Ocho Cinco And Mr. Awesome: NFL Trumps The Law?

Mr. Awesome, Ocho Cinco, Marion the Barbarian, Matty Ice

2008 has been the year of the nickname so far.

People love nicknames.  You know who doesn’t love nicknames?  Your mom and the NFL.

Chad Johnson going the hilarious “top that” extra mile of legally changing his name to Chad Ocho Cinco; the latest transgression that makes NFL commish Roger Goodell reach for the Advil. But hey, at least Ocho isn’t getting arrested daily like the rest of his Bengal brethren right? Either way, he has managed to be a burr in Goodell’s ass and raise interesting legal questions in the process.

It would be good for the NFL in spirit to lighten things up a bit. In an age of Fantasy Football, ludicrous contracts and stadium naming rights being sold to foreign firms; its nice to get a sideshow and entertainment to make us smile or wince. That being said, the NFL needs to make a policy before a bad precedent is set for future prima donna WR’s like KC’s own Dwayne Bowe aka Mr. Awesome.

The league has been cheapened enough by Spygate, Pacman arrests, and Bryant Gumbel doing games on the NFL Network. Do we, the fans, want headlines like these? The NFL absolutely does not.

  • Mr. Awesome Tops Ocho Cinco
  • Barbarian Slaughters Eagles with 5 TD’s
  • Beast Mode Rampages in New York
  • Megatron Transforms Lions’ Offense
  • Pacman Gobbles Up Interceptions

The No Fun League has “you know what” blocked Cinco’s (?) latest antic by saying he’s financially obligated to Reebok to the tune of $500K to buy all the old jerseys with C. Johnson on the back. Nice try No Fun League, but that is a horribly transparent and pathetic argument. Does Jared Allen have to buy all the old red 69 jerseys?

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, “(Cinco) has a financial obligation to Reebok, which produces the jerseys available to fans. That has to be resolved before the on-field jersey can be changed.”

(cough cough…”Bullshit!” cough cough)

“The same obligation exists for any player that changes his number or name,” Aiello said with his fingers crossed.

So, Roy Williams in Dallas was charged for changing his number? Farve isn’t buying all his old Green Bay jerseys, bet. Is the NFL going to bill Devin Hester for old “23” jerseys when they make him change his number as per the rulebook?

Of course this all could be a smokescreen stall tactic for more production time of the Ocho Cinco jerseys in some factory in China because they are back-ordered already. Plus, if the jersey being worthless because of the name on the back is the issue, why not sew on an “Ocho Cinco” nameplate on the existing jerseys? Their argument has more holes than Raider defense.

Ocho Cinco should trademark the name Ocho Cinco and sue the NFL for $500k. When they finally allow him to go by his new name, then, buy all the old Johnson jerseys with that money, change them, and exchange them for fans who bought Johnson jerseys this year; and give the leftovers to the Salvation Army. I’m sure there are some kids in Cincy that will rock any Bengals jersey.

Reebok is in the midst of a 10-year, $250 million licensing agreement with the NFL which is what all this pushback from the NFL stems from. They can’t have Mr. Awesome and the rest of the nicknamed millionaires throwing their cash cow jersey system into upheaval. The NFL with Reebok need to wake up and realize they are sitting on a goldmine. They could have an entire line of signature “nickname jerseys” like the one pictured above. I’ll be expecting a bird-dog fee on them Reebok. By the way, since when are players responsible for bailing out apparel makers? Players get traded, retire and change numbers all the time. (See Michael Jordan #45.) Last time I checked, its risky to put any product in the marketplace.

Anyone with even just a few critical thinking skills can deduce from the “no celebrations” rule and now Ocho Cinco’s antics that the league does not want young black wide receivers and their antics to be the face of the league or the top story in the sports page on Monday. Is the NFL going to make up the rules as they go along and snub the laws of the United States?

NFL, this is karma for you. This is payback for the “no celebration” rule. If you take all the fun out of the circus the clowns are going to find a way to get your attention, even if you hate them.

A lot of people hate Chad Ocho Cinco, and other brash WR’s of their ilk. Mostly, those people fall into a few categories. They are either closet racists, or Mormons. The touchdown dance is as American as apple pie and the gamesmanship that goes on should be allowed for $100 bucks a ticket. T.O. went to the ground in a starting-block homage to Usain Bolt, and was promptly flagged. Apparently you can’t go to the ground in celebration anymore either.

This isn’t about Chad Cinco, or T.O. or Mr. Awesome, TD dances or jerseys. It’s about the Almighty NFL wanting to control its image, please its corporate bedmates, and keep its iron fist drew back; ready to strike. Does this keep the NFL from becoming the NBA or is it inevitable that the proverbial inmates will eventually run the asylum? (please don’t read too much into that reference) The fans should speak up and say if a player cannot change his name, then the league has to stop renaming our stadiums.

We are about to get the answer to the following questions. Has it come to this?

Has the NFL become so powerful that it trumps the law?

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Tags: Barbarian Bowe Bryant Gumbel Chad Johnson China Fantasy Football Goodell Jared Allen Law Megatron Mr. Awesome NBA NFL News Ocho Cinco Pac-Man Pacman Reebok Spygate Touchdown Dance Usain Bolt

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