Dear Mr Johnson,
When you were drafted to the Titans I was actually giddy. After seeing your blazing time during the 40 yard dash at the combine I had goosebumps when I thought about what you might be able to do for the Titans during your career.
Flashes of Barry Sanders ran through my mind. When the Titans' first round pick came around and you were still on the board, I closed my eyes and asked Bud Adams to draft you.
When they did, I stood up out of my chair and pumped my fists and quietly congratulated myself. You see, with you as the Titans' running back and Vince Young as the quarterback, I was sure that the Titans were going to have the chance to start the next dynasty in the NFL. The years of losing out perennially to the Colts and big head Peyton Manning would be over.
Your first year in the NFL was so amazing; I saw you make amazing runs game after game. Showing the explosiveness that I believed you had. It first came in the second game of the season against the Bengals. On 19 attempts, you rushed for 109 yards and broke off the big run of 57 yards.
That whole season you impressed Titans Nation showing the fans that you were for real and we should be excited. The Titans made the playoffs in 2008 and lost in a heartbreaking game against the Ravens. (The Titans got hosed in that game and everyone knows it, but that is not what this letter is about.)
Even though the Titans made an early exit from the playoffs, it seemed like the fans were not disappointed we witnessed and amazing season with a breakout star.
We were hopeful that for years to come the Titans would be the dominant team in the AFC South. The reign of the Titans was reborn. The Titans were going to rise out from Tartarus to climb up to the heavens and destroy Zeus (Read: The Colts) for sending us into the underworld in the first place.
The year 2009 was supposed to be the start to the golden age of the Titans' reign, but all was not right. The team ended up going 0-6 before their first win. But all was not lost in the season. We the fans watched your in all of your glory make rush after rush and try and carry the team on your shoulders.
In the second game of the season, we watched as you rushed for 197 yards and 2 touchdowns with your longest run being an amazing 91 yards for the line of scrimmage. In those first six games, even though we lost every single week, we saw glory in your running. You kept the fans interested.
You know what happened during that season, Mr. Johnson? You were the most explosive offensive player in the NFL and your 2,006 yard 14 touchdown season was poetry. You became the elite running back in the NFL.
That offseason, I was convinced that you were going to go down in history as the greatest running back of all time. I was so convinced that when me and my girlfriend (now fiance) decided to get a dog that I immediately lifted the dog straight up in the air over my head like it was baby Simba from Lion King and proclaimed to the world that, "From now on, this dog shall be known as CJ."
In 2010, your stats went down, but you were used as the primary work horse the year before so I was not worried that you wouldn't ever rebound to the most electrifying running back in the NFL. I was sure that next season you would be back to your old self and the Titans would have a shot to be in the Super Bowl.
Then the news came that you were going to be holding out for more money during the offseason. I agreed with you that you deserved more than they were paying you and was in your corner the whole time.
There was an inkling of worry that I had just named my dog after you and you may no longer be a Titan, but that was beside the point. Once again, I prayed to Bud Adams and said, "Pay the man!" A deal was struck before the season started and I was ready to watch more running back poetry.
It never came; you struggled to rush for over a 1,000 yards last year. The Titans barely missed the playoffs and I could not help but wonder if you had really tried to run last season or if you got paid and you didn't care anymore. I was sad; my favorite player in the league let the fans and his team down.
But I would not shun you, Mr. Johnson. I held out hope in my heart that this year things would be different. You would be back and the Titans would be competitive with a young hungry team.
After the first two games of the season, I felt compelled to write this letter pleading with your to channel some of your 2009 power and be reborn into the CJ2K that Titans Nation fell in love with.
Please, there are still 14 games left this year. You can still make a difference for a team that is desperately searching for some type of identity. You can rise up from the ashes and claim your spot once again as king of the Titans.
My dog and I still hold out hope that our favorite Titan of all time can return. So instead of praying to Bud Adams, this time I will just sit here at my desk and write you a letter showing you that we still believe you can do it. Titans fans are waiting for something to cheer for and I believe you still have the ability to show us greatness. You just have to find it again.
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