The rest of the world continues maintaining a different, ignorant opinion about the nature of Bengals players and their organization, an unfortunate lasting result of a long string of arrests dating back to the mid-2000's. Almost every one of those players is long gone, but the trouble-making persona still remains. When another Vikings player was arrested a few weeks ago, that prompted ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley to post an article titled "Bengals Are Tied For Second In Arrests". Our own Josh Kirkendall replied not with a scathing reply, but rather a positive story about the Bengals rookies spending some time at the local veteran's hospital.
We believe that the Bengals organization has recently made a conscious shift to avoid the type of players that do get arrested, but the rest of the world isn't convinced. They probably don't know that no player taken in the last three Bengals drafts has been arrested since becoming a Bengal. Going back a year further, only Rey Maualuga is an exception to that rule. A year further than that, and you find only Jerome Simpson. Simpson is no longer with the team, nor is Cedric Benson, another repeat troublemaker. The team did not pursue re-signing either of these players, but the national media doesn't care.
So we'll just keep writing about all the good that Bengals players are doing, and hope someone notices.
+ As we wrote about earlier this week, Carlos Dunlap held his inaugural football camp at his hometown high school Fort Dorchester in South Carolina. Three hundred kids aged 6-14 attended the camp, all sporting Dunlap's bright orange shirt.
The turnout to Dunlap's first football camp surprised even him.
"It was crazy. I was not expecting that many kids. But I was excited, glad that people supported me and trusted me with their kids. I plan on doing it every year."
"I wanted to give back to my community, help get the kids active, motivate them and enlighten them to the opportunities that are available to them," Dunlap said.
Dunlap plans to hold the camp every year, and even expand the camp over several days. The proceeds of the camp support youth football in the area.
Shipley held the camp in Austin, Texas, which is close to his hometown of Temple and even closer to Burnet High School, where he played high school football under his father, Bob Shipley. Bob and younger brother Jaxon Shipley, who will be a sophomore wide receiver for the University of Texas this year, also helped organize the event.
As Cedric Golden of the Statesmen writes, this year's event was different however, in that Shipley added more camps for underprivileged children. He and Bob "teamed up with the West Austin Youth Association and some local businesses to put on two free football camps for underprivileged youngsters at the WAYA football field". That free camp happened on Thursday, and the pictures of the event are simply beautiful.
+ Cornerback Adam Jones has been working with the Cincinnati Chief Of Police James Craig to help keep "at-risk" kids out of trouble.
The program helps these Cincinnati kids to keep out of trouble, and befriend a few cops along the way. Jones has visited the kids many times, even getting a little emotional when they graduated the program.
On Graduation Day back in April, Jones would have to fight back the tears as 13 of the 20 original kids from the ages of 12 to 15 got their diplomas.
"These kids were like me in the beginning," Jones says. "They probably had never talked to cops or didn't like them. When the kids graduated, they were like the Chief's kids. He was like a father figure. A great program."
Craig had a lot of praise for Jones and the way he worked with kids:
"He was tremendous; the kids love him," Craig says. "You talk about a guy that was able to relate and a guy that kids would listen to. ... I bumped into a lot of celebrities out in L.A., and there were very few that were very genuine like Adam. Denzel Washington is a great guy, very humble. But not many and that's the impressive thing about (Jones)."
+ Jones is also speaking at the rookie symposium next week. Just like with the local kids, he'll be drawing from his past experiences to speak to the rookies from the heart. The rookie symposium will take place over the next few days, June 25-28 in Aurora Ohio.
I doubt the rest of the world has heard either of those stories. Just that 'Pacman' has to pay $11 million in damages for an infamous incident that occurred way back in 2007.
+ Lastly, running back Brian Leonard has been heavily involved with a group called the Embrace Kids Foundation near his alma mater Rutgers.
Brian pulls a lot of motivation from 19-year-old Sean Martyn, who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor a few years ago, and has been battling with cancer ever since.
Leonard held his third annual Rally At The Alley back on March 13, benefitting the Embrace Kids Foundation. Ray Rice, Jeremy Zuttah, Greg Schiano, the McCourty twins, and 15 other Rutgers football players were there for the event. Even Andy Dalton showed up in support.
On Wednesday, Leonard [re]tweeted some great news, that Sean Martyn had finally ended his battle with cancer.