The surprise signing of the past few days wasn’t in the NFL- it was an all-Canadian contract that shocked football fans. Chad Johnson signed a contract with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. This story has a lot of interesting issues to it that may not all be good.
Is a drama king like Chad Johnson a good thing for the CFL?
Firstly, the Alouettes were said to be very impressed with Johnson. He had quick footwork and ran his routes well. The Als GM, Jim Popp, wanted to sign him from the get go. One might wonder why a team would be so excited about an aged football player-until you remember their QB last year was in his 40s. Apparently the only worry Popp had was getting Johnson a work visa for Canada.
Now, Quebec does hang out by itself. It has its own media and culture. But wouldn’t someone have remembered the insanity that seemed to circle Johnson at all turns?
The alleged assault of his now ex wife is still pretty fresh. Who forgets a story about a head butt assault? And that that tacky portrait he got tattooed on his leg of her face to win her back? That was hard to forget, and so was the fact that the gesture didn’t go over so well and the restraining order stayed neatly in place.
Yet, the Alouettes are apparently head over heels to bring Johnson in. I understand that he was a big star; but is this really a good move for the CFL in general? I question the intelligence behind bringing drama like Johnson into the league.
From a corporate stand point they’re eating it up. He will sell tickets, he may bring out new CFL fans and he could help make the CFL prominent. However, this is all dependent on whether Johnson is a changed man. He certainly didn’t impress anyone with his attitude in Miami. I can’t see him having changed and be capable of playing well and staying out of trouble. Especially in a city like Montreal where parties and beautiful women are everywhere. My gut feeling tells me that this will end up being a negative move for the CFL. Johnson will screw up and his signing will make a mockery out of league full of hard working football players.
Photo credit: The grio.com