The League

Michael Oriard

Michael Oriard

An English professor at Oregon State University and the author of several books on football, including Brand NFL Making and Selling America's Favorite Sport and The End of Autumn Reflections on My Life in Football

Hurts the Bengals


For me anyway, Chad Ochocinco's act has grown very old. Initially, it seemed playful and at times creative, enough to offset my old-school resistance to me-first exhibitionism. But by this time his post-touchdown performances have become about as interesting to me as the fourth run of that same commercial on late-night television.

I understand that it's all about "entertainment" and self-marketing, and in our age of niche markets and fifteen-minute celebrity the weekly Ochocinco Follies is by no means the only brand that fails to reach my niche, whatever that is. (I cannot begin to tell you how uninterested I am in the life stories of Michaele and Tareq Salahi.) Unless he is astonishingly obtuse, I assume that Chad has his fans who delight in whatever he dreams up from week to week.

I would guess that Roger Goodell has become weary of 85's performances, but he is obliged to play his role according their by now well-worn script, and there is no harm to the NFL so long as he continues playing it. Chad gets his highlight moment on SportsCenter, Goodell gets good marks with his admirers for imposing a fine, and everyone goes home happy.

Or almost everyone. I can't help wondering about Marvin Lewis and Chad's Bengal teammates, for whom the Ochocinco Follies must be at best a distraction and at worst a source of serious estrangement. Chad doesn't just "want the ball," as some receivers demand it; he wants the ball so that he can put on his sombrero afterward. The Bengals are having their most successful season in years, but their leading receiver keeps reminding them that he has other things on his mind besides the game at hand.

By Michael Oriard  |  December 11, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  | Category:  Cincinnati Bengals Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Grow up, 85 | Next: Assessing Ochocinco's antics


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I'm sorry that you're bored. When I watch sports with my boyfriend, I do it to spend time with him, hear his thoughts and ideas and to watch people do things I can't do. Chad is great fun for someone like me. If his teammates are jealous or uncreative, then maybe THEY need to grow up.

Posted by: digtalcomp | December 11, 2009 11:31 PM

Oh he is hurting the team, is that right?

What is the Bengal's record?

What place are they in their division?

What team is in their division that they have beaten twice

Wow he is really hurting his team

Can he please come to Washington and hurt the Redskins like that.

He is one the best marketer's in football, changing his name was brilliant, how many Johnsons are there in football? How many Ocho Cincos? He is very very entertaining and great for the NFL (no fun league) can't wait to see what he does in the playoffs

Posted by: kathymac1 | December 12, 2009 9:02 AM

Just look at this teams uniform. How can they take themselves seriously? This clown just seems to fit right in with the "please, please look at me" image the Bengals disply on the field anyway.

Posted by: MJR720 | December 12, 2009 12:22 PM

To all you haters I respectfully suggest you take a long drink of STFU. Chad loves to play football and it shows. He is a big kid who loves to compete (note hardest work ethic), he doesn't drink alcohol, doesn't do drugs, and does not get arrested.

Chad is known as one of the nicest NFL players who has a reputation of going out of his way to assist new players in the league to steer away from trouble. Sadly, instead we have to listen to these Monday morning quarterbacks and pretend analysts spew drivel about someone they know nothing about.

Chad is great for the Bengals and great for football.

Posted by: dan3 | December 12, 2009 2:22 PM

When football is no longer the great American game, and people look back and try to figure out what happened, quite a few of them will look back at the antics of todays game as ground zero for the decline. And, since #85 is the Clown Prince of the Day, he'll receive more than his share of the blame. What he's doing isn't about him. It's about the game of football. For it to be taken seriously it must be perceived to be a serious game by the fans. If not, then it's just 'entertainment' and not sport. Each season as the antics become more pronounced, the game is losing more of its hard fought for creditibility. Football started at the pro level akin to circus sideshows. People just didn't take it seriously. But many decades of hard and serious work brought it to where it's been recently. That of a serious team game played by serious, determined players. #85's antics subtract from that in ways people don't really see right now. Football is on top today, but with serious concerns popping up about player safety and long term health issues the game is at a critical point in its history. Football could very easily start going downhill fast. There is nothing in stone that says football will be around forever. Right now it's only a major sport in our country. The rest of the world isn't buying the game. #85 may be a nice guy, but this isn't about him for a change, it's about football. If he really loved the game, he'd know that.

Posted by: ideabook | December 13, 2009 12:51 AM

When has one of Ochocinco's teammates ever complained about what he does? When has Marvin Lewis? Who are these uptight teammates who lose focus and fall apart as soon as Chad does something goofy on the sidelines? I'm sick and tired of the moronic article writers who assume that the Bengals organization sits around wringing its hand over Chad Ochocinco -- a beloved, well-respected, hard-working teammate -- having fun.

He likes to draw attention to himself. So what? He's funny and interesting, and most importantly, he delivers on the field when Carson Palmer isn't crippled or Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't the QB.

Posted by: babalugats | December 13, 2009 1:10 AM

Hey Ideabook, how serious should I be when watching this serious sport? Should I not smile? How often should I remind myself that this is a serious venture that I've embarked on, watching this serious sport played by serious men.

And you somehow manage to link Chad Ochocinco wearing a sombrero to player health issues? Child please.

Posted by: babalugats | December 13, 2009 1:12 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company