Largely lost in the year-end shuffle was the NFL’s decision that quarterback Brett Favre failed to cooperate (i.e., failed to tell the truth) in the Jenn Sterger investigation, but that Favre should be fined only $50,000 because of it. (We’ve previously argued that the outcome should have been much more severe, and we continue to stand by that.)
But no story is ever over until T. and Ocho have said their peace.
In the latest edition of their weekly sit-down-and-spew-nonsense session on Versus, which has been even more overlooked than most of the other episodes of the show, Bengals receivers (for now) Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco weighed in.
“Time and time again, I’m always gonna put one of us in the situation,” Owens said, “and if it was somebody else, this right here would have been dealt with early on. What more can you get out of Brett Favre? They fined him 50 grand, that’s nothing. They just gave him 4 million extra dollars just to come back and play this year. Do you think somebody’s gonna give me an extra four million just to come back and play next year?”
Ochocinco jumped in, and he seemed genuinely agitated. “You know why? You want me to tell you why? You want me to tell you why? Listen, and you better not edit this. You wanna know why they won’t give you an extra $4 million to come back and play? ‘Cause you’re black. Period. Case closed.”
Owens and host Kevin Frazier laughed out loud, and at first it appeared that Ochocinco was perhaps poking fun at T.O.’s habit of making everything about race. But then it seemed that Ochocinco was dead serious, that he generally agrees with Owens’ views that race is at the heart of every actual or perceived disparity, and that Chad previously was discreet about his views because the season was still going on.
“If you wanna be honest, if you wanna be real,” Ochocinco said. “The season is over. We can’t get in trouble. I will say what I please now.”
He can say what he pleases, but folks with common sense can choose to reject what he says as foolishness. Favre got $4 million extra from the Vikings in 2010 because the Vikings believed at the time that they had a Super Bowl roster that lacked a Super Bowl quarterback, and because he was coming off one of the greatest seasons of his career. Also, Favre was fined only $50,000 because he’s a future Hall of Famer, and (in our view) because the league didn’t want to make the situation an even larger story by imposing a much larger fine or taking away a game check or suspending him for a game he wasn’t going to play in anyway.
Why would the Bengals give Owens an extra $4 million to play for the team in 2011? As a $1-million-per-win-in-2010 bonus?
Football is about winning. And if the Bengals or anyone else believed that Owens dramatically helped the effort to win games and ultimately championships — and if he was coming off the best year of his career in a season that nearly resulted in a berth in the Super Bowl — he’d get an extra $4 million to come back.
The most disappointing aspect of Ochocinco’s remarks is that, like Owens, Chad apparently resorts to perceived racial biases whenever he finds himself faced with a factual situation that he’s neither willing nor able to fully understand and process.
At least T.O. is brave enough to use that crutch under circumstances where he possibly can “get in trouble” for doing so.