Brett Favre and Chad Ochocinco: Bad As Mike Vick?

Janean MartiSenior Analyst IJune 13, 2009

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 30:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media at the news conference prior to Super Bowl XLIII on January 30, 2009 at Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

So when did indecision about retirement or legally changing your name become equated with manslaughter charges, felony convictions and prison terms?


Mike Florio, that talented and snarky attorney who has given lots of NFL fans years of great entertainment and opinions on his website ProFootballTalk.com, lists his NFL offensive and defensive "NFL Bad Boys" on the Sportingnews.com website.

Florio lumps together former Packer/Jets quarterback Brett Favre, Chad Ochocinco (formerly Chad Johnson) the Bengals receiver, and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler with the likes of recently released prisoner Michael Vick, and Donte Stallworth who has pleaded not guilty to DUI manslaughter charges, and former Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones who has spent time in jail.

PFT gained a fair amount of its fame from a meter tallying the days without an arrest of an NFL player and appears to have a lot of prosecutors and cops as tipsters.

Curious, though, this jumble of players as offensive and defensive bad boys named on Florio's Sporting News list.

Florio writes, "In past years, my primary online hangout has grouped together the NFL's bad boys under a distinctive name that isn't quite ready for the main stream.

"This year, we're exporting the list to SportingNews.com, under a more palatable title.

"But the spirit is the same—guys who create trouble off the field, on the field, in the locker room, or some combination of the three."

He then goes on to deride Ochocinco for creating a team distraction, Favre for "imploding his legacy," and Cutler for, among other things, "refusing to sign autographs."

Florio believes Cutler, Favre, and Ochocinco are to be criticized and labeled as "bad boys" and put on a list with Vick, Stallworth and Jones. The PFT pundit also has an NFL defensive Bad Boys list with some of the same egregious labeling.

Patriots Wide Receiver Randy Moss and Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis are left off the lists.

Florio does mention 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison as a bad boy, in part because of domestic abuse charges but mostly because of "one of the all-time dumbest quotes when explaining the decision not to accompany his teammates for the traditional White House trip taken by the Super Bowl champs."

How does the NFL, who has advertised on Florio's website and employed him as an NFL Network analyst, explain this type of list from one of its partners?

Hey, I'm just one of those Joe-average NFL fans who sometimes complain about the million dollar salaries and the NFL guys "who just don't get how good they have it."

But not signing autographs or trying to complain enough to get traded or unretiring an infinite amount of times is not the same as driving drunk and killing someone. Or even raising dogs so you can bet on whether they can kill another dog, or lurching around so inebriated you can't even keep yourself out of jail, even with a million dollars in your pocket.

Poor James Harrison.

Here is a man, an NFL player, who said he didn't believe the invitation to visit the White House because his team had won the Superbowl was "all that special." Harrison said if the Arizona Cardinals, instead of the Steelers, had won the Super Bowl, they would have had the meet and greet with President Obama.

Harrison was not only right, he was speaking a truth few admit. Why should a president take the time to exchange lame jokes and arm pit sniffs with a professional sports team who just won a championship?

How about take that time to meet with 52 soldiers who just got home from Iraq? And do it time after time after time for each plane load of soldiers?

Of course, no networks or media are going to televise or write about the guys who play the game of war for the U.S.

Old hat—been there, done that and what if the guy had his arms or legs blown off?

How could he present the President with his "game jersey" and give the old pat on the back?

As far as pats on the back, Florio gets a big cuff on the back of the head to knock some sense into him.

Lawyers who goof around with ludicrous NFL bad boys lists are a distraction to the judicial system.


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