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Super Bowl Media Day: The Ochocinco News Network’s Big Break?

Back in October, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco announced plans to create his own Twitter-based football news network, the not-so-subtly-titled OCNN. The venture was a partnership with Motorola (itself a prominent partner of the NFL), and Ochocinco himself seemed excited about the idea.

And after the initial announcement…almost nothing happened. The OCNN announcement fell by the wayside as the Bengals made a playoff run and rallied around the tragic death of teammate Chris Henry, but Ochocinco isn’t one to let a potentially headline-grabbing idea pass (after all, the man legally changed his last name to Ochocinco), and so it was announced yesterday that Ochocinco would partner with fellow NFL stars Ray Rice, Darnell Dockett, and Chris Cooley, along with College Humor comedy team Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld, and launch OCNN in earnest by covering their league’s biggest media circus: Super Bowl Media Day.

Media Day is a famously free-for-all affair, and from the looks of this hilarious intro video, OCNN likely fit right in. (The video also dispels any possibility that Ochocinco might have intended this as a serious venture.) Details on the group’s exploits are sketchy so far, but their official Twitter feed provides some nuggets. If they did anything approaching that intro, though, OCNN might have some legs.

Unfortunately, by all accounts this was a less than ideal Media Day for OCNN to unleash its plan for football “news” domination on an unsuspecting populace. Weather concerns moved the festivities indoors, leading to what Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch called “a spectacularly uneventful day” in his Media Day live blog. Deitsch also worked in a dig at Ochocinco related to this tweet (“I’d argue plenty of media have given boring tweets like this one”), though to be fair, not all of Deitsch’s live blog updates exactly set the world aflame – not to mention Ochocinco’s tone was almost certainly tongue-in-cheek.

Disappointing Media Day or not, OCNN did unearth some gems (witness this picture, taken by Cooley, of a reporter vaguely resembling intentionally awful standup comedian character Neil Hamburger interviewing ESPN’s Chris Berman). And Motorola’s backing – that intro video is loaded with product placement – along the participation of the much-loved Jake and Amir duo lend the venture further credence. Throw in the additional NFL players who will probably join in once they see OCNN getting attention, and you’ve got a potentially intriguing idea that might not supplant the mainstream media, but ought to be good for a few laughs.

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