- Jason Davis

Chad Ochocinco is on the ground in Kansas City ahead of the tomorrow's start of his four day trial with the MLS club. Ochocinco is already tweeting plaudits for the city and blowing smoke in the direction of the players. As much as we can gather through 140 character bursts of text transmitted across the impersonal Internet to our computer screens, the wide receiver-cum-soccer star seems genuinely excited. For the next four days, he'll be a footballer, not a football player.

He still is a football player of the NFL variety by virtue of a contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, and his pointyball coach isn't too high on Chad's chances of making a new career out of using his feet instead of his hands. When asked about Ochocinco's soccer sojourn, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis pointed to Chad's inability to complete tasks, and did it using a shape-based analogy. As biting as the comment seems to be to the football blogs that referenced it, it might have hit much harder had Lewis chosen a different, sport-appropriate, shape.

From the National Football Post:

“How does he do at anything?" Lewis said today at the NFL owners meetings. "What has he ever done that he’s completed? What circle has he ever connected in any way?”

Clearly this would have been much more pointed had Lewis asked what "triangle" Ochocinco has ever connected in any, hitting at the heart of the wide receiver's footy talent. Not every MLS club is capable of connecting triangles, but most soccer players should understand the concept. Chad is famous in soccer circles (no pun intended) for showing off his affinity for Mexican teams; if he actually watches Chivas Guadalajara and not just wears their shirt, Chad should get it too. Forget circles, does Ochocinco know his way around a triangle?

Lewis also called the NFL star "Chad Johnson", giving a pretty clear indication of where that relationship stands. It doesn't look like Ochocinco will be welcomed back into the Bengals fold with open arms (provided the NFL sorts out that little labor thing they have going on at the moment sometime soon) when his Sporting trial is over. Maybe the move to soccer isn't just an attention-mongerer's lark or a way to kill time during the lockout, but is a legitimate attempt to get away from the dysfunctional Bengals by switching sports altogether.

Chad's coach is flat out annoyed, fed up with the mercurial wide receiver's shenanigans. Who would want to give up a ten year NFL career for a chance to make five figures playing America's fourth or fifth favorite professional team sport?

The love of the game must run that deep. When he shocks the world by dazzling everyone in training, forces Sporting to sign him and goes on to score buckets of goals in America's top soccer league, Chad will have finally have achieved his childhood dream. The next time Chad rings up Cristiano Ronaldo, it might just be to brag about his scoring record to a peer. His next call will surely be to Marvin Lewis to rub it in his ex-coach's face that Chad is not only connecting circles, but has a few triangles under his belt as well.

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