This time last year Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer was pumped, eagerly waiting for the promising T.Ocho Show to rivet us with frozen rope throws, no dropped passes and complete aerial domination. Cincinnati was hopeful, coming off an AFC North title with a fourth ranked defense, rookies in Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham and Geno Atkins, who went through the preseason with 4.5 quarterback sacks in five preseason games, and now Terrell Owens. Man. Promising.
Well we know how the story unfolded and since then, the Bengals have a disgruntled quarterback threatening to retire if he's not traded. Owens is gone, Chad might follow. Three arrests, a disastrous news conference announcing the re-hiring of Marvin Lewis, all compounded by the NFL lockout has really tested our strength as fans. And all of that felt like it started with Carson Palmer.
CBSSports.com senior writer Pete Prisco takes Palmer to task.
But Palmer always seemed to me to be a guy who loved the game. He reportedly said something like that when he made his intentions known he wanted out of Cincinnati.
"I don't have to play football for money," he said. "I'll play it for the love of the game, but that would have to be elsewhere."
If he loved the game, he would man up and up play for the Bengals. He sounds more like a guy who would be quitting on his team.
Prisco would go on to say that Palmer's power play makes him "look selfish and childish."
Imagine if this were a diva receiver who was playing the trade-me card? Would it be as accepted by the media as Palmer's selfish request? I think not.
Yet when you cut right through the reasons and rhetoric coming from the Palmer camp, the reality is this is nothing more than a me-first approach, only in softer tones than some other players might handle the situation.
We can't help but to mostly agree with Prisco's assessment. Sure. Player for the organization might stink right now, but what's changed from being an excitable quarterback after signing Owens to this? As Prisco points out, Palmer once said this:
"Hopefully this is the last place I'll end up playing. That's so rare in this league these days. It's so rare to see a person have a five-, eight-, 10-, 12-year career in one place. And I feel very fortunate that it looks like that's going to be my future."
Oh how times have changed.