For a hot second there, Chad Ochocinco became a socially conscious rabble-rouser with a heart, instead of crazy-for-crazy's sake. But don't worry fans, the NFL will make sure no one pays a sweet little tribute to Chris Henry.
Ochocinco's brain, which is never censored or edited by Ochocinco's mouth, had mentioned he might wear Chris Henry's jersey for today's game in honor of his teammate. A lovely little gesture, one that I can't imagine a single NFL fan objecting to. Of course, the NFL and its fans have a huge disconnect, and the league said it would fine Ochocinco.
Then a spokesman for the player's union said the NFLPA would reimburse Ochocinco for the fine, all but endorsing the gesture. So, everybody's happy, right? Chris Henry gets a fitting tribute, the league enforces its rules, a charity gets another fine in its donation bucket, and the NFLPA scores some PR points.
Not so fast: word leaked out that for a number of player reps, this was the first they'd heard about offering to cover the fine, and that the spokesman wasn't speaking for the union. Then it came out that the league wouldn't allow them to reimburse Ochocinco, even if they were all on the same page.
Rather than the controversy coming to head with one big clusterfuck pitting player against player, union against management, Ochocinco backed off. Today he said he won't try to wear Henry's jersey, not wanting to cause a distraction. I don't buy it. Since when has he avoided distraction?
Could a world without Chris Henry be a world where Chad Ochocinco has mellowed out, and will play by the rules? This is not a world I want to live in.