Ochocinco Encounters a Fine Worth Every Penny

Christopher Lane II@@ChrisLane_IIContributor IIDecember 19, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 13:  Chad Ochocinco #85 and Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals look on in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings on December 13, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Bengals 30-10.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

For one day, Chad Ochocinco will become Chad Quince.

This time, the fine will not be thrown Ochocinco's way for another one of his celebrations or humorous, yet costly charades. 

Come Sunday, Ochocinco will make one of the most memorable gestures towards a late teammate in NFL history when he steps onto the field wearing not his 85, but Henry's No. 15.

Unfortunately, his effort to honor Chris Henry will come with a price due to the NFL's strict uniform policy.

A so-called "expert" on all uniform codes, Ochocinco knows the consequences of his actions Sunday, and he has realized the benefit exceeds the cost.

Fortunately for No. 85, the NFL Players Association also sees the benefit exceeding the price tag the NFL would put on his honoring of No. 15.

In a sports world where fines are as common as game balls, it is refreshing to see that Ochocinco will not be hung out to dry, having to pay a fine that is anything but necessary.

Unfortunately, the NFL forbids the NFLPA from reimbursing any player when said player is fined.

The NFLPA, however, has set up a memorial fund for Chris Henry, and the money that Ochocinco will cough up will, most likely, be put into that fund.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah has also stated that any fine towards Chad will be matched by the NFLPA and put into the late wide receiver's memorial fund.

It is easy to ask why the NFL would fine such a gesture, but as Roger Goodell continues his conquest to clean the league's image, rules are simply rules.

If the money were not going to the fund, many fans would express outrage towards these rules, and question why these circumstances could not be bent in such a time.

But, since it is going to a necessary cause, the NFL will surely dodge much criticism on the matter.

The focus should not be on the NFL, but Ochocinco's intent in wearing his fallen teammate’s number.

A man known for his excellent play on the field, his outlandish actions while playing, and the many fines which have followed, the man formerly known as Chad Johnson will be making a sincere effort to keep the memory alive of his friend.

Already dealing with the loss of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's wife, the Bengals again have to set aside their grief for one afternoon.

They will all have a No. 15 sticker on their helmets, but its Ochocinco's effort that will light a fire and inspire everyone to put on the orange and black.

Seeing the number 15 running routes will send chills through a countless number of those on the sidelines, in the stands, and even watching on television, but it will forever instill in many that these aren't just teams, they are families.

To Ochocinco, Henry was a teammate, friend, and, as he has stated, one of his family.

On Sunday, his effort to keep Henry's memory alive will, undoubtedly, make many believe this is his most worthy fine.