Thursday, January 25, 2007
With all the hubbub surrounding the Super Bowl, it's hard to notice a lot of other news that's happening in the NFL right now. Sure, the Steelers, Dolphins, Raiders, and Cowboys and others are making important staff changes that could have a profound effect on who Bill Simmons and Tim Keown discuss as being the next worst personnel blunder. And even though, for once, an Indiana team has (I think) a legitimate chance to finally win the big one (c'mon, let's face it, the 2002 Indiana Hoosiers basketball team versus Maryland and the 2000 Pacers versus the Lakers were just flukes), the big football story of the week is the Cincinnati Bengals. Yes, the Bengals, that team who has as much offensive talent as the Colts do and yet failed to make the playoffs.
News of this week is that Chris Henry, the 3rd WR of the Bengals, who caught as many TD passes as Chad Johnson in the 2006 season, is serving two days of jail time for his conviction of attempting to get high school teenage girls drunk enough to have sex with him (I hear the courts are calling that "unlawful transaction involving a minor" these days). Henry has shown, through prior convictions, that he's not exactly the most colorful crayon in the box. He pled guilty to a weapons charge in Florida earlier this year to avoid jail time, since, well, it's hard to suspend belief about mistaken identity when you're wearing your own freaking jersey, waving a gun at someone, and talking about yourself. If only someone had actually told Henry that the much easier and more legal way to get teenage girls into bed (minus the pedophilia charges that will obviously ensue afterwards) is to give them free copies of Teen Beat that you've slapped your John Hancock on and passing them notes in 5th period Spanish that say you'll, like, totally go out with them.
But it wasn't just Henry who was making headlines this week, no, there was a ninth arrest of the season that Jonathan Joseph, a rookie cornerback and likely replacement of former Pro-Bowler Tory James, helped to add to the already lofty total of criminal charges brought against the black and orange. In a truly inspiring team effort, Joseph helped the league-leading Bengals increase their hold on total time of marijuana possession. Joseph's charges (and most likely eventual guilty plea) could help inspire the Bengals to go for double digits this year. Hell, it could even happen before the super bowl. Now, wouldn't THAT be something special? "Jonathan Joseph, you just got arrested for marijuana possession, what are you gonna do now? "I'm going to Kenton County Jail! Whooo!"
Certainly the Bengals' players aren't the only ones in the entire NFL who are smoking doobies, enjoying the sauce, or beating their wives. They're just not very good at hiding it. Perhaps, instead of cracking down on team misconduct, as Marvin Lewis is supposedly doing (great track record since you instigated that policy, by the way, Marv), the Bengals organization should just hire some con men to show them how to get away the crimes they'll eventually commit, or align themselves with whatever mafia's present in the Queen City (the UC Bearcats?). After all, you're only guilty if you get caught.