For all of his antics on the field – he was hardly the worst, even during his prime – I find it incredibly hard to dislike Chad Ochocinco.
On that note, I may be one of the few to find the creation of his own news network marketing genius. Ochocinco has used it as the vehicle to release an open letter to Roger Goodell.
ESPN Boston has the transcript:
I know it has been a rough week, so I wanted to reach out. Players dying, players suing and on top of that my peers are just going off on you in the media. It does not help that ESPN has all of a sudden become Medical TV with damn near every brain expert on the planet. This has got to be the worst week ever. Since no one is showing any support, I figured I would be the first. You are in one big ass catch 22 and quite frankly, I am not sure there is any solution. One thing I think can help is killing the NFL PR machine.
Y’all do a darn near perfect job at portraying this game as one played by heroes.But let’s be real dad. This is a nasty, dirty and violent game with consequences. Sign up or go get a regular job. Watch it or turn off the TV and go fishing with your kids. It is really that simple. I know there are probably legal and financial implications that prevent this blunt depiction, but am not sure if you have a choice. If you don’t say it now, the mounting evidence being revealed publicly will say it for you very soon. In all, I love you and if anyone can lead us out of this mess, it will be you. Oh by the way, I have a deal for you. Am having a rebound year and plan to do a lot of celebrating in the end zone. Can my fine money go to supporting ex-players suffering?
The letter – released on Friday night – has blown up around the league. Unsurprisingly, Ochocinco has found some sympathetic ears amongst his NFL brethren:
A few thoughts on the letter:
- Not only has it been a terrible week, it’s been a terrible year for the NFL in terms of Public Relations. More than 2,000 players have filed almost 75 complaints against the NFL or Riddell – the helmet manufacturer.
- It would be hypocritical of me to blast ESPN for over saturation – media outlets rely on content to survive – but Ochocinco’s point regarding the superfluous amount of so called ‘experts’ is bang on. The reliance on provocative soundbites leads people like Merril Hoge to castigate Kurt Warner for giving his opinion when asked. Who are the folks at Bristol actually protecting?
- However, ‘killing’ the NFL PR machine is pretty much impossible. This machine has made many people incredibly wealthy – including players like Chad.
- ‘Sign up or get a regular job’ is crude – but apt in my opinion. Who are we trying to kid. The violence that’s inherent in football is one of the prime reasons the game is so popular. While I have zero respect for players’ intentionally trying to destroy the careers of their peers, Running Backs will get hit hard and Wide Receivers will get decked crossing the middle. It’s football – I’m pretty sure everyone currently involved in the game doesn’t want that to change.
- The legal and financial implications of agreeing to a statement like the one written above is exactly why the commissioner will never say these things. Can you blame him?
- I hope we do see Chad in the endzone often next year. Unfortunately i have my doubts: