My Plea to Chris Johnson (the One from the Titans, Not the Astros)
For whatever reason, around this time, athletes thought it was a good idea to put up links to a uStream feed where they would take questions in a chat room or just let some overly curious fans watch them eat their dinner while they sat in front of their computer.
In the evolution of the voyeuristic social media age, this was a somewhat weird phase. We saw Stephon Marbury eating vaseline. And Darnell Dockett going to the bathroom. Put it this way, if the evolution of social media were U2, this phase was Zooropa.
And then there's Johnson.
I'm not ashamed to admit that when Johnson put up a uStream link, I would immediately click it, get some popcorn, a frosty beverage and settle in for however long the Titans speedster would stay on line. He would sit there and try his best to answer questions or shout outs that were scrolling in the chat room next to his screen, and it was funny to watch him keep up.
The only thing faster than Chris Johnson was the Chris Johnson uStream chat room.
Now, I'm even less ashamed to admit that a favorite pastime of mine and a few unnamed buddies was to go into Chris Johnson's chat room and plant posts or questions that were admittedly fabricated, just to see his reaction. An example:
"SeanCablinasian: Did you hear what David Garrard said about you?"
Upon seeing this, Johnson would immediately start screaming at the uStream camera -- "What David Garrard said about me?!?"
Of course, we wouldn't make up things that David Garrard said, partially because that would be illegal, and partially because watching Johnson freak out over what a division opponent and former fellow ECU Pirate might have said about him. I don't know why I'm telling this story other than to say I like Chris Johnson. I'm a fan.
As a fan, I'm looking out for Johnson's best interests. So as he continues his holdout, and as the Titans today made him a promise to make him the highest paid running back in football, so long as he shows up at camp to pick up his lottery ticket, allow me to warn my dear friend Chris Johnson...DON'T GO!
(Very tempted to go with an Admiral Akbar "IT'S A TRAP!" but that's probably extreme. I don't think there are tie fighters waiting to blow him to smithereens at the front door.)
When Mike Reinfeldt, your GM, says this:
"Even though he has two years left on his contract, we'd like him to go in," Reinfeldt said. "He could go to meetings, get to know the new coaches, he can learn the scheme. He doesn't have to practice, but it's something we want to get done.
"Again, we're willing to make him the highest paid running back in the history of the NFL. That's kind of where we are."
I'm telling you, Chris, and honestly I'm not saying this because I'm a Texans fan, they're jerking you around.
And even if you get there and they give you an offer, and again I'm not saying this because in games not involving Rusty Smith you're a threat to break 150 yards against the Texans, mull the offer over. Take your time. You can never be too cautious.
In fact, I would take the whole season to think it over and consider whether or not Reinfeldt is truly being straight with you. And again, I'm not just saying this because the Titans play the Texans in Week 17.
Seriously, I'm not. I care about you, Chris Johnson.
Also, did you hear what David Garrard said about you?
Listen to Sean Pendergast on Yahoo! Sports Radio (Sirius 94, XM 208) and 1560 The Game in Houston, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.