End Zone Militia to Ochocinco: Don't try it

The other patriots -- the ones with a lowercase ‘p’ -- on the field for the Patriots’ home opener may step into the spotlight suddenly if one Bengal has his way Sunday.

Though it may not always seem like it, Chad Ochocinco is a man with a plan. Some of his wild celebrations are just that -- extemporaneous expressions of emotion -- but others are carefully scripted. For example, he already has his first excessive touchdown celebration planned and it involves the guys in colonial clothing standing behind both end zones.

On Aug. 31, the Cincinnati receiver tweeted the following:

#promisetweet I f i am able to score week 1 in New England i will be taking the minute men rifle and firing as they do when the PATS score

The “rifles” are actually flintlock muskets and as usual they’ll be held Sunday by members of the End Zone Militia, the group of re-enactors that provides color on the sidelines of New England sporting events, at parades and in educational events.

On Tuesday, Ochocinco had a question:

Does anyone know if i need gun powder to shoot the musket when i score this sunday? #justaskin

Capt. Geoff Campbell, one of the re-enactors in the End Zone Militia, can answer that one: Yes, the muskets are loaded with real black gunpowder.

Asked if he’d heard the wideout’s boast, Campbell laughed.

“Oh, yeah, we’ve heard all about it,” Campbell said.

According to Campbell, a full-time re-enactor, the group’s safety officer immediately placed a call to the Bengals’ front office.

“Basically we told them that it seems like Chad thinks we use pop guns instead of real muskets,” Campbell said. “I think he’s been told it’s not a good idea.”

Campbell said safety is always a chief concern for the End Zone Militia, and though their muskets obviously aren’t loaded they can still injure bystanders with the concussive force of their discharge.

Campbell said he doesn’t expect Ochocinco to carry out his “threat,” but that if the receiver does attempt to take one of the muskets the militia members will turn their backs to him and surround the person he’s trying to take the musket from.

The End Zone Militia usually lines up in the visitors’ end zone during warm-ups. Campbell says they’re expecting some acknowledgment from Ochocinco, and they won’t shy away from any talk.

“We’ll talk. That’s all in good fun,” Campbell said. “If it’s all done in good fun I have no problem with it.

“But these are not toy guns, they’re real muskets. We get that all the time, ‘Is that a real gun?’ Yes, it is.”

Don’t look away if Ochocinco reaches the end zone this afternoon, because the show may be just beginning.