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Ocho No-Show has a nice ring to the Bengals season

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By Paul Gable

"Go out and play this game like you're a little kid again. This game is what you love to do..

—Chad Johnson

If only it were that easy. If only disgruntled Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, who has been known to call himself "Ocho Cinco," would show everyone that somewhere deep inside of him, there is a little kid who enjoys playing a game.

Instead, we get to deal with Johnson's demands to be traded, threatening to be a no-show at the team's mini-camp and training camp. To that I say, bring it on Chad.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has already made Johnson's future with the Bengals crystal clear—Chad can either retire or he can play for the Bengals.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who has grown tired of the soap-opera that has become the Cincinnati Bengals with Johnson on the field, and yes, I've been known to yell "Who Dey" a time or two.

We all laughed when Johnson proposed marriage to the cheerleader after scoring.

And, yes, I did find the Tiger Woods imitation funny when Johnson took the pylon and pretended to sink a putt. The same goes for him rocking the football to sleep like a baby and him acting like a complete buffoon anytime he touches a football field.

In the end, it all became too much and the antics became a distraction.

When you let an easy reception go through your hands into the hands of a defensive player and sit on the field pouting, you've lost any opportunity to celebrate regardless of who you are.

And just who is Chad Johnson?

That's a question that many are not sure they have an answer to, including Johnson.

I remember the Chad Johnson who said, on the day he was drafted, that he wanted to help the Bengals relive their glory days and contend for championships.

Unfortunately, I also remember the Chad Johnson, who turned deaf when little kids shouted his name at Georgetown College last year during training camp.

And then there's the Chad Johnson, threatening trade demands and opting to hold out.

"I want to be traded before the draft, and if that doesn't happen, I want to be traded as soon as possible," Johnson said. "I don't intend on reporting to anything."

Hey Chad, here's a news flash for you—normally a team's second best wide receiver keeps his mouth shut rather than demanding trades and threatening to hold out of team functions.

Normally, a team's second best wide receiver does not throw his quarterback under the bus, urging him to stay out of his business.

Normally, a team's number two wide receiver is not linked to a fight with his head coach, which includes talk of punching the coach in the eye.

But Johnson is not normal and there is nothing normal about the way this ordeal is playing out for Johnson and the Bengals.

But instead of being excited about Cincinnati's chances in the AFC and whether or not they can draft the players necessary to help them make a serious run, we have to deal with Johnson's crying about nobody having his back in the locker room.

Chad, here's some advice—quit acting like the spoiled athlete you've been showing the entire world that you truly are. It's past time for you to begin acting like a professional and not a 2-year-old who throws a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his own way.

Rather than demand a trade, please do this Bengals fan a favor—stay away for good.

Don't come to mini-camp, don't travel to the Commonwealth for training camp and don't get us all hyped up for another goofy touchdown celebration dance where you come across as a complete fool.

I don't care if the Bengals don't win a game this season (and for the record, I've got them winning three) if it comes at the expense of teaching Johnson a lesson.

Here's hoping that lesson consists of Johnson re-evaluating his priorities and finding that little kid inside him who loved football because it was a game.

Paul Gable is the sports editor for the Grant County News. He can be reached by e-mailing gcnsports@fuse.net or by calling 824-3343.