Chad Ochocinco taking unpopular stance

May, 12, 2012
5/12/12
5:53
PM ET
Chad Ochocinco is known to be different. When everyone goes right, Ochocinco usually goes far to the left.

Ochocinco
That is why it's no surprise that Ochocinco showed his sincere and heartfelt support for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday. The New England Patriots receiver is one of the few players -- at least publicly -- who backs Goodell 100 percent after a rough year that included a lengthy lockout, increased fines, the bounty scandal and high-profile deaths that may be linked to football-related injuries.

The NFL is booming. But this is an unprecedented time of dissension between current and former players and the league office. The league is facing various lawsuits. Goodell also is tweaking the game -- some believe too much -- in the name of safety. Many players disagree with his methods or motives, or both.

Ochocinco addresses many of those issues in his letter to Goodell, whom Ochocinco refers to as a father figure.

"You are in one big [expletive] catch-22 and quite frankly, I am not sure there is any solution," Ochocinco wrote. "One thing I think can help is killing the NFL PR machine."

Goodell is stern, corporate and to the point. Ochocinco is boisterous and playful. Yet the two always got along, despite several fines Ochocinco has received over the years.

Do not expect many players to follow Ochocinco and write emotional letters in support of Goodell. Right or wrong, Ochocinco is on an island when it comes to player support of Goodell.

Perhaps the end of Ochocinco's letter was most pertinent for Patriots fans. According to Ochocinco, he will have a bounce-back year and plans to do a lot of touchdown celebrations in 2012. Ochocinco scored just one touchdown all last year.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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