OWINGS MILLS — Regardless of whether it’s the speed of thought Twitter universe he’s enthralled with, his rapid-fire standup comedy routine or how he accelerates upfield into a pass pattern, Cincinnati Bengals flamboyant wide receiver Chad Ochocinco prides himself on how fast he types, jokes and runs.
During a span of a nine-minute conference call with Baltimore reporters Wednesday, Ochocinco worked himself up like a carnival barker to hype up a matchup between the Bengals (3-1) and the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium that holds a lot importance with AFC North supremacy at stake.
First, Ochocinco said he was going to hit Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis in the mouth.
Then, he mocked Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth by calling him Vivica Foxworth a la the Curb Your Enthusiasm actress Vivica A. Fox.
And he guaranteed to score a touchdown and celebrate by performing a "Ricky Bobby" dance to mimic actor Will Ferrell running across the racetrack in Talladega Nights.
"It’s over," Ochocinco said. "Everybody’s going to kiss the damn baby as far as I’m concerned. Anybody lining up in front of me, you know how that goes.
"When I score, which you know I will do, I have a special thing. It’s called the Ricky Bobby. It should be really nice. It’s a rule-breaker. I did send the NFL the fine money ahead of time."
And Ochocinco challenged linebacker Terrell Suggs to a boxing match.
It would be a physical mismatch between the 6-foot-1, 192-pound wide receiver and the Ravens’ 6-foot-3, 260-pound Pro Bowl pass rusher, but Ochocinco doesn’t seem to care.
"I’m going to fight Terrell Suggs," he said. "Why are you all laughing? I’m serious because boxing and playing football and using your physical strength is not going to work in the ring. I just know in the ring I can embarrass him. Yeah, I’d put Terrell to sleep.
"I’m not going to knock him out. I want to embarrass him, so I want people to watch as I hit him at will at any given time and he won’t be able to hit me."
A rejuvenated Ochocinco has been backing up his words on the field this season for a resurgent Bengals team that has won three games in a row.
He leads the Bengals with 17 receptions for 258 yards and three touchdowns.
From the Ravens’ standpoint, they don’t take Ochocinco too seriously as far as reacting to his barbs.
"It doesn’t annoy me," Foxworth said. "He’s a funny guy. It’s entertaining. I think it’s good for the league. I think it creates interest. I got a chuckle out of the nickname. I just kind of laughed."
Is Ochocinco enough of a jokester to crack Foxworth up when matched opposite him at the line of scrimmage?
"He’s a funny guy, but we’re professionals," Foxworth said. "He’s not Chris Rock. He’s not hilarious.
“We take him seriously because he’ an elite receiver. He can change directions and run fast with the best of them."
Plus, Ochocinco has the benefit of a healthy Carson Palmer delivering spirals in his direction.
Palmer has completed 57.7 percent of his throws for 845 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions, but seems to be just getting back in sync after an injury-plagued season last year.
One year after a dismal 4-11-1 season where Ochocinco constantly griped about his contract and other issues while slumping to 53 receptions for 540 yards and four touchdowns, the smile is back on his face as the Bengals are tied for first place and own a surprising upset victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
"We’ve been exciting, man," he said. "We’ve been plugging and it’s just a new attitude. Our mental state is superb right now. The defense is really saving us right now. Offensively, we’ve been really, really good in the clutch.
"We’ve been superb in the clutch. Now, we just have to find that consistency where we can be good through all four quarters and it would make these games a lot easier and not nail-biters toward the end."
Ochocinco has a strong history over the years against Baltimore.
He has caught 75 passes for 1,157 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 career games against the Ravens, averaging 4.7 receptions and 72.3 yards per contest against Baltimore.
All joking aside, Ochocinco said he has a lot of admiration for the Ravens’ eighth-ranked defense even though he said he’s targeting free safety Ed Reed, strong safety Dawan Landry, Foxworth and cornerback Fabian Washington.
"This is the most exciting game for me because it’s the only game where you have to account for all 11 people," he said. "The excitement that I get knowing that I have to be at the top of my game, it just gets me going. That’s just respect for that defense.
"I mean everybody is awesome. There is no way to game plan for the Ravens. Just the thought of being able to compete with those individuals, it just gets me hyped.”
As far as Suggs is concerned, though, he has no worries about getting in the ring with the motor-mouthed wideout.
"Personally, I think Chad is good for the game," Suggs said. "He makes it fun. I am a fan of Chad except when I play them. Then, it’s personal. I’m looking forward to us getting it on at MGM. Now, I’m his enemy and I look forward to seeing him out there on the battlefield.
“I’m still a little appalled by the whole Chad thing. So, you go back and tell ‘Gangstalicious’ that I’ll meet him wherever he wants to get down at. We can do it. I haven’t been embarrassed in a really long time, so tell him Sizzle is looking forward to it."