“All I do is talk shit and celebrate.” – Chad Ochocinco, New England Patriots

The relationship a fan (Stan) has with his favorite player is something that can only be akin to having kids. You only want the best for them, you stick up for them at any given moment, and when they mess up, you’re not nearly as mad as you are…disappointed.

The 2011 season for Chad Ochocinco as a member of the New England Patriots has been nothing short of a disappointment. At age 34, entering the twilight of his career, the hope would be that #85 would be able to come in and be an integral cog to the Patriots well-oiled machine. Yet, a lockout, two tight ends, injuries and a father’s funeral later, Ochocinco finds himself¬† in his dream scenario for his career while dealing with a season full of frustration, potentially being a non-factor in the biggest game of any football player’s career.

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Let’s be perfectly clear why folks either love or hate Ochocinco. Let me repeat the quote initially posted at the top of this article.

“All I do is talk shit and celebrate.” – Chad Ochocinco, New England Patriots

Unless that quote sums up every reason why you despise the man, people like me hear that quote and realize why we all loved Ochocinco in the first place. At the height of his superpowers, he was the maestro of route running, getting behind the defense and being one of the top wide receivers in the league.¬† While flexing his wide receiver might, the man would create a checklist of top corners he’d roasted and dream up new concoctions of celebrations he could execute in the endzone. His entire goal? He wanted to have fun.

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Chad’s time in New England signaled the end of “the fun.” Bill Belicheck would be the fun police and Ocho would fall in line with the rest of the brainwashed drones that played football just outside of Boston. However, my joy for Ocho making the move was two-fold. One, I genuinely believed that Ocho could assimilate to a different situation, that playing for a dictator like Belicheck would not stifle his greatness one bit. Two, you could genuinely see that Ocho had always wanted to play for Belicheck, similar to how Randy Moss never really wanted to leave New England and was virtually willing to do anything to get back on the squad? If Ocho was excited about it, then I was, too.

15 catches, 276 yards and just one touchdown later…the excitement has washed away. All we can do now is hope. Ochocinco is the fourth or fifth wide receiver on a team who rarely plays any more than two receivers all game.

From an integrity standpoint, I’d never ask Belicheck or Sir Thomas Brady to risk their gameplan just to get Ochocinco the ball. However, as much as Belicheck has been a coach and as long as Brady has been a quarterback, I trust that the two can find a few creative ways to get #85 going. Ochocinco was built for this stage, just as he was built for Media Day, and just as he was built for being a player that everyone loved playing with.

Be an integral part of the team, talk some shit and celebrate. No one loses in this scenario….except the New York Giants. Sorry, New York, but someone must sacrifice, so Ocho can be great.