Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco attempts to ride a bull named Deja Blu. (Photo: AP Photo/John Bazemore)
The offseason and the extra freedom it can bring are precarious enough by themselves for NFL players.
Now throw in the NFL lockout and the fact that teams and players aren’t to have any contact during this labor strife and there could be trouble. In too many instances, it’s like leaving small children unattended.
Perhaps we had our first glimpse into the predicament some of these grown players can get themselves into when they go completely unsupervised after Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco rode a 1,500-pound bull. Most contracts prohibit this type of foolish behavior.
Granted Ochocinco wasn’t hurt during this display on the Professional Bull Riders circuit Saturday night. In fact, he earned $10,000 for lasting 1.5 seconds on the bull before being bucked. The protective gear and a two-day crash course perhaps saved this from being a story about how Ochocinco ruined his career.
But you think Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is smiling about his star receiver taking such a risk? Ochocinco knows better.
"I'm sure my coach was probably [upset]," Ochocinco said to media Saturday night in Duluth, Ga. "I mean, I would be, too. I'm sure the NFL is [upset], but I don't follow their rules anyway."
We shouldn’t be surprised Ochocinco is bringing unflattering attention to himself. He’s made a career of such antics. You could even argue that his stunts now overshadow his fading game.
Ochocinco, to the amusement of his 2 million followers on Twitter, has already given a shot to another sport this offseason, trying out for the Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer back in March before being cut. He might want to work on catching footballs rather than kicking balls as the threat of the Bengals parting ways with him are real once the lockout ends.
Not surprising Ochocinco doesn’t see the unnecessary risk of injury he is taking trying to compete in another professional league or riding a live bull.
"No, every down is a risk to my career," he said. "Every time I wake up in the morning there's a risk to life in general. You never know what's going to happen. One of the things about me is I'm extremely interesting, I'm unpredictable and I am willing to do anything."
Let’s stay tuned because the longer this lockout lasts, the more bizarre stories like this we will hear.