Ever since the Patriots traded for Chad Ochocinco in late July, Tedy
Bruschi had been waiting to pounce on him. Bruschi wanted to light
him up like he did to many receivers who came into his territory during
his days as a linebacker.
You see, two years after walking away from the game, Bruschi is still
a card-carrying member of the Patriots and still lives the "Patriots Way",
even though he's now an analyst for ESPN. During his career in Foxborough,
Bruschi drank Bill Belichick's Kool-Aid.
He bought into all of Hoodie's Rules which meant putting the team
first, be seen not heard; live, breathe, and eat football, and don't, under
any circumstances, bring attention to yourself. And Bruschi made sure
every rookie or an acquired veteran like Corey Dillon, learned and lived
by the laws set by Belichick.
Chad Ochocino and Bruschi are about as different as Chastity and
Chaz Bono. Ochocino is a "Look at Me" player who always brought
attention to himself in Cincinnati. "Look at me dance in the end zone",
"Look at me dance with the stars", and "Look at me leap in the Dog
Pound in Cleveland". Everything was about Ochocinco and that is
the type of player that Bruschi and his former teammates hated when
they ruled the NFL, winning three Super Bowl championships. They
always knew which players were doing what and always used it to
fuel their fire.
Remember how Terrell Owens and the Philadelphia Eagles used
to celebrate with that bird flying gesture? When the Patriots beat them
in the Super Bowl, they openly mocked them after several big plays.
Remember how Shawn Merriman of the Chargers used to celebrate
his sacks with his "Lights Out" dance? After the Patriots beat them
in the playoffs a few years ago, they rubbed it in their faces at mid-field
with that same "Lights Out" dance, mocking Merriman and the Chargers.
So when Ochochinco decided to get a fix for his addiction to Twitter
on Tuesday and send a message to his more than two million followers
that he was in "awe" of Tom Brady's 517-yard performance against Miami,
Bruschi was there to clothesline him. He couldn't wait to rip into Ochocinco
after #85 tweeted that Brady's performance was like "a video game."
"Drop the awe factor, OK, Ocho, Chad, drop the awe factor. You're
not a fan, all right?" Bruschi stated. "You're not someone who's on another
team or watching TV. You're not an analyst. You're a part of it. They
want you to be a part of it," Bruschi said. "So get with the program
because obviously you're not getting it and you're tweeting because you're
saying, 'It's amazing to see'? It's amazing to see because you don't
understand it! You still don't understand it and it's amazing to you
because you can't."
And Bruschi said it with passion, meaning, and it was personal. It was
as if Bruschi was still a captain under Belichick and back to wearing
number 54 for the Patriots. Bruschi also told Ochocinco, among other
things, to stop tweeting, close his mouth, get to the stadium, open his
eyes and watch the film. Those are all the same things Bruschi used to
tell rookies when he was one of the captains of the Patriots. Willie
McGinnest used to do the same thing. It was the Patriots Way.
Now, as an analyst, Bruschi has just done the same thing he's always
hated in players like Ochocinco and T.O: he brought attention to himself.
Things change when you become an analyst. The bosses want you to
be colorful and controversial without crossing the line. It moves the
needles and generates better ratings. Herm Edwards can't get through
a segment without screaming or shouting something, lest he forget
that he never won anything and really his only claim to fame as a coach
was that whole charade, "YOU..PLAY..TO...WIN..THE..GAME!"
thing, which the Patriots used to mock, as well.
In this day and age of social media fixations, no one should really get
mad at Ochocinco for simply complimenting Brady on a blockbuster
performance. Belichick knew Ocho's history with the Tweeting and if
he had a problem with it, he would've banned him from doing it. Bruschi's
problem is that he still thinks he's a Patriot who has to uphold the rules
of the locker room he once ruled. But no matter how good you were
or how much you were loved in the NFL, the game goes on without
you and there are not many players in his old locker room who care
what Bruschi thinks or says anymore.