Chris Henry is being honored by his teammates of the Cincinnati Bengals in today's game by wearing a No. 15 decal on their helmets, a common trend for a fallen NFL player present or past. Yet, Chad Johnson (yes, Johnson because I personally refuse nor do I have to call him Ochocinco) wants to honor Henry by wearing his jersey. League rules prohibit other players from wearing the jersey number of another player and are fined if found doing so. Before I get into this I want to state first of all I know what its like to lose a friend and/or family member and I'm sure most if not all that are reading this do know that feeling. In the past 3 years I've lost my mother, two grandfathers, an aunt, an uncle, and a dear friend. So I know loss. And I took it very hard, I'm still dealing with it actually. And with that said I also don't approve of this and I'll go as far as calling it another charade done by Mr. Johnson. He is no different than any of us but yet continues to act like it. He knows the rules, he knows he can't do this. But yet he's been reported that he's taking strides in wearing Henry's number to honor his memory. I personally don't feel this is a nobel deed to honor his friend's memory 100%, I feel this is partially indirectly another way for him to stand out. To put himself in the spotlight and also above the league in which he plays for, in which pays him and fines him for breaking the rules as he is attempting here. This is a great gesture don't get me wrong and if it was within the league's rules I'll be for it, ONLY if the all the other teammates can wear number 15 to honor Henry and not just Johnson. And that's my gripe with this issue for the few reasons and examples I'm going to give here.
Like I stated before, wearing a decal on the helmet or jersey of a NFL player that has passed away is a common practice in the league. All of the other Bengals are doing it, but yet Johnson wants to wear Henry's jersey number for a game. Its a violation of league rules that's why they wear decals for moments like this and not change numbers. Believe it or not, the league made this rule in order to keep the refs from making mistakes on calling flags on the incorrect player and also for each team to have a fair advantage on who to cover on the field. If you've played any sport, the best way to communicate is to call out who's number you're defending against. That's why this rule was implemented and he should honor that rule. Ruling aside, he can still honor Henry by wearing the decal on his helmet or jersey just like everyone else is and just make the game and commentary focus on something other else than Johnson for once.
He may not be doing this to just show off but he is indeed alienating himself from his teammates and the organization once again by doing this individual and slightly selfish act of wanting to wear his number. Chris Henry was in no way an ambassador of the NFL let alone the Bengals and quite frankly shouldn't be treated as such by Johnson. I don't know the relationship of the two former teammates but regardless, Johnson can honor Henry just like his teammates are. If I could, I would tell Johnson to just wear the decal. There's no need to "showcase" your admiration and grief for Henry anymore than the others are by wearing his number today. The WHOLE team lost someone, not just you. Be one with your teammates just this one time. This is a moment where you should be in sync with your team on the field and not being involved in propaganda tactics and gaining attention from the media. Because that's what you are doing. You may not be purposefully doing this but that's what its panning out to be. Just lace up the cleats and play ball. For one time be like everyone else. There's no need to stand out anymore than you already do. Again, they all lost Chris Henry not just you.