When people think Chris Henry, they think criminal, thug and villain. You can't justify Henry's actions and you must admit they are embarrassing to the organization like Jerry Springer was to Cincinnati politics - sadly, Cincinnati politics is still embarrassing.
What you have with Henry is a kid given a lot of money and celebrity overnight. He didn't handle it right and found out quickly how much professional athletes are under the pressure-scope. He sees that now and you get the feeling he's genuinely apologetic and determined to right his wrongs.
Many get upset with athletes who do things that appear selfish and don't abide by the highest levels of character. Personally, I think the level of these expectations are a bit ridiculous because those that raise these expectations, for the most part, don't live their life to their own standard they criticize athletes for.
Perhaps fans are angered when it happens because athletes don't receive the same punishment. Would a normal man with similar gun charges be able to reduce his sentence from jail time to 24-months probation and 100 hours of community service?
If fans are upset about that, then blame the law, not the player. I know my thoughts are in the minority and that's fine. I think a player's life off the field is his own; not an exhibitionists' peep-hole or reality television show. I say let's wipe the slate clean on Henry and let him recover his broken image and hope he has a better stat line than one-catch for negative five-yards Sunday.
Since it looks like Henry may have avoided any jail time and, hopefully, suspension, we can go back to thinking about our banged up wide receivers. T.J. Houshmandzadeh still isn't sure if he'll make it for Sunday:
"Man, it's the second game of the season. I hope to be out there. We'll see what happens." Doesn't sound like a confident Houshmandzadeh, does it?
Today, I'll have an injury update posted. We'll see if T.J. practices and what the update is on Antonio Chatman.
Tony Grossi says:
Their AFC North division title last year was stained when the Pittsburgh Steelers crushed them in a sobering playoff loss in Cincinnati.
How can you "dismiss the Cincinnati Bengals as legitimate playoff contenders"? The Bengals went to the playoffs last season -- most recent sample. Maybe Tony was speaking on a physiological scale, which would make more sense coming from Cleveland.
You can find all pre-game related notes here.