As Ocho’s World Turns (Cincinnati Bengals)
Whether he’s kicking unexpected extra points — well, I might add — teaching us how to say “f**k you” to folks without actually insulting them, or seeking financial advice from head coaches, one thing’s pretty clear: It’s Ocho’s world and we are merely observers put here to chronicle his activities. About the extra point. Cincinnati only carries one kicker on their roster, Shayne Graham, who was nursing an groin injury. Therefore, after Chris Henry’s go-ahead touchdown, the Bengals needed someone to kick the extra point. Enter Chad Ochocinco, who, can apparently do it all.
The result? Not only was the extra point converted, it actually looked like a competent attempt by a member of the Bengals’ special teams. For what it’s worth, the Bengals lightening rod credits his kicking ability to his days as a soccer player.
Now for the fallout.
While most of the free sports-reporting world seemed to enjoy “The Extra Point of Ocho,” one ESPN talking head did not. Naturally, I’m talking about Skip “Happy” Bayless. Apparently, Bayless was less than impressed with Ocho’s kicking game and equated it to the “Ochocinco = Attention Whore” phenomenon. Granted, there’s some truth to that idea, but for the most part, number 85 is pretty harmless. There’s a genuine sense of playfulness and child-like affection for the position that being a good-to-great NFL receiver granted him.
While there is a great deal of “pay attention to me” in Ocho’s approach, there’s also a lot of good-natured fun. Nevertheless, Skip Bayless didn’t see it that way, and like most social media-savvy athletes, Ocho took to his favorite Internet platform to relay his disappointment in Bayless: Twitter. The results were quite entertaining.
Now, unlike Mark Schlereth, Bayless didn’t (or hasn’t, or can’t, for that matter) responded to Ocho’s rebuttal, and it’s doubtful he will. Oh, and it’s hard not to enjoy the fact that Chad brought his agent Drew Rosenhaus into the discussion. To me, that’s simply adding more delicious ingredients to the stew. Unfortunately, however, ESPN’s famous Twitter policy will prevent this from becoming as potentially epic as it could be.
Oh well. At least the NFL or Marvin Lewis hasn’t silenced Ocho’s non-stop train-of-thought extravaganza. And if they are smart, they’d keep it that way. I mean, when’s the last time an extra point was the topic of such conversation? When John Carney missed that one for New Orleans?