The Ochocinco Ploy: Why US Pro Soccer Is Desperate

In an NFL off-season that has been dominated by grim headlines concerning the labor situation and the current lockout, Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver Chad Ochocinco's attempt to play [barely] professional soccer for MLS franchise Sporting Kansas City has provided some needed comic relief. But that's all it should have been. Just a innocent, funny story about the NFL's preeminent touchdown-dancer, tweeter, and entertainer trying out an old childhood sport during his current work stoppage. Cute. But it doesn't end there. On Tuesday, after 4 days of practice with the team and a scrimmage, Ocho was offered a spot on the reserve squad. Pulease. All the initial reaction by mainstream media focused on how its a great deal for both sides. Ochocinco can stay in shape by participating in the bi-weekly soccer practices in lieu of all the Bengals' mini-camps that the NFL lockout will almost definitely cancel. And soccer can benefit as a whole, according to coach Peter Vermes, "because I think there’s a lot of people out there who question how hard it is to play this game and it’s very, very difficult.” Okay, that's all very nice, but I don't know if you and I were watching the same footage of ...
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