Home > Uncategorized > Sometimes the rules should be bent

Sometimes the rules should be bent

Sometimes, the sheriff needs to look at the circumstances and bend the rules.

Chad Eight-Five, the oft-misunderstood wide receiver/diva of the Cincinnati Bengals, has stated that he wishes to honor his former teammate Chris Henry, who passed away this past Thursday, on Sunday by wearing the number 15 instead of his usual 85.

But, the sheriff thinks that it’s a bad idea.

Obviously, the threat of a fine has never made Eight-Five turn away from doing what he wants. After all, we are talking about the man who wore a sombrero on the sidelines after scoring a touchdown. But, in this case, I feel that sheriff Goodell might be going a little overboard with his stance on the “letter of the law”.

Let’s face it: it’s not like Eight-Five is pulling another publicity stunt like he did when he changed his name. He’s actually trying to do something positive. He’s trying to honor his dead teammate by wearing his number on Sunday, and honestly, I can think of a hundred things that Eight-Five could do that would be worse than that.

An even bigger problem is that if Eight-Five decides to go through with his plan, and the sheriff decides to lay down the law and hit him in the wallet, the NFLPA can’t cover the cost of the fine like they said they would.

ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter:

NFL rules prevent the NFL Players Association from reimbursing Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco for any fines he might incur should he decide to wear Chris Henry’s No. 15 jersey Sunday.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah had tweeted earlier Saturday his organization would cover the fine.

The organization has already established a memorial fund for Henry and plan to match any fine for Ochocinco to that fund and/or the Players Assistance Fund.

But the NFLPA is prohibited from reimbursing the fine money that would be automatically withheld from Ochocinco’s paycheck by the league.

Ochocinco wants to wear Henry’s jersey to honor his former teammate, who passed away Thursday, just as he did during practice last week, but league rules prohibit it.

Ochcocinco is familiar with NFL rules. He was prevented from changing the name on his jersey two years ago unless it was his legal name; later Chad Johnson changed his legal name to Chad Ochocinco.

The Bengals are planning to wear a No. 15 decal on their helmets. But Ochocinco wants to further honor his teammate.

Take a second and re-read that last sentence: he wants to further honor his teammate. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. And, it’s absolutely pathetic that he will have to pay a fine if he decides to do it.

Sometimes it’s just best to bend the rules a little when circumstances like this arise. But, I am reminded of the time that Jake Plummer wanted to honor Pat Tillman and the NFL said no (and that one was even worse because Tillman died in combat) — so I don’t expect anything different this time around either.

And it’s just a crying shame.

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  1. Evan "McSpazz" Edwards
    20 December 2009 at 12:06 PM

    Usually I agree with ya BDub, but this time I can't. First, rules are rules and once you start breaking them for one little thing they all start to crumble around you. The NFL is filled with all kinds of stupid rules, but they haven't gottent where they are without those either.Sheriff Goodell has already gone ahead and requested a moment of silence before every NFL game for Henry and the Bengals will be wearing that #15 sticker. Isn't that enough, for a guy who was constantly in trouble, suspended multiple times by the NFL and even cut once by the very team he was playing for when he died.All deaths are tragic for some reason or another, but we reap what we sow and Henry put himself in a situation that killed himself. Luckily enough this stunt didn't kill anyone else and either leave his kids with no parents or evne worse, what if some other poor soul was on that road when this happened and they were killed because of this maniac trying to break his way into a pick-up truck to beat his fiance. Should an act or actions like these really be remembered through dedications of changing a jersey or moments of silece? How about we use this to teach kids and others how not to act. Not to beat women, use drugs, get into constant trouble and put yourself and others in overly dangerous situations.I realize that Henry was a friend to many and family to others, but what is being done to honor his life already to this point seems like more thsn enough. I've seen real heros honored less than this guy and that is the true crying shame hear.

  2. bwsmith25
    20 December 2009 at 4:06 PM

    I think my biggest beef with this whole thing is we're talking about a jersey. I could understand if Eight-Five wanted to change his number for the rest of the season or something, but it's just one game.Regardless of what we think of Henry's personal life (and I agree with your assessment of his life and death), he was a friend/brother to Eight-Five, and Eight-Five should be allowed to honor him by wearing his number.It reminds me of when Jake Plummer wanted to honor Pat Tillman and when Peyton Manning wanted to honor Johnny Unitas with high top sneakers — sometimes the rules should be bent in these situations.As far as teaching kids, I think the situation will teach on its own, regardless of whether or not any player is allowed to honor Henry. I feel that allowing Eight-Five to do this will teach kids an even greater lesson: showing compassion and honor to someone who has died, even if it may seem that they didn't deserve it.I do appreciate your stance though, and it's nice to actually disagree on something from time to time, lol.

  3. Evan "McSpazz" Edwards
    20 December 2009 at 5:24 PM

    I see your point, but I know soon as the league starts bending some of their rules even for decent human reasons more and more players will try to press their luck with others. With as much showboating that goes on for 1st downs and touchdowns when teams are down by 20 or more the league needs to be stringent in order to keep the game a game and not some Sunday/Monday/Thursday/Saturday side show.The thought of Ochocinco is respected on my part, but I agree with the league in keeping steadfast with the rules they set in place no matter how frivolous they may seem.Before I forget or we don't talk again before years end, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year's to you and yours.Now it's time to get to putting those big Christmas toys together that we got the kids.

  4. bwsmith25
    20 December 2009 at 6:48 PM

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well — have fun putting those presents together. I know I will.

  5. LestersLegends
    21 December 2009 at 9:29 PM

    It's pure stupidity. Those rules are a joke. They have had nothing to do with the success of the league. The league is popular in spite of those silly rules. Like it or not, people enjoy a little celebration after a score. You're telling me you don't remember the Ickey Shuffle? Ocho wearing the jersey wouldn't have hurt anyone. They pulled the same thing with Plummer as you mentioned, and with Peyton when he wanted to honor Johnny Unitas by changing his shoes. It's being a hardass for the sake of being a hardass. Makes you come off as ignorant as the NCAA. That's a whole different topic.I remember when Magic first announced he had HIV. The league allowed Barkley to wear 32 for the Sixers (after he got Billy Cunningham's permission). That was a nice gesture.

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