Chad Ochocinco not as good as Michael Jordan (editorial)

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco runs after the ball in a reserve match for Sporting Kansas City of the MLS.

Michael Jordan was one of (if not THE) greatest basketball player of all time. I try not to argue a “best player ever” for any sport because there is so much difference in players from generation to generation.

If two players never play against each other, how can they be compared and one deemed better? If two players from different sports were compared, the differences would be even bigger.

As much as I do not want to, I must make a comparison between the play of Jordan and Chad Ochocinco.

The two men do not seem to have much in common. Jordan was a point guard/small forward in the NBA while Ochocinco is a wide receiver in the NFL.

The thing that these two players do have in common is their attempt to play a second sport. Jordan retired from basketball Oct. 6, 1993 to play baseball.

Jordan claimed that his late father, James Jordan, Sr., had always envisioned his son as a Major League Baseball player.

Jordan entered the MLB as a member of the Birmingham Barons, the AA farm team for the Chicago White Sox.

Incidentally, Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf also owned the White Sox, and he even kept Jordan’s basketball contract just in case baseball did not work out for his player (good call).

Jordan played a season for the Barons, tallying a .202 batting average, 3 home runs, 51 runs batted in, 30 stolen bases and 11 errors. These statistics are not terrible, but for a potential Major Leaguer, they just do not cut it.

Jordan still performed better in his second sport than Ochocinco. The Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver decided to make an attempt to play for a Major League Soccer team.

He said that soccer was his favorite sport and that he actually wanted to play the sport professionally when he was growing up.

Ochocinco ended up getting a tryout with Sporting Kansas City of the MLS. He was given a four-day tryout initially and he played in a reserve match for the team.

He hopes to stay on the team as a reserve player, but his skills seem to have rusted, especially since he has not played organized soccer since his sophomore year in high school.

Soccer is a much harder sport to play at a professional level. Other than hitting or pitching, most any athletic player could field or run in the MLB.

Soccer takes much more dedication and practice because of the pace and nuances involved with high-caliber play.

So, in Ochocinco’s defense, his chosen second sport was more difficult. Jordan, however, played an entire season in the MLB, and yes, the Minors count.

Neither of these players faced one another, or even played the same sport, but if I had to pick a winner, I would say that Jordan wins because he was a better baseball player than Ochocinco was a soccer player.