There was a muted furor over whether or not the Bengals’ Vaudevillian wideout Chad Ochocinco should have been allowed to wear Chris Henry’s No. 15 in honor of the teammate whose life was suddenly cut short earlier in the week. After the NFLPA offered to pay his fine, and then said that they didn’t, the NFL stepped in, and then Chad relented. Which is amazing.
It’s amazing because it’s the first time we’ve ever heard the guy say that his actions might be distracting the team. It’s the first time he’s ever acknowledged that, for once, he may not be the most important member of the team. And I don’t think he ever understood that. And he’ll probably forget it again, as the memory of Chris Henry fades and as Ochocinco’s need for theatrics re-emerges.
Chad Johnson wouldn’t have been honoring Henry by wearing Henry’s jersey so much as honoring himself. A better tribute to his fallen teammate would have been to beat San Diego and clinch the AFC North. Or even, you know, come up with more than three catches yesterday. But those things didn’t happen, because even as his team faces adversity both on the field and off, it’s still all about Chad.