INDIANAPOLIS -- You had to wonder what Super Bowl Media Day would be like for Chad Ochocinco. The Patriots receiver has done nothing on the field this season worth talking about, but, considering his old habit of grandstanding for the national media, there seemed a chance he would still try to entertain. He's waited 11 years for this day, after all.
But there was no show.
There was as much payoff for eager media on Tuesday as there has been for Patriots fans who hopped aboard his bandwagon this season. Ochocinco played it safe. When plied about the obvious struggles of his first Patriots season, he assumed a mental meditation stance.
He (God) did it for a reason. Let me tell you what happens," Ochocinco said. "Im in New England, and when youre in New England, you think of the elite of the elite when it comes to NFL teams.
"Now, if God put me in this situation and he puts me through this test and I act up on the biggest stage of them all with the elite of the elite, what comes after that? Where am I going after that? He already put me here, so there isnt any sense in going back. So Im seeing it in a whole different light than anyone else is.
According to No. 85, those who watched New England's games and assumed he's lost a step weren't seeing the complete picture. It wasn't football test he had to endure, but a spiritual one.
"Its so much bigger than what everybody else is thinking about. Theyre thinking about the individuals. If I would have been thinking like that, I would have got cut Week 3, complaining about the ball. Its been a joy.
Ochocinco had 5 catches for 87 yards and zero touchdowns through those first three weeks. It's true he never whined. In fact, his Zen-like attitude during Super Bowl week is no diversion from the rest of the year. It's like he hasn't earned outlandishness.
The caricature of Chad Johnson -- Ochocinco -- is a by-product of his on-field production. When those numbers aren't there, the facade disappears and the man is left to answer.
He did so, serenely, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Id rather be right here than have 100 catches. Ive already put up all the numbers. Ive already done that. One of the things I that I was really happy about was that this is one of the few times, or really the only time, that I wont be home at the Martin Luther King parade because Im always home the first week of January."
Considering how his stats in Cincinnati never added up to a Super Bowl ring, it makes some sense that winning into February could bring Ochocinco some peace. But total satisfaction? It's doubtful -- no matter how many mental quests he conjures.
You know how I got here? I came from Dade County, this place called Liberty City, where the odds were against me all through life growing up," he said."You think Im going to complain after all Ive been through to get to this point?
Deferring is probably one of the smartest things he's done all season.