There’s an actual name for a fear of clowns. It’s called Coulrophobia, and it could become the root cause of Ronald McDonald’s death, even if his only sin is delivering unhealthy food to children.
In some of the most fun hating, curmudgeon-loving circles of the NFL, Coulrophodia has spread to near deadly levels, and it’s focused on one menacing clown. It threatens to kill our entire perception of fun, and strangle our humor in a league that already penalizes players for celebrating a touchdown in unison. It will render us incapable of laughing at any event tied to a football game, and enjoying the game because it’s, you know, a game.
What’s the clown’s name who’s causing this Coulrophobia? Chad Ochocinco. Or Johnson. Or something.
Yesterday a tweet from Ochocinco was intended to make you do something, and feel something. Ochocinco wanted us to talk about Ochocinco, and he did it by digitally saying something to Roger Goodell that also functioned as the rebirth of the old Ocho, the receiver who played mini putt with end zone pylons.
If you somehow missed it, well done. If you didn’t, here it is again…
With just those simple, joking words, the real Ochocinco returned. For a year he lived in exile, languishing in a foreign place where personalities aren’t prohibited, and those who march among the hooded Jedi’s fleet can only obey his commands, and express limited individuality on MyFace and Yearbook.
There were many other far more important factors that led to Ochocinco’s disastrous season in New England and his putrid 15 catches. Like, say, his inability to grasp the offense and run the right route at the right time. But being restricted and not allowed to truly be Ochocinco didn’t help either, which is why it’s good to see him back to spreading love online while also threatening regular ass whoopings. It makes us all feel young again.
The same observation was made by Will Brinson and Gregg Rosenthal, who both noted that having the old Ochocinco back is nothing but good news for the league, and good news for the Dolphins, a team struggling to attract butts to seats, and eyes to televisions. So his tweet to Goodell was generally laughed off and shrugged off, but the fact that Ochocinco can still dig underneath the skin of anyone and make himself a talking point speaks to his still unmatched trolling skill, and the stubborn desire of the old guard to shun fun.
Look, you don’t have to like Ochocinco and his antics. I often find him incredibly annoying, but that’s where my disgust ends, because I just roll my eyes at his many dumb tweets or acts, and move on. In our mystical age of Twitter and instant interaction, it’s amazing so many citizens of the Internet still haven’t discovered the only fuel that’s keeping the most despised pop culture personalities relevant.
It’s your attention. They crave it, and they need it. In this sense Ochocinco has something in common with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardahsian, but at least he has a skill of some value, and a productive reason to wake up every morning.
They all want you to react, and without a reaction of some kind they will wither and die, and just be normal. This is how Skip Bayless came into existence, powered by his skill to make you angry, and his knowledge that when you’re angry, you keep coming back for more because you want to hate something. Ochocinco knows this too, and whether it’s on Twitter or elsewhere, when you hate on him you’re still raising his stock and making him an entertainer first, and a football player second.
If you want him to go away, ignore him, and if you don’t then you’re letting him win. There is no middle ground here.
So please, Peter King, either lighten up, or say nothing. And please, Mike and Mike, stop trying to make us believe that this tweet and any similar attempt at comedy by Ocho carries any importance. Beyond a bit of levity, very little of what comes out of his mouth and mind has any significance whatsoever.
Just sit back, laugh a little, and enjoy the reindeer.