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League won't allow in-game tweeting

NFL_cjohnson1_250.jpgBengals receiver Chad Ochocinco recently expressed an intention to fully embrace the new technology known as Twitter, by posting updates to his page during regular-season games.

After catching wind of his vow, we asked the league whether in-game tweeting would be permitted.  Initially, we were told that the league would look into it.

This morning, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello advised us of the league’s position. 

“We already have a rule that prohibits the use of cell phones or other handheld devices in the bench area during games,” Aiello told us via e-mail.

Todd Wright of Sporting News Radio recently reminded us of that specific rule, which former Falcons coach Jim Mora violated on December 24, 2005 during a game against the Buccaneers.

We’re now looking into whether this rule extends into the locker room at halftime.  Our current guess is that such matters fall within the purview of the teams.  (And, as we previously have noted, the Bengals might prefer to have Chad venting via Twitter instead of doing something like, say, applying a headlock to Hue Jackson or swinging fists with Marvin Lewis.)

Then there’s the question of the potential penalty for in-game tweeting.  It’s a subject about which Chad already is concerned, since he posed the following question last night, on his Twitter page:  “If I tweet during the game and they suspend me, would I get paid during my suspension since it’s not a legal issue?”

As we pointed out in response to the tweet, he likely wouldn’t be suspended for a first offense.  Instead, he’d be fined.  Mora, for example, had to pay $25,000 as a result of his in-game cellular call.

Then again, the league doesn’t take kindly to guys who do things in defiance of a direct warning.  So if Chad continues to talk about his intention to tweet during games and if the NFL at some point sends him a letter explaining that he should not do so, a suspension isn’t out of the question.

And, yeah, he wouldn’t be paid.

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27 Responses to “League won't allow in-game tweeting”
  1. Bubby Brister says: Jul 9, 2009 11:32 AM

    “If I tweet during the game and they suspend me, would I get paid during my suspension since it’s not a legal issue?”
    Translation: As long as I’m getting paid and paid attention to, who cares about playing?

  2. beyondclarity says: Jul 9, 2009 11:39 AM

    I’d like to know how far the rule goes…What if Ocho Cinco has someone else post Tweets to his site…if the NFL doesn’t physically see him using a device, how could they punish him?
    The NFL is absurd when it comes to these types of rules and I love seeing someone calling them on it.
    It would be great to see dozens and dozens of players posting tweets during games – what is the NFL going to do then?
    Sincerely,
    Always a fan of the antics of Ocho Cinco!

  3. The Real Shuxion says: Jul 9, 2009 11:42 AM

    So we won’t get the tweet from Wal Coleman explaining the reason he didn’t call holding on the Pittsburgh O-line on that 3rd and 3 play because the check from the Rooneys cleared?
    That sucks.

  4. JAG880 says: Jul 9, 2009 11:49 AM

    Will Ochocinco soon be changing his name to Tweetocinco?

  5. Tundrastruck says: Jul 9, 2009 11:51 AM

    Do the world a favor and retire OchoJackasso…you are played, tired and trite. Go celebrate yourself somewhere else.

  6. dolfan565 says: Jul 9, 2009 11:59 AM

    GO AWAY CHAD
    No one cares what you think after the Bengals lose yet another game, nor do we care what you thinking WHILE you’re getting beat.

  7. COLO. FINS FAN says: Jul 9, 2009 12:31 PM

    SHUT UP & PLAY CHAD, OR OCHO STINKO, WHAT EVER YOU ARE CALLED NOW!!!

  8. Fan_Of_ Four says: Jul 9, 2009 12:50 PM

    Tweeting is for doosh bags…oh wait , now I get why Chad wants to do it.

  9. thediggler says: Jul 9, 2009 12:50 PM

    The Real Shuxion,
    Who even knows what play you’re talking about? Are you crying about the Cardinals getting beat in Super Bowl XLIII or the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL? Either way, your tears taste delicious.
    6 time Super Bowl Champs, the record book doesn’t lie, woooooo!!!

  10. bbq says: Jul 9, 2009 12:55 PM

    @ dolfan565:
    I’m not sure what you mean by the terms “no one” and “we”. I happen to be interested in what Chad would have to “tweet” about during games, and rather hope he finds a way to do it. You’re just mad because Chad Ochocinco is better than you or any receiver on your team and he knows it.

  11. mixman34 says: Jul 9, 2009 1:07 PM

    Poor Bengals fans. Poor Bengals community. Poor Bengals players. How long have we been saying that?! What a piece of $*&# organization, squad and player. Pathetic.

  12. Kaz says: Jul 9, 2009 1:11 PM

    Um Florio, I believe you were/are the only person in the world who took him seriously enough to envolve the league office and have them spend time/money on finding a rule to prevent it. So Chad say’s something and it causes all kinds of rules to be reinforced threats of suspensions etc. Dang, does he have that much power?
    In the mean time the Williams Wall will get to play another year despite violating the NFL drug policy. But oh dear, hold the press, Chad SAID he would tweet during or after a game and they threaten to suspend him and fine him…. Ban him if that doesn’t work.

  13. Moosechem says: Jul 9, 2009 1:14 PM

    Of course it had to be OchoStinko who would try to push the whole Tweeting matter with the NFL.
    I’m glad that the NFL is getting its Tweeting ban policies in order for the upcoming season.
    As for OchoStinko, he’s the kind of guy who will defy the tweeting ban and tweet, tweet, tweet, during the game, halftime, and post-game and then get fined and/or suspended because of it and then claim that the NFL policies on the matter weren’t exactly clear.
    Chad, no one cares what you have to say!

  14. deathbysexy says: Jul 9, 2009 1:30 PM

    “@OGOchoCinco: Damn NFL and these rules, I am going by my own set of rules, I ain’t hurting nobody or getting in trouble, I am putting my foot down!!” – twitter
    This will go over well…

  15. Dan Olson says: Jul 9, 2009 1:51 PM

    I support the NFL for cracking down on Twittering during games. It’s guys like Johnson – I refuse to call him by that other name – that is turning this into a circus league, and Goodell is right to put the clamps on it. I hate this “me first” mentality, and updating a website with a status mesasge during games does nothing to promote team unity.

  16. chris19 says: Jul 9, 2009 2:04 PM

    What the heck is wrong with tweeting during a GAME. I capitalize b/c it is just that a game. This is not serious, this is not life or death it is a game, by definition something that should be fun. Anyone who thinks the nfl is anything more than something to have fun with. I would be disturbed if i found out my senator or governor were tweeting during important meetings, but face it these guys are nothing more than gifted athletes playing a boys game, it should be fun and not serious…..as has been said before NFL=No Fun League. Get a life Goodell

  17. ☻☼CBS, FOX, ESPN, NFLN nbc says: Jul 9, 2009 2:17 PM

    Ochocinco is very irrelevent to the game of football. How many winning seasons has he been a part of?

  18. Rasputin says: Jul 9, 2009 2:46 PM

    Dear Roger,
    Does this apply agents as well? Just wondering.
    -Drew Rosenhaus
    PS/ NFL uber alles!

  19. TheDPR says: Jul 9, 2009 2:47 PM

    The NFL is a collection of 32 individual businesses worth close to a billion dollars each. It’s more than simply a game. It’s BIG business.

  20. preludetosmack says: Jul 9, 2009 3:19 PM

    So with the League’s stance:
    “We already have a rule that prohibits the use of cell phones or other handheld devices in the bench area during games,”
    I guess it’s fine for Chad to tweet at halftime, or on the bench with a non-handheld device (laptop, desktop on a cart).
    The league made no specific mention of it being against any rule to compose, transmit, or post an electronic communication during the course of the game, and as such I think they should be prepared for Chad or someone else to force their hand, be it by a locker-room twitter or a bench-area computer.

  21. mkaustin says: Jul 9, 2009 3:54 PM

    Chris19. You must be 19. When you make irrelevant millions per contract, you better keep your head on straight and focus on your $*%! job! Senators may make heavy-handed decisions and help shape our lives, but they get paid in perks rather than padded salaries. If you want to play football, play then! If you want to “tweet” (honestly people, worry about your own lives and you will see yourselves rise), then go back to high school and buy some tickets to watch the games. Tweet your fool heart out, just don’t expect anyone to cry for you when you lose your millions over simple narcissism. I thought the whole reason the money was so justified was that these men sacrifice their lives for the game…

  22. obwon999 says: Jul 9, 2009 4:16 PM

    It’s sad that this is even an issue. Guys like Chad give pro sports a bad name. There’s no love for the game or his team, he just loves himself. How about you focus on the game instead posting stupid messages on you Twitter.

  23. Steelers Rock says: Jul 9, 2009 4:46 PM

    WAAAAA. Real Shuxion get a tissue dude. Suck it up. You should save those tears for next years disappointment.

  24. Darth Ringo says: Jul 9, 2009 5:02 PM

    Coaches & players can’t use phones during a game, anyway. I’d think that takes Twitter off the table.

  25. elg26 says: Jul 9, 2009 5:05 PM

    What do you think he means from this Tweet from yesterday??
    15.
    @mlozano9 direct message me your number I will call you right now, need help with something I need for the season and it’s in Mexicoabout 18 hours ago from web in reply to mlozano9

  26. *Sigh* says: Jul 9, 2009 5:06 PM

    Since his HEAD won’t be in the game, guess the Bengals won’t need his body either. Cut him and let him tweet to his heart’s content from the stands!

  27. ProfessorSaint says: Jul 10, 2009 8:18 AM

    To those who think this rule is ridiculous,
    When one is at work, one is actually expected to do his job, not focus on “playtime” and other such nonsense. If I were a coach, I would suspend him for the four games a team is allowed to suspend a player for conduct detrimental to the team if he tweeted, since it would be proof he is more interested in being seen than in playing and winning the game.
    This guy obviously doesn’t care about winning so long as he still gets paid, thus the idiotic question concerning whether or not he would get paid if he were suspended, a question almost any fan knows the answer to.
    And by the way, just so nobody thinks I am on my computer at work, I teach, so I’m off right now, not at work. My time, therefore, is my own. I cannot even access these pages at work. Why? Because the people who pay me actually expect me to do the job they pay me to do instead of playing on a computer. What an idiotic rule that is, huh?

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