San Diego "If you have a problem with Keyshawn Johnson, you have a problem with yourself." -- Keyshawn Johnson
Well, there you go. That answers it. All this time I've been wondering what the problem is, and now I know. It's me. I have a problem with myself. Oh, Keyshawn, if only you had told me sooner. The therapy I could have saved!
Johnson uttered this mother of all statements just a few days ago, here at Super Bowl XXXVII. It was so priceless, so amazingly brazen, that at first I thought he was misquoted.
Then, the next day, he said it again.
"Most people are flat out jealous, that's just how it is," he said at the morning press gathering. "If you couldn't be a certain way in your career ... you walk around bitter. That's why I say, if you have a problem with Keyshawn Johnson, you have a problem with yourself. You need to do some soul searching."
Wow. Give me a sec. I'm having a Dr. Phil moment here.
Ahh. I feel purged. No longer do I need to cast doubt on Keyshawn Johnson. No longer do I need to wonder why a seventh-year receiver who has never elevated his team, who has never won a championship, and who, in the 2001 season, caught exactly one touchdown pass, walks around like the peacock with the first-place ribbon.
Now I know. It's me. I am inwardly tortured.
Just throw me the damn Freud.
Here is more from Keyshawn Wednesday morning:
"No matter what you say about Keyshawn Johnson, at the end of the day, you're gonna have to give him his just due."
If we are talking about giving Johnson his due, fine. Here is what he is due. This past season, when his team, the Buccaneers, played a big game against the Green Bay Packers, Johnson had two catches. His teammate, Joe Jurevicius had five -- including a touchdown.
And in the playoff game against Atlanta, Johnson had two catches for a mere 25 yards. Jurevicius had eight and two touchdowns.
In games decided by seven or less points this year, Johnson had no touchdowns. In receiving yards, for the season, he finished behind such luminaries as Chad Johnson of Cincinnati and Koren Robinson of Seattle.
I never heard of either of them.
"People say I'm selfish, they call me 'Me-shawn' -- I love that, really I do -- because you're paying attention. There's something there that irks you."
Well that's true, Keyshawn. But irking people doesn't make you special. Mosquitoes do that. And being talked about doesn't make you great. People talked about Lee Harvey Oswald, too.
The fact is, Keyshawn Johnson is a guy who, under a different name, would barely be noticed. He makes nice catches now and then but is hardly a game-turner. Even in this Sunday's showdown, you might want to throw to three other guys -- Jerry Rice, Jerry Porter, Jurevicius -- before you went to Johnson.
"Hey, if I wasn't exciting, you'd say I was boring. I'm not asking you to talk to me. If you don't give me any more ink, I don't care. ..."
OK. We won't.