Just when you thought the NFL’s off season drama may have come to an end; the infamous Chad Johnson, aka Ochocinco, proves that he wants to be ranked with the league’s elite wide receivers whose off the field drama will always overshadow their on the field talents. Don’t worry Chad! You will be up there on the Mount Rushmore of the NFL’s biggest wide receiver divas, right along with Terrell Owens, Randy Moss and Keyshawn Johnson. Besides being wide receivers and being so full of themselves, the one other thing that these select players have in common is the fact that all of them have had a great career that has seemed to unravel as it comes to a close.
For Chad Johnson, things have started to go sour pretty quick over these last few weeks. He was picked up by the Miami Dolphins in the off season after having an abysmal season last year with the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, things didn’t seem to start out on a good note in Miami. He upset the coach by giving a profanity laced interview to the Miami media. He also had one pass thrown to him during Miami’s first pre-season game and he dropped the ball, literally. Most fans may have seen this as a bit of a low point in Chad’s career, but it was certainly nothing to lose sleep over.
Then it happened. It was the thing that we had all been waiting for. Chad had been too quiet for too long. Saturday, August 11, Johnson decided to head butt his wife after a domestic dispute. Apparently, she had found a receipt for some condoms in the trunk of his car. Needless to say Chad was taken to jail. Once he was released, it only took a few hours for Miami to decide that Chad was a huge liability and they dropped him like a sack of potatoes. Not only that, but VH1 dropped his reality series as well. The show was supposed to surround the days leading up to his wedding and the actual wedding itself, but according to VH1 that show will never air. Now the big question is, “what does the future hold for ol’ Ochocinco?”
Luckily, for him there is some time on his side. I know he has been in the league a long time, but he is only 34. He can still turn this around and save his career because everyone loves a redemption story and there is some team out there that would love to have his talents on their side. However, the question still remains. Why do these great receivers always end up shooting themselves in the foot? I guess in Plaxico Burress’s case it would be the thigh, but you get my point. My wife said that she saw Terrell Owens on Dr. Phil the other day, confessing to the world that not only was he an arena football player, but also was a dead beat dad, and don’t even get me started on Dez Bryant. The guy has been in the league for two years and already his legacy is going to be, “the guy who bitch-slapped his own mother”. Oh, and let’s not forget Randy Moss. He has come back after a year away from the sport and signed with the 49er’s and I don’t blame them for signing him. The guy has got tremendous talent, and at 35 he still has some life left in him. But how long is it going to be before he becomes a cancer in the locker room or he runs his mouth to the media because the 49er’s aren’t where he wants them to be or he isn’t getting the ball as much as he thinks he should be. Let’s face it. The guy spent a year out of the league for a reason. It is because nobody wants to deal with the drama.
Wherever they go the drama seems to follow. Chad Johnson was on the fringe of this group of guys because even though his ego was larger than life (remember “the list”?); he didn’t bring a huge amount of off the field problems with him until now. It’s sad to see the NFL turning into a league of criminals and divas. It seems that what used to be the exception has now become the norm. One day we are going to get to the point to where off the field drama isn’t going to matter anymore, because every single player will have it. I believe in the philosophy of live and let live, but the way some of these players act is ridiculous and there needs to be some sort of intervention. I am all for having some sort of gentlemen’s academy set up for every single player to go through before they enter the league. As for why these players unravel towards the twilight of their career I have one answer. They are just like rock stars. They live life fast and their careers shoot up like a rocket and come crashing back down just as quick. Perhaps, we as fans put these guys on such a high pedestal that they can’t help their actions because they believe that they are invincible. We as fans see them as our heroes, but we should also remind ourselves and our kids that these guys are also human and they make mistakes, albeit catastrophic mistakes. All I know is the Chad Johnson head butt is just one incident in a league that will have many, many, many more incidents to come.