Cincinnati Bengals  

 

Ochocinco defiant after $30K fine for celebration: 'I play to have fun'

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is taking the NFL's fine for his latest touchdown celebration as a challenge to do more.

Ochocinco was fined $30,000 for briefly donning a mock poncho and a sombrero next to the bench following his touchdown catch during a 23-13 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. That's $10,000 more than the fine he received for pretending to bribe an official during a game earlier this season.

Ochocinco said Wednesday that he's not sure why the amount went up so much.

"That's OK," said Ochocinco, who confirmed that he has set aside $100,000 to pay fines this season. "They keep jacking them up, I'll keep jacking up the celebrations."

Earlier in his career, Ochocinco regularly was fined for his celebrations. Some of his most memorable included doing a river dance, pretending to perform CPR on a football and using the end-zone pylon as a golf club. He also donned a mock Hall of Fame jacket on the sideline.

With receivers competing to top each other's celebrations, the league cracked down, making it illegal to use a prop on the field or have a rehearsed celebration with teammates.

Ochocinco scaled back on the celebrations earlier this season. He did a Lambeau Leap -- into a section of Bengals fans -- during a win at Green Bay, but he toned down his act as the team won games and moved into first place in the AFC North.

There had been no chance to celebrate a touchdown lately. Ochocinco went four games without one before finally getting into the end zone last weekend against the Lions. Asked if the brief celebration -- he wore the hat for just a couple of seconds -- was worth the hefty fine, he said, "You're damn right it was. That was fun."

The league fined Ochocinco $20,000 and reprimanded him for taking a dollar bill onto the field as a pretend bribe during a Nov. 8 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. He held the dollar in his right hand as he approached the officials during a review of one of his catches. He kept the dollar after an official motioned for him to stay away.

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Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations, sent Ochocinco a letter over the pretend bribe, saying: "The very appearance of impropriety is not acceptable. Your conduct was unprofessional and unbecoming an NFL player."

Ochocinco said Wednesday that he'll keep doing things that cross the league's line.

"I play to have fun," he said. "I don't play for the dollar amount. Maybe that's why they take so much money, because they think we play for the money. Maybe they'll get the point -- I play to have fun, not for the money."

On a conference call with Minnesota reporters, Ochocinco said he'll try to find and blow the Vikings' horn if he scores a touchdown in Sunday's game at the Metrodome.

"Man, I'm going to have some purple fun," he said. "I'm so excited for this week."

Later, Ochocinco was asked if the league has ever threatened him with a suspension.

"Come on now. What are you going to suspend me for? Having fun? I'm not that bad," he said. "'Breaking news: Chad Ochocinco suspended for too many celebrations.' How would that sound? I'm not hurting anybody. I'm very respectful with everybody I play against."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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