
Here’s the problem, Johnson doesn’t bring problems. If anything, he has obtained a bad reputation for wanting the ball and being vocal about it. And for this, we don’t like him.
Randy Moss is a part of a jumbled receiving corps in San Francisco. His quotes and videos from his younger years have been seen millions of times across Sportscenter and YouTube. Between stating that he’d play when he wants to or that he’ll pay his fines with, “straight cash homie”, America has been disappointed that a talented athlete won’t try hard.
Of course, there’s Terrell Owens. “The Player” who has also been coined as a locker room cancer has always performed on the field regardless of what people thought of him. He has statistics that are only rivaled by hall of famers yet he struggled to find a job until the Seahawks gave him one last try at a minimum-based contract.
Until this past weekend, none of the three had a single arrest to their names during their NFL career yet we’ve wrongfully labeled them as problems. Meanwhile, half of the Detroit Lions have been arrested this past summer. There are players like Donte Stallworth, Ben Roethlisberger, and others have gotten in REAL trouble and we all seemed to have forgotten about it.
If Chad Johnson was indeed on a one-strike policy as ProFootballTalk.com claims, I don’t understand why. So he’s demanded a few more passes, had a reality show, and is very active on Twitter. So what? You’re telling me that was reason enough to make an arrangement with Johnson to only have one chance?
And in no way am I condoning domestic violence, but shouldn’t we wait more than 24 hours before we release a player and therefore telling the world that we think he’s guilty?
To sum it all up, Johnson and the other “diva receivers” get a bad rep for being vocal and speaking their mind. Something we want all athletes to do. We’ve all watched a press conference where players refuse to say more than, “The team played hard.” “We need to execute better.” “This was a full team effort.” We want them to be true to themselves, but here are three examples on why players can’t do exactly that.
Instead, they’re struggling to find jobs and roster spots because they’re “distractions”. No. A distraction is coaches and owners promising Super Bowls or bringing in a QB to play on your special teams.
To these receivers and the bad reputation they haven’t earned, I wish them the best of luck. In the meantime, I’ll be booing the other players who actually are convicted of crimes and are real problems to society.