Yes, he’s parted with 50 grand so far this season for his post-TD sideline antics, but Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco said this week that he’s willing to shell out whatever it takes to keep his league-irking sideshow on the road.
For donning a sombrero and poncho after a touchdown reception against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, the NFL fined him $30,000. Earlier in the season, after pretending to bribe an official following a score, he was slapped with a $20,000 penalty. What’s clear from the increase in his fines is that league officials want to send him a message that his unorthodox celebrations are not OK.
But Ochocinco, who legally changed his name to reflect his jersey number – “ochenta y cinco” means 85 in Spanish – says he’s willing to keep paying the fines if it means being able to celebrate as he pleases.
"That's OK," he told The Associated Press. "They keep jacking them up; I'll keep jacking up the celebrations."
And, it’s clear he knows how to celebrate. It’s difficult to forget his comedic river dance, the CPR he performed on a football, the time he used an end zone pylon to put the football, and when he sported a Hall of Fame jacket on the sideline.
"I play to have fun," Ochocinco 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."
Makes you wonder how much No. 85 will cough up before he realizes a bona fide fact of the modern sports era: It’s always about the money.