In a preseason game last week, while reaching to catch a high pass, Chad Ochocinco was laid out by Buccaneers linebacker Mason Foster. Ochocinco later tweeted that he felt the hit was a “great” hit and would pay Foster’s fine if it came to that.
Well, it did come to that. Today the NFL fined Foster $20K for the hit and Ochocinco was quick to respond via his twitter account saying: “Dad no disrespect but I don’t agree with @mason_foster fine n I’ll be reimbursing him personally… Please feel free to contact me.”
It’s comical that Ochocinco refers to Commissioner Roger Goodell as “Dad,” in fact, it’s just flat out comical that his name is still Ochocinco, the man is pure entertainment.
But Ocho may not have realized that NFL rules strictly prohibit a player from paying another player’s fines, and so let the drama unfold.
With Ochocinco, it’s always more than just football and it remains to see just how long coach Belichick will tolerate his antics. But in this case, perhaps he has a legitimate angle.
The honest facts are that two years ago, this story and this situation doesn’t happen. But with the way the NFL hitting rules are now, we can expect to see this kind of division between the players and the league.
NFL Football is a game that is not for the faint of heart, it never has been and that’s part of what makes it so exciting. Everyone loves the big hit. That’s how you make Sportscenter.
Moving forward, it’s easy to foresee that there will continue to be a number of problems that will continue to surface until the game of football is changed all the way from its grass roots.
On one hand you’ll have players who are unwilling or unable to adjust to the new way the NFL wants the game to be played. And then of course, with the NFL reportedly being sued for concealing the effects of concussions, ultimately, the NFL has a responsibility to protect its players and itself, even if that means fining players for seemingly harmless hits.
Will Ochocinco actually pay Foster’s fine? Will the league intervene and or fine Ochocinco for paying another player’s fine?