OCHOCINCO AND PACMAN
Written by: Richard Walker
Date posted: 6/18//2013
In observation of the aftermath of two incidents involving NFL “bad boys”, Chad OchoCinco/Johnson and Adam “Pacman” Jones, I see the responses that are being generated as a test of our society and I have to say that I am SEVERELY disappointed that from what I’m seeing and hearing, we have in fact failed that test miserably. The time has come for us to STOP MAKING EXCUSES for people who repeatedly have shown that they have no regard for accountability.
Let’s start with the situation involving Adam Jones. Pacman has accumulated an arrest record that is longer than my 39 inch sleeves, and yet has managed to repeatedly escape being liable for his actions, which includes a shooting at a night club several years ago that left the security guard permanently paralyzed.
After going through an absolute legal, personal and professional circus with his off-the-field antics, Pacman should know that he is an attention magnet, and he must take proactive measures to not get himself involved in another legal/criminal incident. Specifically, he should have taken the high road on that incident and walked away and reported the assault by the unruly patron at that bar. That simple gesture would have been a huge indication of his maturity and that he learned from his past experiences.
There would not have been a damn thing that the media or anyone could say about him, if that were the case. Furthermore, Pacman and the rest of these athletes have to remember that as a public figure, you are a “business” and you have to protect your ability to generate income. Even if you are not at fault legally speaking, a conviction in the court of public opinion, which is heavily tied to sponsorship dollars can literally restrict or even terminate your ability to generate an income in your endeavor.
That being said, I cannot understand why Pacman did not hire a security team, specifically off-duty police officers to escort him in public places, such as this, where he knows that he can draw the kind of attention that can get him into trouble. It’s a negligible investment for him to make in the protection of his future and he failed to do so.
Pacman has been given several chances, legally and professionally, and I would expect and applaud Commissioner Roger Goodell to “drop the hammer” on him for this, and given the outcome on the legal side, this could very well be the end of his career.
I think that Broward County Circuit Judge, Kathleen McHugh, did him a FAVOR, by teaching him a lesson in respect. Most are saying that she overreacted, however, let's not forget that this incident alone has afforded him three opportunities to escape jail time prior to the "ass-smack" that cost him 30 days:
1. His initial plea deal was accepted, which gave him 6 months of probation and counseling for head-butting his ex-wife. He failed to comply with the original judge’s orders by not showing up for his probation hearing not once, but TWICE, on February 15th and March 15th of this year.
2. A warrant for his arrest was issued and he was allowed to not even report to jail, post bond and get ANOTHER court date.
3. He shows up to court now for violating his probation which by default should mean prison time. The judge was seconds away from accepting his plea deal which would have kept him out of jail AGAIN.
Ocho will have the next 30 days to think about his antics. This is a “gut check” time for him as a man.
Ocho and Pacman are mediocre players on the field to begin with at this point of their careers, and the drama around them simply is not worth the time.
As sports media and fans, we have to stop wasting our time on these kinds of guys. They are poor examples of what an athlete should represent off the field and have been given plenty of opportunities to show us that they have changed.
These guys have both, in my opinion, committed acts that are more severe than Michael Vick’s saga, and he has shown the opposite - he has in fact matured and appreciates the second opportunity that he was given and is making the most of it.
As it pertains to these two individuals, I think that it is time for us as sports fans to move on.
Let’s put both of these guys away, permanently please.