By Chick Ludwig | Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 04:54 PM
[url="http://www.daytondailynews.com/o/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/chickludwig/entries/2008/06/03/chad_keeps_options_open_may_st.html"]http://www.daytondailynews.com/o/conten ... ay_st.html[/url]
AFTER SAYING HE’S COMING BACK,
CHAD STILL MAY OPT TO SIT OUT
Chad Johnson believes flamboyance is not arrogance, and it should not be considered a distraction.
He claims anybody who thinks his style is a negative “is just ignorant, man.”
The Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver made a stunning admission during an interview on “ESPN The Magazine on SIRIUS” — the weekly talk show on SIRIUS Satellite Radio — on Tuesday, June 3, 2008, when he claimed his passion for the game sometimes hurts him and his team.
During the show, hosted by Gary Hoenig and Gary Belsky, Johnson spoke about serving as the guest editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine’s second annual “Revenge of the Jocks” issue — the issue date is June 16, 2008 — his passion for the game and the possibility of not playing this year.
IN JOHNSON’S WORDS:
“A lot of people would say, ‘You know, you attract attention, you’re putting pressure on yourself.’ But the game of football is something I’ve done since I was four years old. I’ve grown up watching the (University of Miami) Hurricanes.
“I come from a very flamboyant city, if you want to call it, and a lot of people like to call it arrogant and call it a distraction and all this stuff, which is just ignorant, man.
“I just love what I do. I have a passion for it and sometimes that passion hurts me and sometimes that passion hurts my team. And I’ve always been a winner and it’s been mistaken. Because of my style of play, it’s been taken out of context as me not wanting to win. And that’s where the controversy has come in during the off-season as ‘I’m tired of losing and we’re not doing the things we need to do to help us win.’
LOVES CINCY, EMPATHIZES WITH FANS
“So, I mean, other than that, man, I have no problem with Cincinnati. I love the city, man. The fans are great. And you know what’s funny? I know how the fans have felt for those 13, 14 years of losing and that’s how I’m feeling right now. That’s what people are failing to realize. The media is portraying a whole different thing. They’re talking about, ‘Oh, he wants more money.’ No, man. I am feeling just how they felt for those 11 years, that’s it, however long it was. And I feel it and I see where it’s going. It’s going back to that same old ‘Bungles,’ or whatever it used to be. But, man, it is what it is, you know? But other than that, I enjoyed working with ESPN on this thing.”
QUESTION: “Well, we enjoyed working with you. Now, you mention in the (ESPN The Magazine) piece that you could come back to the Bengals as soon as June and there’s now, I think, a report circulating on the air that that, in fact, might be the case. Have you got any comment about that? Are you still leaving your options open?” (Johnson made the comments referred to above to ESPN The Magazine writer David Fleming on May 23).
CHAD: “Yeah, man. You know what? My options are open, man. I have so much going on off the field right now. Man, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing. God has really blessed me to be able to do other things and interact in other things. Football doesn’t have to be my backbone. Football is my bread and butter, but with my success and with me being able to venture into other things, I mean, the possibility of really not playing this year is really open. It really is.”