Oh, the Bengals. So dormant in the proverbial NFL cellar for so long, only to break from the chains last season and saturate the still remaining loyalists and Johnny Bandwagons with hope for the future. Suddenly, we the fans were willing to laugh when Chad Johnson made unnecessary bold predictions the week before a game or uses the endzone pylon as a pitching wedge. After all, the Bengals were winning, and “Chaddy Ballgame” was following through on his promise to be uncoverable (no, it’s not a word but dammit it works). The same goes for Johnson’s partner-in-crime (and teammate and fellow WR) TJ Houshmenz…the dude with the ponytail. We know that the whole beating up cops thing was a long time ago, and that kids make mistakes, and he’s really fast. So we let TJ off the hook. It took a little longer for the third accomplice, I mean receiver, Chris Henry to earn our cheers back. After all, pistol whipping is slightly more taboo than asking a cheerleader’s hand in marriage after a touchdown. But the Bengals were in the playoffs by God, and everyone’s slate was cleaned.
Then came the offseason.
They say the Devil rests on idle hands, and no more idle are one’s hands then when they are cuffed…or twist-tied, whichever the CPD prefers these days. The Bengal roster has been caught up in a good ol’ fashioned game of ‘can you top this’, with a new player finding himself on the wrong end of the law seemingly every week. Chris Henry’s nose for the law has been unyieldingly consistent, challenging the lofty bar set by –insert name of your favorite Miami Hurricane here–. Henry has already been arrested three times this year…or three times more than Bin Laden if you’re keeping score. Then we were treated to the shenanigans of the freshly signed LB, AJ Nicholson. AJ, if you remember, was arrested after breaking into the apartment of a former Florida St. teammate, and leaving with thousands in electronic booty.
Then, Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis felt that there just wasn’t enough felonious behavior on the team already, and drafted DL Frostee Rucker, hoping that Rucker’s penchant for domestic violence and “aggressive” bedroom tactics would round out a solid roster of convicts. Feeling the pressure to produce, Frostee responded…and so did police to a 911 call made by a woman who says the Bengal was practicing a few forearm shivers and swim moves on her. Being named for a Wendy’s Value Menu item is cruel, I agree, but don’t take it out on the ladies. A couple more arrests and this statement from owner Mike Brown later, and it seemed that all was well.
Until yesterday that is. Now the second-stringers want their piece of the prison pie. Fourth round draft pick Matthias Askew was Tasered Saturday (that’s funny to write…hope it is to read too…) while resisting arrest over an illegal parking job. Resisting? Don’t act like this wasn’t calculated Matthias.
So how should the fans feel? Embarrassed? Disgusted? Betrayed? Scared? Perhaps. But let’s at least hold judgments until week 6 or 7 of the season. After putting up with the likes of Ki-Jana Carter and Bruce Coslett for so long, we just want to see wins. If the wins come at the expense an unfortunate few, then so be it. Just don’t steal my stuff, pistol whip any of my friends, or buy my sixteen year old sister and her friends booze.