Posted Sun Dec 20th by Monty
Friends from their days playing against each other at Central Florida and West Virginia, Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall decided to pay tribute to fallen Cincinatti Bengals WR Chris Henry with a small gesture before Sunday’s game.
Marshall changed the nameplate on his #15 jersey to display Henry’s name during pregame warmups. Henry, who died Thursday, wore #15 for the Bengals.
“He was just a buddy of mine,” Marshall said after the game.
Undoubtedly Marshall wasn’t interested in addressing the touchy subject at length after a disheartening loss, but he did take time to talk about his relationship with Henry on Thursday.
“I’m crushed right now,” Marshall said, per the Colorado Springs Gazette. “Anytime you lose somebody close to you, it’s shocking and really painful.”
“It’s devastating to lose him, especially him getting on the right track and being able to turn things around.”
Henry’s teammate Chad Ochocinco also paid tribute, kneeling in the end zone and looking toward the sky after scoring a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers.
That wasn’t Ochocinco’s original idea for honoring Henry, though. Ochocinco made public his intentions to wear Henry’s jersey during the game before a flurry of media critcism and threats of league involvement made him reconsider.
“(But) you had certain media type that had the nerve to say I was making the situation about me,” Ochocinco told Sports Illustrated. “When I hear something like that, then to hear the NFL say they would still fine me. For a situation like this? Are you serious? So, now it’s not me doing everything I can for people to remember him. Everybody grieves and mourns a different way. My way would have been out there wearing that jersey, because I know if I was gone, Slim [Henry] would have had on that 85 today, regardless. Trust me.”
This brings up the question of whether the NFL will fine Marshall. It’s true that Marshall only wore the nameplate before the game, but that same act still got Ochocinco (then “Chad Johnson”) fined for wearing his newer surname during pregame warmups in 2008.
Will the NFL recognize the difference in motive between Ochocinco’s self-promotion and Marshall’s tribute?
One would hope so. The No Fun League earned its nickname off ridiculous fines and penalties stemming from lighthearted fun. Fining Marshall would turn it into the No Honor League, too.
And no one wants that.