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As much as Chad Ochocinco has tried to conform to the “Patriot way” he can’t seem to help but grab the spotlight for some of his actions.
First he stated that he would like to move in with a fan for the first several weeks of the season. Now he has agreed to pay for the fine assessed to Buccaneers linebacker Mason Foster for the hit he laid on Ochocinco in the second Patriots preseason game.
While neither of these are harmful to the team, they are definitely unusual and certainly don’t fit in to the “Patriot way.” But while his request to stay with a fan is more humorous than anything, this seems to have raised some controversy.
This issue started when Ochocinco tweeted:
“@Mason Foster great hit last night. if u’re fined I’ll reimburse u boss. That’s the way the game should b played. Stay healthy n have a good yr.”
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Pro Football Talk that Ochocinco wouldn’t be allowed to pay Foster’s fine and that each player must play his own fines. Back came Ochocinco stating:
“@nflcommish Dad no disrespect but I don’t agree with @mason _foster fine [and] I’ll be reimbursing him personally. Please feel free to contact me.”
What one can take from this, aside from the fact that Ochocinco calls Roger Goodell “dad,” is that this is an act of defiance from Ochocinco against the NFL. While we have seen defensive stars speak out against the rules of the league penalizing hard hits, this is the closest thing we have seen to an offensive player taking a stand.
If you watch the play, there really isn’t anything wrong with the hit, Foster does not lead with the head, it is illegal because Ochocinco was going for the ball, and was in a defenseless position. Ochocinco seems to feel that this kind of play should not be a penalty, and this is his way of protesting it.
However there is another way of looking at this.
If you don’t look at the actual words Ochocinco says, which makes it seem that he is sincere, you could take as Ochocinco taking a shot at Foster (figuratively of course). A big hit like that is suppose to shake up a receiver, and the fact that Ochocinco gets right back up after the play and the day after agrees to pay for a fine, implies that it wasn’t that hard a hit.
Perhaps this could lead to other receivers who offer to pay fines for illegal hits to show that they were not at all affected by the play. In a game where half the battle is in the mind, it could be an effective weapon. But, no matter what Ochocino’s intentions were, this is going to draw more attention to him than he – and especially Bill Belichick – would like.