It looks like another name can be added to Chad Ochocinco’s official list of promised ass-whoopings.
At the owners’ meetings in Indianapolis, Bengals owner Mike Brown criticized Chad for not focusing on football.
“He’s going to do the things he does,” Brown said, per Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Next maybe he’ll be a snake wrangler and we’ll watch to see if he gets bit. He’s always up to some stunt. They amuse me in a way. They concern me because let’s face it we want a football player. We aren’t hiring a bull rider, a dancer, a soccer player. We want a football player. It’s simple. And that should be the focus, not on other things.”
Brown also touched on the deeper issue — an apparently deep-seated desire by Chad to attract attention to himself. “I’ve never known any football player who can bring a spotlight on to himself seemingly all year around,” Brown said. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing? And that gets to be a debate.”
That said, the Bengals have been very supportive of the off-field exploits of linebacker Dhani Jones, which spawned the Travel Channel’s Dhani Tackles the Globe and laid the foundation for a new book, The Sportsman. The difference may be that the Bengals realize Jones isn’t doing what he’s doing for attention.
Still, it’s hard to put much stock in Brown’s complaints regarding Ochocinco’s 2011 exploits. By locking out Chad and the rest of his teammates and colleagues, the NFL is interfering with the players’ ability to focus on football. If the owner of a coal mine locks out his workers in a labor dispute, does he publicly complain that the workers aren’t sufficiently focused on mining coal during the lockout?
The truth may be that Chad would still have dabbled in soccer and bullriding this year even if there was no lockout. And reality is that if the Bengals believe that Chad isn’t appropriately focused on football to justify his $6 million salary for 2011, they can cut him or trade him.