Friday, November 03, 2006

Ocho Cinco

That's the number of Cincinnati Bangles player Chad Johnson. If you don't know what that means, "Ocho Cinco" means 85. 85 is the number that Chad Johnson wears. This season when Cincinnati played Atlanta, Johnson had a Velcro nameplate made that read "Ocho Cinco". Before the game Johnson had Velcroed the nameplate to his own jersey and then went out onto the field. Officials saw that he did not have own nameplate showing on the jersey and made him take it off. NFL Officials are calling the incident a "stunt" and have decided to fine him $5000.

There are several reasons to fine an NFL player. If an NFL player hurts another player intentionally, then he should be fined. If an NFL player curses our an official, then he should be fined. If an NFL player acts unsportsmanlike in any way, shape, or form then he should be fined. The Chad Johnson incident should not be one of them.

First of all, putting "Ocho Cinco" on his jersey did not hurt anyone. Second of all, if Chad Johnson was making anybody look bad it was himself. A simple warning would have been enough. While it may be against the rules to do something like that, many other players have done other incidents where they were only giving a warning and not fined. Chad Johnson was fined simply because he's Chad Johnson. Known for his touchdown celebrations, Chad Johnson was probably a major factor in the NFL cracking down on touchdown celebrations.

The fact is that Chad Johnson is not just good, he's great. He's one of the best in the NFL today and he likes to show it. When he got a touchdown he liked everyone to know who just made that touchdown. Putting "Ocho Cinco" on his jersey is just another way of him singling himself out, and letting people know who he is.

My opinion is that if it didn't hurt anyone and it didn't halt play of the game, then a simple warning would have been fine. An official just looking at that would have know that it was Chad Johnson wearing "Ocho Cinco" given his reputation. They could have given him a warning and been done with it. No fine needed. Come on NFL, stop handing out ridiculous fines and start fining the real problems.

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