Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson will wear a commemorative Cincinnati Bengals jersey in Super Bowl XLI as a show of support to the team and its numerous fellow law-breakers.
The nine Bengals players who were arrested in the recent months are not only rooting for Johnson’s Bears to defeat the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, but are championing the degree of Johnson’s legal problems.
“I thought going to the slammer was something, but to be put on house arrest like Tank, that’s just awesome,” said Bengals receiver Chris Henry who was recently sentenced to jail for two days after pleading guilty to allowing minors drink in a rented hotel room last spring-his fourth arrest in just 14 months. “Hell, maybe Tank can get in trouble at South Beach while he’s down there too. Go Tank! We’re pulling for you.”
Earlier this season, Johnson was arrested following a police raid on Johnson’s house netted marijuana and several unregistered guns. Shortly afterward, Johnson was put on house arrest when his bodyguard was fatally shot at a River North nightclub in Johnson’s presence.
A Cook County judge allowed Johnson to travel to Miami to vie for the NFL championship, which prompted Bengals President Mike Brown to drive north and hand-deliver the custom-made Cincinnati jersey before the Bears’ trip to Florida.
Bengals’ cornerback Johnathan Joseph, the team’s No. 1 2006 draft pick who was recently arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession, signed the jersey while on the way to being incarcerated. Henry signed the jersey when he crossed Joseph’s path while leaving jail after his most recent sentence.
The seven other law-breaking Bengals-CB Deltha O’Neal, WR Reggie McNeal, G Eric Steinbach, DE Frostee Rucker, LB A.J. Nicholson, LB Odell Thurman, and DT Matthias Askew-were not available to sign the jersey due to a variety of jail and house arrest sentences, community service commitments, restraining orders, court appearances and attempted bank robberies.