Saturday, September 10, 2011

W.W.O.D: What Will Ochocinco Do?

What will Ochocinco do?

It’s a good question. It’s a highly debated question. And it’s the million-dollar question. Actually, it’s the $6.35-million question.

And the answer is not difficult to figure out.

Let’s look back at the Randy Moss acquisition before the 2007 season that many NFL fans dismissed as wasteful. Too little too late? That was the same year Moss caught a record-breaking 23 touchdown passes while Tom Brady broke Peyton Manning’s touchdowns-in-the-regular-season record, tossing a mean Ulysses S. Grant worth to paydirt.

I’m awful at math, but I’m pretty sure Moss caught nearly half of Brady’s 50, and that was his first year with the team.

Now, let’s look at Ochocinco. The dude is a pure athletic specimen. And he wants to win. While Moss was being lazy and bitching in Oakland for a few years — a tenure even Hall of Famer Jerry Rice called “a slap in the face” — and putting up mundane numbers, his No. 85 counterpart was in Cincinnati attempting to help make something out of a mediocre offense that only showed blips of success. The Bengals just never quite got there, either.

The two are less than a year apart when it comes to age, although many would say they’re both immature, with Ochocinco being 10 months and 27 days younger than Moss. And, after Ochocinco’s less-than-stellar 2010 season (four TDs, 831 yards), it’s easy to believe a more effective player could have been acquired, one carrying less baggage and with less mileage.

But make no mistake, New England is what Ochocinco has longed for. He needs this. He’s waited for this. And he waited for it the right way. He never stopped looking ahead. He never stopped training. He never stopped believing that, sooner or later, he’d have his shot. And now he has it.

In my mind, Ochocinco’s need to be in the celebrity spotlight is the only thing that truly hurts him. He has a big mouth, but before Twitter and Facebook were popular, you rarely ever heard much out of him other than an end zone dance. Then he was on a TV show, co-starring with former teammate Terrell Owens. Now Ochocinco is engaged to a reality-TV star.

It’s a whole lot of un-Bill Bellichickian distractions that would make anyone ask, “Why Ochocinco?” It’s simple, and similar to the Moss trade. Ochocinco makes up for his Twitter shtick and uncanny need to be in the (wrong) limelight with athletic ability. And there must have been a drive in him that the Patriots front office liked, because they usually don’t take big-risk players. And when they do, watch out.

Plus, with someone like Brady throwing to him … Sheeeeesh, Ochocino just won the lottery on Christmas while digging into his own birthday cake.

There’s a reason the Patriots gave up a lot more for Ochocinco than they did for Moss. Watch and find out why if you don’t know by now.