FanDuel - WFBC

December 19, 2009

NFL Won't Let Ochocinco Wear Henry's No. 15 Jersey: Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver Chad Ochocinco won't be allowed to wear Chris Henry's jersey during Sunday's game as a tribute, the league office has told the team. The NFL Players Association has offered to pay Ochocinco's fine if he does it anyway and match it with a gift to Henry's memorial fund.

posted by rcade to football at 03:14 PM - 30 comments

The No Fun League strikes again YOU MUST play by our rules or else!!!!!
The NFL really needs to lighten up, after all it's only a game.
You know he's going to wear it anyway.

posted by otbagain at 04:01 PM on December 19

One comment says: This issue makes the league look small, stupid and petty. The league may not be small, but it is definitely stupid and petty.

posted by graymatters at 04:01 PM on December 19

Well done, NFL.

You've expanded your acronym from "No Fun League" to "No Feelings League".

The next step is to disallow a moment of silence before that game because Cincy hasn't run it by the league offices first.

posted by grum@work at 04:02 PM on December 19

boo hoo... who cares, just another athlete crying out... let's win one for the dead idiot. chris henry obviously had his issues. it's hard to show compassion for someone that threatens to kill themself and then goes through with it. other than to his immediate family, he will be forgotten by the end of next week.

posted by jlh0837 at 04:34 PM on December 19

Not being quite as insensitive as the comment above, but along those same lines I do think the NFL is doing the right thing. Ochocinco wearing 15 becomes more of a case of Chad wanting people to notice him than it does him wanting to honor Henry. And I am surprised at all the play the guys death is getting. It is too bad but not a huge surprise the guy would meet his end in such a manner. Plus between suspensions, trouble, and injuries the guy barely seemed to ever be in a position to see the field.

posted by dyams at 04:51 PM on December 19

it's hard to show compassion for someone that threatens to kill themself and then goes through with it. other than to his immediate family, he will be forgotten by the end of next week.

The level of ignorance you've shown towards this issue site wide is astounding. I can only hope the admins have noticed it and we can all forget the kind of vitriol you're spewing by the end of next week.

Ochocinco wearing 15 becomes more of a case of Chad wanting people to notice him than it does him wanting to honor Henry.

Dude was crying in an interview last week. I sincerely doubt that his interest here is self-promotion.

Chris Henry was a teammate, probably a friend and a family member to some people out there. It should be no surprise that, his troubles aside, they're a little shook up about it.

posted by dfleming at 04:59 PM on December 19

Seconding dfleming's comment above. If you saw more than two seconds of the interview with Ochocinco after Bengals' practice on Thursday and think he's in this for himself, you have no perception of human emotion. I'm glad the NFLPA is behind him on this, good for them.

posted by boredom_08 at 05:16 PM on December 19

As others have said, Ochocinco could barely hold it together for 20 seconds when talking to reporters about Henry last week. People who think this is a ploy for attention by the guy don't know what they're talking about.

I can only hope the admins have noticed it ...

We did.

posted by rcade at 05:29 PM on December 19

Good grief, Ochocinco has a million ways to promote himself if he wants. To think that he's only doing this as a publicity stunt is beyond comprehension.

The league is being very short-sighted in ruling against this. The union is doing the right thing to stand by him.

posted by dviking at 06:16 PM on December 19

Just because I agree with not allowing him to wear Henrys jersey doesn't mean I don't think the guy was honestly upset and emotional. That's understandable. I still think the jersey thing pulls the attention to Chad, a guy with a history of doing everything imaginable to get the cameras on himself. Maybe if he wasn't pulling on sombreros and MNF suit jackets and all kinds of other crap on a weekly basis both the league and myself would't have such a jaded view of his motives.

posted by dyams at 07:31 PM on December 19

If OchoCinco wants to pay tribute to his friend and teamate whats the problem? When Payton wanted to wear High Top Cleats to honor Johnny Unitas the League pulled the same BS. Football is still a game Lighten Up this League takes themselves way to Seriously. This issue as a foolish as Congress "investigating the BCS" How about jobs for all the recent college grads Thats an issue, paying your respects is not nor should it be an issue. Chad wear the number or better yet let Carson Palmer wear it.

posted by thatch at 08:37 PM on December 19

Seems to me the question for the league is where to draw the line. Or rather, how to establish one which makes sense.. I doubt Goodell or anyone else in the front office has a problem with OchoCinco's motivation in theory (or Manning's - good call Thatch for introducing an example of a highly respected player whose motivation is unlikely to be selfserving). But they can't have multiple players on the field with augmented uniforms and different numbers on a weekly basis. That would ultimately cause the games to look and feel less organized, and be harder to watch and call. My solution (if it doesn't exist already): a petition/request process which would allow OchoCinco and others to ask the league to make certain allowances on a case by case basis. Perhaps such a thing exists already? This whole situation would take on a different tone if the NFLPA had made the request on OchoCinco's behalf to allow him this one consideration for one week, as opposed to him simply announcing he was making a unilateral decision.

posted by MW12 at 08:36 AM on December 20

Maybe if he wasn't pulling on sombreros and MNF suit jackets and all kinds of other crap on a weekly basis both the league and myself would't have such a jaded view of his motives.

That's the thing about people; you can't just generalize them. You've got to go out and read the situation a little bit. It's lazy to just assume that an attention-seeking person might not want to honor someone else without actually analyzing the situation.

Anyone watching an interview with Chad would know the guy's legitimately upset about it; body language, the waver in his voice and the redness of his eyes are clearcut examples. It doesn't take a psychologist to study; it's evident to anyone who's been a human being for any length of time.

The robotic way the league enforces its rules shows how out of touch they are with people. They're called the no-fun league for a reason; what boils down to a game has been stripped of whatever fun it once had and has instead been replaced with two businesses competing for dollars. I crave those moments where the players actually look like they're enjoying what they're doing because they're getting rarer and rarer.

posted by dfleming at 09:07 AM on December 20

What I really like about Brett Favre and Hines Ward is the smiles you often see on their faces. I expect that soon the No Fun League will start fining them for those smiles.

posted by kerrycindy at 10:08 AM on December 20

They're called the no-fun league for a reason; what boils down to a game has been stripped of whatever fun it once had and has instead been replaced with two businesses competing for dollars.

Then why do you watch? Why do so many people make the NFL the most popular and successful pro sport in this country? They have limits and rules because they know it's a business (yes, sorry, it is a business, and it's all about the dollars) that involves individuals who, if you give them a inch, they'll take several miles. Kind of like what MW12 said above, where would they draw the line? The next player visibly shaken and upset because their college teammate and roommate dies wants to wear his jersey number? A high school pal they grew up with and played with who meets an early end? A NFL teammate who played with the team a few years back who dies suddenly? I don't want to sound cold about the whole thing, but that's where the league would find itself. You can see the ridiculous nature of how things start to spiral in something as simple as Monday Night Football. I used to enjoy listening to the players introduce themselves with the offensive and defensive starters, where they'd say their name and the college they played for. Now you got guys introducing themselves with street names, what high school or grammar school they attended, or what crew they ran with (who the hell really knows, because nobody but their closest friends understand what they're saying). Believe it or not, numbers are on the players for reasons (and, yes, there are marketing concerns (obviously)). There are many, many ways to honor the life of a friend such as Henry if you're Ochocinco, and he says he has plans to do those. Hopefully he follows through. He could also honor the guy by going out today and having a monster game against San Diego. And players and teams will always look for ways to honor their dead team members whether it means fines, penalties, etc. When the Redskins honored Sean Taylor by starting the game with his position empty on the field, that was against the rules but they did it anyways. If Ochocinco decides to go against what the league says and come out wearing 15, who will be surprised? And a fine will matter not one bit to him. The league will continue to make rules, and the players will decide which ones they want to follow and which ones they want to ignore. Plan on Chad doing something, because he's had the "line drawn in the sand" in front of him now.

posted by dyams at 10:11 AM on December 20

I don't buy the slippery slope argument that if you let Ochocinco do this they will be obligated to allow any tribute that a player dreams up for a fallen friend. But even if they allowed them all, who would it hurt? The NFL has not suffered because of distinctive characters like Ochocinco and T.O. They've given fans another reason to be excited about games.

posted by rcade at 10:42 AM on December 20

What I really like about Brett Favre and Hines Ward is the smiles you often see on their faces.

Romo was smiling last night early in the game when he nearly threw a terrible pick, and Dallas Clark was giddy on the sidelines throughout the Jaguars game. It's odd how rare you see players looking like they have fun while they're playing.

posted by rcade at 10:43 AM on December 20

A NFL teammate who played with the team a few years back who dies suddenly? I don't want to sound cold about the whole thing, but that's where the league would find itself. ?

They'd find themselves without a problem; seriously, what problem does wearing a deceased teammate's (or former teammate's, or Jackie Robinson, or pink uniforms for breast cancer) cause? It's a non-issue; the only thing that the NFL can do to screw it up is to make mourning a finable offense.

And players and teams will always look for ways to honor their dead team members whether it means fines, penalties, etc.

People shouldn't have to break a rule and get a fine in order to pay their respects to a teammate/former teammate/hero who died. Its incongruent with the way society operates. Grieving and honoring people is normal behavior.

Then why do you watch?

An imperfect game is better than no game at all. I watch football the way that I read the newspaper; those moments where it's a game and people are enjoying it are worth the times where I shake my head. It also makes your ability to talk about what's wrong with football a lot more credible when you actually, you know, watch it.

posted by dfleming at 12:03 PM on December 20

I think it's pretty easy for the league to draw a line in the sand on this issue.

Henry was a current player on the team, to throw in A high school pal they grew up , their college teammate and roommate is stretching the argument a bit. By allowing Chad to wear 15 for one game, the league does not open the flood gates for players to wear the high school jersey of a friend that died.

If the league adopts a rule that if a current player dies, one player gets to wear the deceased player's jersey for one game, how often would that really come into play?

I don't think this comes into play: That would ultimately cause the games to look and feel less organized, and be harder to watch and call.

posted by dviking at 12:59 PM on December 20

Compromise: He wears 85, but changes his name to Unocinco for the game.

posted by graymatters at 01:20 PM on December 20

I'm certain OCHOCINCO would never pull a stunt for the sole purpose of getting the spotlight on himself. Actually this proves to what extent he will go. Henry dies and suddenly the media is talking about another Bengal, another Bengal receiver. Chad can't help but find a way into the light shining somewhere else, regardless of how briefly. Who made Chad Ochocinco the spokesman for the team and nominated him to wear Henry's number in tribute? He did of course!

posted by Atheist at 11:00 AM on December 21

See today's post. I'll leave it at that.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:10 PM on December 21

Actually this proves to what extent he will go.

You're not a mindreader, and it doesn't prove anything. Give it a rest.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:18 PM on December 21

Actually this proves to what extent he will go.

Dude, I got no beef with someone going against the grain (since I'm usually the one doing it) but why do you insist to claim to know what someone is doing or why they're doing it? You did the same thing on the Chris Henry thread and your doing it here and it's really getting old.

Obviously, Chad OchoCinco took the death of Chris Henry very hard and wanted to do something to honor his fallen teammate which he felt wearing Henry's #15 would do. It doesn't seem as if Chad has any ulterior motives as you claim he did and you really don't have anything to validate your claim.

posted by BornIcon at 03:10 PM on December 21

Most teams honor their fallen teammates by doing something as a team ie wearing the number on a patch or whatever. Of course Ochocinco is more of a me player than a team player so it makes sense for him to want to make his own individual statement or tribute. Just because the league did not endorse it doesn't make the league the bad guy. As far as Ochocincos claims that he did not wear Henry's number because it was getting misconstrued by the fans and press, all I can say is this... I am not doubting that he was devastated by the loss of his teammate and friend, but for the skepticism expressed by the league and press as to his motives, he can only blame himself. If you spend your career doing outlandish things to call attention to yourself, how can you expect anybody to take you seriously, even in the times when you are sincere. I have a feeling had it been another Bengal player without Ochocinco's history of on the field drama and antics, the league may have treated it differently.

Before all the inevitable criticism starts pouring in, I will reiterate, Henry's death was a tragic event and not deserved. I feel for his loved ones, teammates, friends, family and OCHOCINCO who are all suffering. All I have ever said is that his history of bad judgement, and behavior was selfish and led to his death which caused suffering for those who knew, loved or depended on him. So spare me the sappy eulogy of what a changed man he was, and at least honor his memory with the truth.

posted by Atheist at 04:41 PM on December 21

but for the skepticism expressed by the league and press as to his motives

Links please. Where is anyone questioning his motives except for in this thread?

posted by yerfatma at 05:34 PM on December 21

So spare me the sappy eulogy of what a changed man he was, and at least honor his memory with the truth.

I really hope that wasn't directed at my comment in another thread; and if it was, you stay classy.

And what truth are you referring to, there, Kreskin? The "truth" you claim to know and have claimed to know since this whole thing started? Or the "truth" that the people who spent virtually every day with Henry for the last few years are putting forth? Is it so fucking hard to believe that his teammates, coaches, and friends knew the man better than you? From some headlines a few years ago, you gained some sort of insight into the mind of a man that would invalidate everything being said by those who knew him best. I wonder if you're truly an atheist, or if you just hold yourself in godlike reverence. I sure would if I was as omniscient as you.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:55 PM on December 21

I have a feeling had it been another Bengal player without Ochocinco's history of on the field drama and antics, the league may have treated it differently.

That's not actually true either. As thatch pointed out, when Johnny Unitas passed away, Peyton Manning wanted to wear black hightops in honor of Unitas (black hightops are what Johnny U used to wear on the grid iron), the league said no. They're called by many the No Fun League for a reason, even though it's a business, it's still a game.

posted by BornIcon at 06:45 AM on December 22

Holy Shit, "No Fun League" has the exact same acronym as NFL!

posted by yerfatma at 09:14 AM on December 22

I know, I just figured that out myself when I was writing 'No Fun League' which is why I put the letters in bold. Amazing, isn't it?

posted by BornIcon at 10:11 AM on December 22

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.