Friday, October 16, 2009

Meet Your 2009 NFL Rushing Leader

Yes, it is opposite year in the NFL. Up is down, Farvellous is wearing purple and gold, teams are wearing throwback jerseys that in no way resemble their actual uniforms, the Lions won a game, there are not one, but two starting Hispanic quarterbacks (Romo y Sanchez), the Chiefs have the state of Texas on their throwback helmets in a game against the Cowboys, Tom Brady is bad, and Cedric "I'm on a Boat" Benson is good.

In a twist so unbelievable that every Bears fan is dumbfounded, Cedric Benson has established himself in week 5 as the leading rusher in the NFL. He is looks to be every bit the player that the Bears wanted him to be when they drafted him with the 4th pick of the 2005 draft, the highest draft pick in Chicago since 1979.
There will be people in Chicago that claim that the Bears made a mistake in letting Benson go. This is just not the case, C-Bens was never going to produce in Chicago and the Bears never should have drafted him in the first place.
Here is a recap what the Bears went through with Benson, lest we not forget.

2005: Bears ignore off the field problems at Texas, including two arrests, one for marijuana possession, and another for trespassing.
Benson holds out for 36 days, missing most of training camp, eventually signing a 5-year $35 million deal. Benson was so unpopular when he arrived at camp, his teammates tried to injure him during practice. It was obvious from the beginning that the players backed veteran back Thomas Jones over Benson.
In the regular season, Jones is named starting running back, and Benson only received spot carries before he gets hurt in the 10th week of the season.

2006: In training camp, Benson's teammates succeed in hurting him when Urlacher separates his shoulder, and he misses the preseason.
Benson and Jones split carries during the season, but Benson is not happy with this and in week 12, he challenges coach Lovie Smith and says "the NFL is not like high school or college, but the best players don't always get on the field".
Bears use Jones primarily in the playoffs (55 carries to Benson's 38) and make it to the Super Bowl.

2007: The Bears decide to make Benson their feature back and trade Jones to the Jets.  He rewards the Bears by tiptoeing his way to 4 touchdowns and 674 yards at 3.4 yards a carry before he gets hurt again in game 11 and misses the rest of the season. The numbers don't really do justice to how bad Benson was during the season, he had zero burst and couldn't find the hole to save his life.

Benson parties it up in the off-season and is arrested twice in a five-week span for alcohol-related crimes.
The first was occurred on a boat and he was charged with operating a boat under the influence (is there any other way to operate a boat?) and resisting arrest, resulting in hilarious mug shots and jokes about how the pepper spray was unnecessary - a simple arm tackle would take down Benson.
Then he capped it off by getting a DUI in his native Texas a few weeks later.
The Bears then released Benson, citing off the field issues. Really though, if the Bears thought that he was any good, they wouldn't have released him after a few misdemeanors. They were looking to rid themselves of a mistake that they made back in 2005.

This situation is not uncommon in sports, a talented athlete gets sidetracked by lack of success and personal problems, then has his back against the wall and needs to make good on what could be his last shot in the league, and his talent wins out and the athlete makes good on the second chance. Benson has redeemed himself in Cincinnati, but it does not change what happened in the past.


  1. No mention of Ron Turner??? hand off.... up the middle. hand off.... up the middle. hand off..... up the middle.

  2. Why couldn't have C-Benz just been more like Ricky Williams and made the whole situation relaxing and zaney?

  3. Nice blog Nate! Amazing how being good washes away all sins. Cedric Benson is a piece of dirt to put it nicely. His DUIs could injure or even kill someone, maybe then he could achieve superstar status like Brandon Marshall or Ray Lewis.


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