Dear Ocho

LA Times

Dear Chad,

That look says it all brother. As Bill Duke said in Menace II Society, “You know you done f*cked up, don’t cha???” Where did it all go so wrong? You thought you were marrying the Prom Queen, but after The Headbutt Heard ‘Round The World, you’re looking more like the prom fiend. After the debacle that was the 2011 season, I just KNEW you had your shit together now! Back home in the MIA, amongst the people you love (and who love you), on a team where you could really shine – and in the division where you could stick it to the Pats twice a year! I guess Joe Philbin didn’t see it that way. He’d already tired of your act since OTAs, and when you got all Roemello Skuggs on your new bride, well, that was just too much Liberty City for his Green Bay ways to tolerate. Which was unfortunate for you, because I think a more tenured coach (Tony Sparano for example) would have given you a longer rope on this one – especially since you’d been a relative Boy Scout your entire career. But Sparano’s no longer with the Dolphins, and now neither are you.

This had to have begun back in Cincinnati. We forget today, but it was only three short years ago that the Bengals were featured on Hard Knocks. We’d known Chad the Prolific Receiver well by then, and had already been introduced to “Ocho Cinco” in all his diva glory, but Hard Knocks in ’09 is when you arrived in full: for better and, we know now, worse. Your eccentricities and colorful metaphors were excused as Chad Being Chad, but when you tried briefly (and foolishly) to “hold out” in spring 2008, owner Mike Brown and the organization began to sour on you. And once Marvin Lewis – arguably your biggest supporter through the years – began to sour on you, you knew the jig was up. After Slim Henry’s untimely and unfortunate death, and with the direction the organization was going, a fresh start was probably best for both parties. The Bengals did you a solid when they flipped you to the Patriots for some Dunkin’ Donuts coupons, because it gave you your only best shot at getting a ring, but you [and your Prius] never would fit in up there.

I truly think you spent too much time bowing and genuflecting to the cheat great Coach Belichick (not to mention kissing Tom Brady’s ass) and not nearly enough time being yourself, which is to say BALLIN’ OUT!!! I know you and Terrell are close, but damned if you’d ever done such a great T.O. impression (dropping passes) before last season. When Tedy Bruschi unfairly ripped you for “not being in the playbook enough,” you basically ate it – and none of your teammates piped up in your defense. We should have known then that Ocho Cinco was not long for The Patriot Way, but in terms of plain ol’ football, it’s puzzling why your output wasn’t greater. With playmakers like Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker stretching the field, it’s amazing to think that with your speed *alone* you couldn’t catch more than 15 passes all year (even if you used the damn playbook to prop up your XBox).

But we’re forgetting one KEY ingredient to this disgusting gumbo that’s been cooking: Evelyn. Out of 140 characters sprang your love for this broad who was, up to that point, “famous” for having been engaged to…*drumroll*…Antoine Walker. Of course she has since gained additional fame for throwing bottles at people’s heads, but we digress. This all came along as your Twitter star was skyrocketing, and maybe you saw an alliance with some photogenic arm candy like her as a smart business move, but I’m here to tell you: that stock ain’t worth shit now. I’m all for building your brand, and when the NFL lockout rolled around in summer 2011, you were better-positioned than ANYONE to ensure a steady stream of income away from the field. Your momma was proud. Dancing With The Stars was another in a line of smart decisions for your brand, but your pimpin’ started getting real raggedy when you went Kobe on us after the news broke that you’d run up in Cheryl Burke and you did the non-apology/apology thing with Eve around last Valentine’s Day. If she wasn’t cool with the fact that a grown, single man (and popular, desirable pro athlete) had a fling with a beautiful woman with whom he’d spent considerable time, I’d have told her ass to KICK ROCKS!!!

But you went the other way. You further tied Eve to you, and after a lost season, with your athletic confidence no doubt waning, you left yourself no choice but to wife that ass. Chad, if what you said about her withholding the [drawers] from you during your struggles last season is true, you both need your asses whupped. And now that Eve has filed for divorce from you (likely without speaking to you since the events of Saturday), it’s clear that she’s been a net negative to you – much the same as Elin was to Tiger. Why athletes think they need a trophy wife is beyond me: especially since Derek Jeter has dated maaaaaaad women, remained a bachelor, and kept his reputation (not to mention endorsements) FULLY in tact! Once VH1 pulled the plug on the ill fated Ev & Ocho, ol’ girl had no reason left to “stand by her man,” so she didn’t. Which should let you know what she was about from jump street

In closing bruh, I (like a lot of people) would like to see you continue your NFL career, as you’ve brought us a ton of enjoyment through the years – doing it with style and humor, on and off the field. But the fact is that you’re a 34-year-old receiver with declining production and a suddenly tarnished reputation (and again, no team).  That’s not to say you can never catch on with anyone else (Moss and T.O. have managed to do it), just that now you’re pushing the boulder uphill, for the first time in your charmed career. This all started once you and Eve started “beefing” on Twitter – and by your logic, anyone that could make you “put the sticks down” had to be The One. Me, I’d have kept on playing FIFA.

Sincerely,

The Voice of Reason

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