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Walker: "Ocho Cinco situation could get ugly"

I have an "inbox" of potential stories relating to anything regarding the Cincinnati Bengals. In said inbox is a big bold number of 338 right now, meaning all of them are unread. Usually I scan through them and decide quickly if they're worthy enough to mention specifically, in our links and notes, or to disregard totally. It's a job, let me tell ya.

One of them I thought worthy of adding commentary to was James Walker's response to Marvin Lewis' press conference that Chris posted in which Lewis said Chad Johnson is going nowhere. The headline reads "Ocho Cinco situation could get ugly."

Now that Cincinnati has drawn the line once again, this situation has the potential to get ugly. For proof, look no further than last season. Ocho Cinco went public with his gripes and told various media outlets, including ESPN, he wanted out of Cincinnati.

While it's true that Johnson went on his media tour, which we dubbed the character-suicide campaign, it was long before any official within the Bengals organization said a thing; Johnson went on the offensive first. In between, Lewis would a boring nugget, such as "Chad's not going anywhere", "he's our starting wide receiver", blah, blah, blah. This year, he's been so quiet that he's clearly isolating himself from anything related to the city of Cincinnati or the Bengals. Our thinking is that Chad could remain a media hermit, acting aloof, rather than going on a sequel to late year's performance. Then again, other team's interest for trading for Johnson is next to nil, so what's the worst that can happen? At this point, the proud wide receiver needs to appeal to his own legacy, which unfortunately, the bad will fog the good.

The move didn't work as the team took Ocho Cinco's public bashings and patiently waited for mandatory camps. Once he showed, it was an all-out media circus that took the focus away from football in Cincinnati.

While it's true that the media thought they were in for some killer quotes and bulls battling with horns, the team wasn't affected as much. About the worst that happened were questions regarding Chad, pre and post practice, most of which were directed at three people: Lewis, Carson Palmer and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. In truth, it wasn't as much a distraction as it could have been. And it wasn't until Chad came to mandatory camp that he finally returned to the fold, save for the following quote:

Marvin Lewis: "When you gonna come give me some love?"
Chad Johnson: "Ain’t no love no more. It’s business."
Marvin Lewis: "Oh, okay. Good. Business is playing."

Johnson later went to Lewis and said "It’s scary when you got someone great, and he’s playing pissed off." Right after that, except for a few minor quotes that ran with no legs, bygones became bygones and everything was temporarily peachy.

So our point is this: Walker could be over-stating everything. In fact, we caution you to listen to any national media about an upcoming Chad Johnson eruption (then again, I've always cautioned you to listen to the national media). Personally, I just don't see it; not after last season in which Johnson discovered that making one look foolish, really hurts job prospects. You know, kind of like real life.