Oh Ocho. In just a few days, his wife broke up with him, his football team broke up with him, and his reality TV show broke up with him.
“It just wasn’t going to work” and “it just didn’t feel right,” says his (former) coach Joe Philbin of the Miami Dolphins. In short, Chad Johnson (formerly the infamous Ochocinco) got triple dumped. (To be perfectly honest, I’m just assuming his wife dumped him. People Magazine is reporting Ev has filed for divorce after 41 days of marriage. That tidbit keeps getting overshadowed by the others).
Why? I’m sure you’ve heard the story by now. He head-butted his wife. Domestic abuse is certainly no joking matter, but head butting your new wife? That’s downright idiotic.
There are plenty of fishy things about this story that will continue to make it a story. Why did he have that receipt for condoms in his car that caused the argument (for this girl?)? TMZ helpfully pointed out that this was a plot point on a past reality TV show appearance by Chad and his wife (pre-marriage). See the video here.
Many people suggested that this was just a ploy to get more viewers for their upcoming reality show. But then the show was canceled, just as people started to get interested. (I mean, I’d watch it!) I can imagine the director calling him up: “Chad, If you’re gonna fight with the wife, save it for the cameras and make sure nobody gets sent to the ER. You blew this one…we need to break up.” The Dolphins are also filming Hard Knocks this preseason. Maybe we’d all start head butting each other with that many cameras around.
Either way, something went terribly wrong that night, and Chad’s fall was swift and the repercussions were harsh. Of course, this means even more people know his name now. Ironic, yes?
And finally, some food for thought: what exactly does and NFL player have to do to be kicked off his team? In the Olympics, one wrong tweet got you kicked off your national team. But in the NFL, misdemeanors like DUI’s only seem to require a public apology. Perhaps the NFL and its teams should make it clearer what it expects from its players, and what sort of punishment those players can expect for not following those rules.
And as fans, if we expect only good behavior from our role models but only report the bad behavior, aren’t we just encouraging it?
Alright, off the soapbox. I need to go watch Hard Knocks now…if Chad needs ideas of what to do post-NFL, the suggestions I had for T.O. work eerily well!
Emily Ritter is a contributing writer to Aerys Offsides. Follow her on Twitter @ebritter2.