Bengals crew, good afternoon. I'm a Sooner fan stopping by to drop some nuggets on Joe Mixon. The main reason I wanted to post was to add a little bit more context to the Mixon situation, correct one or two misconceptions, and opine on a few other factors relating to Joe. First and foremost, Joe paid a steep price for his misdeed. It wasn't merely a "redshirt year"; Joe was kicked off the team for the duration of the suspension. That means no facilities, no trainers, no meetings/coaching, no travel. He worked community service, he went to counseling, and...incredibly...he chose to stay at the University instead of transferring away from his problems. My guess is that his decision tells you a lot about how he approaches problems. He chose the hard road that meant putting in extra work and serving out his punishment instead of transferring. And we haven't even talked about the obvious contract implications (dropping from a first rounder to a second rounder). And we haven't talked about the dearth of endorsement deals. He needed to pay for this. He did. Second, one of the media misconceptions on Mixon is that this was a case of "domestic violence". You guys all know this intuitively, but a few media members struggle with this concept...when it's not a home-related incident, it's not domestic violence. This isn't Ray Rice, or any other player, making a choice to attack their spouse. This was a one-time, snap-decision response to a person slapping him. Joe made the wrong choice, a truly horrific one, and he'll be apologizing for it for the rest of his life. Third, Media members are scrambling to fit this 2014 incident into their narrative. Several of you have made this point, but it bears repeating: media will not let this case go...because it's the easiest way to generate clicks/interest/ad revenue. It's so frighteningly consumable...a video!...man hits woman!...star football player!...it's the gift that keeps on giving to the media, and you will see them re-hash this story in increasingly bizarre and creative ways in the years to come. Enjoy. Here's something that needs to be corrected: as recently as this weekend, ESPN "talent" (specifically Kavitha Davidson) reported that there were *new* allegations that Joe had hit a girl in high school. That's false. That claim is years old, and it was retracted by the individual who made the claim. Here's a portion of the retraction: "My daughter went to Freedom High School with Joe, and they have been friends for much of their lives. Once, when they were in school together, my daughter had a minor disagreement with some of her classmates that got blown out of proportion. Like any father would, I reacted emotionally. Unfortunately, I did so before I had all the facts. Now, having talked to my daughter and investigated the whole story, I realize that I was mistaken about Joe’s involvement. I definitely overreacted, and I regret that my words might have given some people the wrong impression about Joe. I know that Joe did not hurt my daughter, did not intend to, and would not do so. Joe and my daughter are still good friends. Joe is a great kid with a bright future in front of him, and he is welcome in my home anytime." So we have an ESPN reporter...putting out information that has been retracted...and damaging his character without merit. That's the level of reporting we're seeing around the Mixon incident at the national level. To wrap things up a bit...I've always felt a need to defend Joe. Not from the incident itself, as he deserved punishment, but from the character assassination that came with it. Everyone does bad things. Joe did an especially terrible thing. But let's be clear: if you want to be honest with yourself and say that the *worst moment* of your life has been caught on tape, made public, and virally consumed...I'd bet you'd tell me that you are more than just that one moment. And that you've learned from it. We should give Joe the same grace that we'd ask for ourselves. A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Joe's high school coach, his school administrators, his father, and Joe himself. The high school posse raved about his character. Joe is a quiet guy. He talks a lot on the field, he's got a big social media presence, but in reality, he's a soft-spoken individual. The OU coaches will tell you that they would have made Joe a captain but knew that the media would give them loads of hell. But that's the kind of presence that he had in the locker room - peacemaker, workout leader, not a hot head. You got a great player. Be content with that. Sorry about the media ****storm. Best to you guys in 2017.