An open letter to Chad Johnson

Dear Mr. Ohio Riverdance Man,

I am particularly troubled by the rumors of your halftime dust-up with head coach Marvin Lewis and receivers coach Hue Jackson. I’m also more troubled by your explanation, or lack thereof, of what exactly happened in the locker room and why you continue to deny that the incident happened.

You say that we weren’t there, so we don’t know. Fair enough, I didn’t see it with my own two eyes, so I can’t say for certain that it happened. However, there are several events that have taken place since the end of Sunday’s game that make one wonder how something didn’t happen. If nothing occurred, then help me understand the following circumstances:

Coach Lewis stating after the game that ‘we came into this season as one team, and we need to make sure that we leave as one team’
John Thornton making a statement to the effect that there were some guys that were more concerned with their own numbers and situation than they were with whether the team won or lost
Anthony Mitchell and Madieu Williams going on Bengal Line Monday night and referring to fireworks at halftime, and reportedly both kicking each other, presumably to get each other to not disclose too much information
Thornton then clarifying his remarks on Tuesday that he was not referring to any rookies (the assumption was he was initially referring to Odell Thurman and his free-lancing ways)
Bengals game analyst Dave Lapham and FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer both reporting that an incident did in fact occur at halftime
No one from the organization, whether it be players, coaches, public relations, or anyone else, standing up and denying the reports of any confrontation

The last two are particularly damning. Think about it; why would Lapham make this up? If he did, his credibility within the locker room, and likely his career with the Bengals newtwork, would be shot. And don’t you think that it would be in Marvin’s best interest to refute this rumor if it wasn’t true? Seems to me he’d be extremely interested in protecting one of his top three players from unnecessary controversy. But four days later and we haven’t heard anything.

Look, you can keep denying and saying we weren’t there, and I guess that’s your prerogative. But just like people get convicted of murders without a body or even a weapon, you can be judged guilty in the court of public opinion on circumstantial evidence. And frankly, it bothers us that, in the biggest game for this team in 15 years, with the star quarterback knocked out of the game, our franchise receiver feels the need to pout at halftime about the number of balls being thrown to him WHEN WE WERE LEADING!!

So go ahead and keep it up, but do us a favor; if this is going to be an ongoing thing with you, if you’re going to continue to whine about your numbers, if you’re going to continue to be a distraction, and most importantly if you plan on holding out through training camp, please do us a favor and let management know so they can get you out of here. We’ve waited far too long for this franchise to get where it is to have you bring it down like Terrell Owens did to Philadelphia.

Zack Morris
Bayside High School, Class of 1993

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