There may be a lockout, but that hasn't caused a power outage in Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga's workout.
According to the wonderful world of Twitter, Maualuga heaved a personal-best 405 pounds into the air this week at Ignition Sports in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, Ohio, as tweeted by Ignition firestarter Clif Marshall. It has been a hit on YouTube, where the glimpse of team-bonding had to provide a soothing reprieve for Bengals fans anxious for the season to begin.
As if picking up a paperweight, guard Bobbie Williams plucked the bar to spot Maualuga as defensive tackle Domata Peko took note in the background. When Maualuga shoved the bar into the air and held it the requisite time, the frame exploded into others charging the bench to congratulate him.
Former Bengals defensive tackle John Thornton appreciated the camaraderie and believes it's important. But he also knows everyone wants and needs the lockout to end.
"It's great they're together and working out and being a team," Thornton said. "But they're really missing that work on the field. There's only one way to get into football shape. Especially for the younger guys."
BOWLING ROLLS ON: Thornton is heading into his third year of retirement, but he's as active as he's ever been in the community. He's expanded Bowling for Autism into Bowling for Charity Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Super Bowl in Erlanger, Ky. Thornton is still involved in the effort to educate on autism and recently hosted a dinner for parents and teachers of autistic children, but his Jockgive Foundation has also had backpack giveaways and other projects for disadvantaged youth.
Former Bengals defensive backs Louis Breeden and David Fulcher are recruiting ex-players for the event, where 10-20 current players have usually attended. Thornton already expects defensive linemen Robert Geathers and Frostee Rucker, as well as wide receiver Jerome Simpson. Lanes are $250 and solo bowlers pay $50 for an event that continues at an after party from 7-10 p.m. at Scene Ultra Lounge, 639 Walnut St., in Cincinnati, where drinks are half price and appetizers free with a $10 donation.
Checks can be made payable to Jockgive Foundation at P.O. Box 43043, Cincinnati. 45243.
EYE OF BEHOLDER: Whether they agreed with him or not, Bengals season ticket holders seemed to appreciate NFL commissioner Roger Goodell taking the time to participate in a conference call with them Wednesday.
Mel Larson, 81, a season ticket holder since the first Super Bowl season who lives in Milford, Ohio, asked Goodell about the transparency issue when it came to the NFL showing the players its books.
"I think it's an interesting issue with all the things going on with (public) unions in Ohio and Minnesota," Larson said. "With the taxpayers paying for stadiums, the people are basically shareholders."
But Larson said he was satisfied with Goodell's answer.
"Despite what other unions get, the NFLPA gets access to every single penny of our revenue," Goodell told Larson and the others. "They are able to audit that. They know exactly where it is generated and how it is generated. Obviously, they have a very clear understanding to the penny of our player costs and we have offered and have demonstrated to them and have shown them the increased costs that we have had in operations. There is a significant amount of transparency that exists. They understand what is wrong with the business model. They clearly do."
"That surprised me. I didn't know they had shared that much with the union," Larson said. "I've admired Goodell ever since he put down a hard line with the discipline and the rules. I thought it was terrific and he spoke well."
But Goodell didn't make the same headway with Joe Benza, a season ticket holder since 1976 from Indian Hill who owns a medical information company. When Goodell said the key difference is over economics, Benza asked what that difference is.
"They are looking for a share of the overall revenue and they don't want to change their share in revenue despite the fact they acknowledged costs have continued to escalate," Goodell said. "Not just players costs, but the costs of operations, which they have acknowledged and we have demonstrated to them in financial disclosures. Clearly, they understand that the economics of the NFL have changed over the past 10 or 15 years but they do not want their percentage shared to change."
Benza doesn't agree with Goodell's premise that the players have to take a cut because of a decrease because he says the players' share is already affected by the drop.
"I didn't get to ask a follow-up question on that," Benza said. "I'm frustrated with how things have gone and I'm disappointed that the two sides can't get together. I know he's trying to be political. He can't say much. He's being sued, so what can he really say? I'm just frustrated it's come to this, and yet we really don't know what kind of numbers they're talking about."
The most-used word by both the fans and Goodell was "frustration."
"I understand your frustration. I hope we get this resolved," Goodell said. "I can tell you from our standpoint we're trying to get an agreement that will work and continue to produce a great game of football, a competitive game of football where every team has a chance to win. That's what you've come to expect from the NFL and that's what we want to deliver on."
SLANTS AND SCREENS
» Bengals running back Cedric Benson made headlines in the past 24 hours when he said on Sirius Radio that he wants a major contract as a free agent. Welcome to the lockout, where anything uttered in a new cycle gets the World War II headlines.
Back on Feb. 15 he said he's "looking for what I lost" when it comes to his first contract since he's proven he's a reliable bell cow.
"I got there, I worked my butt off, I ran hard, played hard, and I'm looking for my stuff," Benson said. "I would think if you're the owner of a team, you would want to pay a guy like me. I've been solid, I've produced, you know what you're going to get from me. I want to come back. I want to play there. I've gotten a lot of love and support from people. I hope it works out."
Benson's 2010 take averaged out to $3.2 million. The Bengals are probably willing to give him a raise, but how much and how much does he expect?
» Also on Twitter: The buzz featured Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, coming off a solid rookie year, earning his degree at Georgia.
» NBC's Cris Collinsworth tweeted Thursday that Andy Dalton's accuracy can make him the next Kenny Anderson. How about A.J. Green having a rookie year like Collinsworth in the 30th anniversary season of him going for 1,009 yards and eight TDs on 67 catches?
» According to wire reports, Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco gets to rename the bull if he stays on him for eight seconds this weekend at the Lucas Oil Invitational in Duluth, Ga. The Professional Bull Riders are offering him $10,000 and a new Ford F-150 and word is he'll give both to charity. But he's not being so charitable when it comes to naming the bull after his head coach.
The report said The Ocho tweeted, "Why not name the bull Marvin Lewis, everything he says about me is #Bull (expletive) anyway."
» Now is a good time to check The Ocho's career stats in four games against the Broncos. The Bengals are 1-3 against Denver, but The Ocho rode the Broncos for 21 catches, 365 yards, two touchdowns and a 17.3-yard average. Does that add up to eight seconds in a bull session?