2005 was a great year for the Bengals. I'm not talking about winning their division. I'm not even talking about going to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
I'm talking about the world's most fantastic collection of Johnsons!
Wide receiver Chad Johnson and running back Rudi Johnson were the star skill players of the offense. Rudi ran behind fullback Jeremi Johnson, and Chad practiced running short routes against linebacker Landon Johnson. It was a great time for Johnsons. It was a great time for Cincinnati.
2006 almost saw more of the same. The team even added backup QB Doug Johnson, increasing the number of Johnsons to five. But the magic was no longer there, and by the end of the season the team appeared impotent.
The Bengals bottomed out in 2008. Landon Johnson had left in free agency, Rudi was banished to the wastelands of Detroit, Jeremi was too fat, Doug disappeared or something, and Chad infamously changed his last name to Ochocinco. Needless to say, the team only won 4 games. Things had to change. Cincinnati needed more Johnsons.
Enter the 2009 Cincinnati Bengals. Jeremi regained his physique and rejoined the team. The Bengals signed defensive tackle "Tank" Johnson in free agency. And the team drafted defensive end Michael Johnson. Things were looking up, and the team went 7-2 to start the season.
But there was a problem. Coach Marvin Lewis and owner Mike Brown knew from 2005 that the magic number of Johnsons was four. They scanned the NFL far and wide for weeks, but could not find a suitable Johnson. Until last week.
Running back Larry Johnson finally pissed off Kansas City enough following his "fags" rant that they cut him from the team. Apparently in Kansas City, multiple accounts of violence against women is less offensive than saying fags a few times in a press conference, but that's another post. The point is, Larry Johnson was perfect for Cincinnati.
Enter the 2010 preseason. Once again three Johnsons are on the roster: Michael, Tank and Brandon. Perhaps Brian Leonard's injury was pre-fated. Perhaps signing RB James Johnson is in the stars. It is the Year of the Tiger after all.
On the serious though, please get well Brian Leonard!