Bengals’ Ochocinco takes NFL fine as challenge
Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco is taking the NFL’s fine for his
latest touchdown celebration as a challenge to do more.
Ochocinco was fined $30,000 for briefly donning a mock poncho
and a sombrero next to the bench following his touchdown catch
during a 23-13 win over Detroit on Sunday. That’s $10,000 more than
the fine he got for pretending to bribe an official during a game
earlier this season.
The receiver said Wednesday he’s not sure why the amount went up
“That’s OK,” he said. “They keep jacking them up, I’ll keep
jacking up the celebrations.”
Earlier in his career, Ochocinco regularly got fined for his
celebrations. Some of his most memorable included doing a river
dance, pretending to perform CPR on a football and using the end
zone pylon as a golf club. He also donned a mock Hall of Fame
jacket on the sideline.
With receivers competing to top each other’s celebrations, the
league cracked down, making it illegal to use a prop on the field
or have a rehearsed celebration with teammates.
Ochocinco scaled back on the celebrations earlier this season.
He did a Lambeau Leap – into a section of Bengals fans – during a
win at Green Bay, but toned down his act as the team won games and
moved into first place in the AFC North.
There had been no chance to celebrate a touchdown lately.
Ochocinco went four games without one before finally getting into
the end zone against the Lions. Asked if the brief celebration – he
wore the hat for only a couple of seconds – was worth the hefty
fine, he said, “You’re damn right it was. That was fun.”
The league fined him $20,000 and reprimanded him for taking a
dollar bill onto the field as a pretend bribe during a win over
Baltimore on Nov. 8. He held the dollar in his right hand as he
approached the officials during a review of one of his catches. He
kept the dollar after an official motioned for him to stay
Ray Anderson, the league’s executive vice president of football
operations, sent Ochocinco a letter over the pretend bribe that
said: “The very appearance of impropriety is not acceptable. Your
conduct was unprofessional and unbecoming an NFL player.”
Ochocinco said Wednesday that he’ll keep doing things that cross
the league’s line.
“I play to have fun,” he said. “I don’t play for the dollar
amount. Maybe that’s why they take so much money, because they
think we play for the money. Maybe they’ll get the point – I play
to have fun, not for the money.”
On a conference call with Minnesota reporters, Ochocinco said
he’ll try to find and blow the Vikings’ horn if he scores a
touchdown in Sunday’s game.
“Man, I’m going to have some purple fun. I’m so excited for
this week,” he said.
Later, Ochocinco was asked if he’s ever been threatened with a
suspension by the league.
“Come on now. What are you going to suspend me for? Having fun?
I’m not that bad,” he said. “’Breaking news: Chad Ochocinco
suspended for too many celebrations.’ How would that sound? I’m not
hurting anybody. I’m very respectful with everybody I play
AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Eden Prairie, Minn.,
contributed to this report.