PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Andrew Whitworth #77 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Even though the Bengals aren't necessarily knows as being a perennial playoff contending team, they have still managed to make the headlines. If the media wasn't poking fun at the organization for its incompetence, it was talking about players with considerable "star power."
Chad Ochocinco had been a football writer's favorite for seasons and in 2010, he was joined by another media giant, Terrell Owens. Big things were expected from TOcho, but things just didn't work out that way. In the offseason, the Bengals decided to rid themselves of players that may put more effort into reality TV than into football. They chose not to re-sign TO and they traded Ochocinco to the New England Patriots for a couple draft picks.
Suddenly, the Bengals were just a normal boring football team again. When left tackle and team leader Andrew Whitworth was asked how the team has managed after losing its stars, he gave an answer that may not have been expected.
"Sad to say, as much as I love you guys (in the media), sometimes stars are born from y'all, not necessarily success on the football field. Some guys run their mouths, so they get a lot of attention. It doesn't mean they always play football the way it's supposed to be played."
While I seriously doubt that Whitworth would go out of his way to insult long time teammate Ochocinco or even TO, it kind of sounds to me that he likes things they way they are without them.
If there's a list of players in the NFL that are more famous for their mouths than their actions on the field, we all know that Ochocinco, and over his last few seasons TO, would be around the top. And while I like Chad (I liked him better when he was Chad Johnson), I'm happy he's gone. A team as young as the Bengals don't need a media "star" in the locker room, especially if that "star" doesn't produce on the field.
In a shortened offseason, the Bengals magically transformed from a team that will inevitably find themselves in the news for not always great reasons, to a team that can coast under the radar. No more comments for opposing coaches to hang in locker rooms. No more new new curse words and created insults. No more end zone dances. No more Twittering from the locker room. No more fines.
Will you miss it?