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Is Chad Ochocinco Leaving The Wrong Kind Of Legacy For Himself?

Submitted by on March 25, 2011 – 1:32 pm4 Comments
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Twitter fanatic. Publicity stunt guru. Evelyn Lozada‘s boyfriend. Major League Soccer hopeful. Media darling…

At the present time, these are the things that come to mind when I hear the name Chad Ochocinco. For better—and maybe for worse—Ocho has become a household name over the last few years, using his Twitter account and his penchant for saying just about anything to get attention when the TV cameras and recorders are turned on. It’s done wonders for his bank account—earning him endorsement deals off the football field and a much higher profile on it.

But, is that necessarily a good thing for the legacy that he plans to leave once his football days are behind him? Right now, no. Because no matter what Ocho might tell you about how much he loves the game of football, he’s managed to use his NFL career to springboard himself into pop culture. And as a result of that, he’s no longer a great football player—he’s a punchline on late-night talk shows and a guy who is just one reality TV show away from being remembered best for what he did off the field as opposed to on it.

That reality TV opportunity might come in the form of a show based around the relationship of Ocho and Evelyn. Best known for her role on VH1′s Basketball Wives, Evelyn is basically the female version of Ocho right now. She does anything to get extra publicity for herself, knows how to manipulate the media in order to get coverage, and has joined up with Ocho to create one of the most powerful couples in sports today.

So it’s only natural that there has been some talk about a reality show featuring her and Ocho together. My best advice? Run far, faaaaar away from those reality TV cameras Ocho. Once upon a time, a peculiar sound byte from Ocho was media gold. He was essentially the 50 Cent of the sports world. He’d make bold statements, talk trash to and about other players, and then go out and back it up on the field. But at some point, those sound bytes became less about football and more about what was going on with him off the field. Lately, he’s been saying he’d like to join the UFC during the NFL lockout. He’s also begun trying out for an MLS team to use up some of his time. And, of course, his relationship with Evelyn continues to be a buzzsaw on all of the gossip blogs.

The problem is that Ocho’s gone too far beyond the starting line to stop and he continues to get tangled up in stories that involve everything but football. As a result, the legacy that he leaves may not involve as much football as he’d like it to. And that’s a real shame.

Make no mistake about it: Ocho is a good NFL player. A damn good NFL player. He may even go down as one of the all-time greats at the wide receiver position. But all of the extracurricular activities that he’s gotten himself involved in are diluting the way people look at him and making us second-guess whether or not he wants to be remembered as one of the greats. When the NFL gets itself back on track, Ocho—and it will get back on track at some point after this whole messy lockout is over—do yourself a favor and take a couple of months off to get your head back in the game. Or, at the very least, act like your head is back in the game. We know you play hard and train harder, but a month or two away from Twitter wouldn’t be the worst way to prove to us that you’re serious about the legacy you’re gonna leave on the field.

And we promise you: Your VH1 reality show will still be there for the taking after you do. But we just want to make sure that’s not the only thing people think of when they talk about your legacy.

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