Most people know that the acronym NFL stands for National Football League. However, to most football fans the acronym NFL has another meaning; No Fun League. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has made no effort to rebel against that image during his short tenure. Goodell became NFL commissioner on September 1st, 2006, and has quickly engraved an image of being strict and coming down hard on rule breakers. There is no doubt in my mind that in his own little head he thinks he is doing what is best for the NFL. However, there is a thing as stepping over the line and I think Roger Goodell has just done it.
During a coach’s challenge in the Bengals and Ravens game this past Sunday, Chad Ochocinco decided to show his sense of humor. Yes, the same Chad Ochocinco that once sent Pepto Bismal to Cleveland Browns cornerbacks before a game. He walked up to a ref on the field and playfully acted like he was slipping him a $1 bill as a bribe to get the call in his favor. A ten-year old kid could tell that this was a joke. Roger Goodell didn’t think this was funny and decided a $20,000 fine was in order for Ochocinco.
I laughed for two minutes straight after seeing Ochocinco pull this trick. Then again, I’m a huge fan of the NFL so my opinion doesn’t matter, right? Oh, wait a minute. I’m the one that the NFL is trying to entertain? Are you sure? In that case, then why in the world of football would Roger Goodell fine Chad Ochocinco, for trying to do that very thing.
Chad Ochocinco is a smart person; he knows that his job is to entertain his fans. It doesn’t mean that he tries any less on the field. It means in his free time he sits down and says to himself how can I make people laugh or smile today. Is that really such a bad thing?
Memo to Mr. Goodell; there are NFL players trying to kill people. There are NFL players beating the crap out of their wives, girlfriends or a female that dared to say no. There are NFL players bringing loaded guns to clubs and deciding the only way to solve their problems is to shoot them in the air or into their own legs. Not that anybody did that, right Plaxico Burress?
We hear stories like this all the time, but there are only a small percentage of NFL players doing this stuff. For every one idiotic NFL player that does something criminal, there are five or six others that are good solid people. A lot of NFL players even donate extreme amounts of money and time to good causes and charities. Instead of trying to send players like Chad Ochocinco to the doghouse, promote them as the fun and friendly face of the NFL. It’s the image makeover the NFL needs to perform.