The League

Dawn Knight
Author

Dawn Knight

The author of Taliaferro: Breaking Barriers and a high school English teacher.

Good luck Cincinnati

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Obviously tired of his antics, thousands of Chiefs fans signed a petition asking for the release of running back Larry Johnson. He had just returned from his most recent suspension earned for unintelligent comments that included mocking his coach and a gay slur. The fans got what they wanted when he was released last week. Now the question is whether Bengals fans will want him.

With Cedric Benson injured, Cincinnati needs a backup plan to hold onto first-place in the AFC North (one of only two winning seasons Cincinnati's had this decade). Apparently, Larry Johnson is that backup plan.

This begs the question whether picking up Johnson is a smart decision for Cincy. Cincinnati can't be blamed for looking at Johnson - they need this season to turn around a rough decade, and Johnson is good. If he would just play football and not act like an idiot, it would even be a good idea. Unfortunately, Johnson doesn't just play football.

Fans of professional sports seem to be growing tired of the excessive egos of athletes like Larry Johnson, egos almost big enough to be their own states. There is far too much investment by fans, owners, coaches, and other players to make any decision that doesn't consider the good of the team. Johnson is lucky to be given yet another chance, but I doubt he'll realize that, and Cincinnati will end up expending valuable time and resources on damage control.

The Indiana Pacers are a prime example of the devastating effects these egos can have on teams. The years post Reggie Miller, when the Pacers were tempted by talent and willing to overlook trouble, are probably indicative of Cincinnati's future with Larry Johnson. Pacers players, once known as the good guys, became notorious for fights in Detroit and a strip club shooting. The Pacers are still trying to woo back fans. Then again, Cincinnati is used to the antics of players - although I personally thought Ochocinco's $1 bribe was pretty funny.

By Dawn Knight  |  November 17, 2009; 3:36 PM ET  | Category:  Cincinnati Bengals , Kansas City Chiefs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Just registered to comment that the author needs to check her facts. The Detroit-Pacers brawl happened during Reggie Miller's final season!

This article more or less is a hit piece on Larry Johnson. Yes he screwed up. But give the guy a second chance and see if he can fit in. Some guys take advantage of that (Randy Moss). Others don't. Why judge the guy in a poorly researched article.

Posted by: porsche060 | November 17, 2009 4:58 PM

Porsche:

The gay slurs and demeaning comments about Haley were just the latest in a long string of incidents. Larry Johnson has already had second and third chances. He has been arrested for assaulting women (at least twice). In addition to the gay slurs — and this rarely gets mentioned in stories about LJ — he also posted tweets that mocked fans by telling them that he made more money than they do. Considering that the fans are the ones that ultimately pay his salary, I find that rather insulting, don't you? Just how many chances do you think he should have? Five, six, seven, ten, unlimited? The guy was released not just because of his recent Twitter stupidity, and we long-suffering Chiefs fans finally got tired of his BS.

Posted by: stevejonz | November 18, 2009 2:23 PM

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