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Published Jan. 27, 2012

Times wires

Chad Ochocinco, meet the speaker of the U.S. House. Via Twitter, of course.

The Patriots receiver known for prolific social media interactions watched President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night and wondered about the unsmiling man sitting behind him. Informed by a friend it was Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio, the former Bengal reached out to him on Twitter on Tuesday night, asking if he was okay.

Ochocinco asked Boehner on Wednesday if he was in better spirits, adding: "If all else seems bad in life, just remember I love you, kind sir."

Boehner thanked Ochocinco in a tweet and wished him good luck in the Super Bowl. Ochocinco said Thursday that the two exchanged contact information and made plans to meet in the offseason.

"We'll see you in the playoffs next year," Boehner tweeted, using "Bengals" and their fans' cheer, "WhoDey," to tag his response.

Boehner's Twitter feed later included a photo of him at his desk with a Bengals helmet.

In the Patriots locker room in Foxborough, Mass., Ochocinco asked a reporter about Boehner's place in the presidential line of succession. The House speaker is second in line, after the vice president.

"He's a pretty powerful man then," Ochocinco said. "For him to contact me back, it's awesome."

Ochocinco's 3.1 million Twitter followers include President Felipe Calderon of Mexico.

"Me and the president of Mexico tweet back all the time," Ochocinco said. "That's two powerful people."

Gronkowski sits: TE Rob Gronkowski missed the Patriots' first practice with the injured left ankle sustained during the AFC title game. He wasn't available for comment. When asked how he is progressing, coach Bill Belichick said only, "Good, good."

Giants injuries: Seven players missed the team's first practice: C David Baas (abdomen-neck), LB Chase Blackburn (calf), CBWill Blackmon (knee), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), WR Hakeem Nicks (shoulder), CB Corey Webster (hamstring) and LB Jacquian Williams (foot). Coach Tom Coughlin said all were precautionary and all are expected to play.

No need to play the game:Princess, a camel at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township, N.J., has made her prediction. Zoo general manager John Bergmann places a graham cracker and writes the name of the teams on each hand. Whichever hand Princess nibbles from is her pick. She went 14-6 this season, is 88-51 all time and 5-1 over the past six Super Bowls. On Thursday she picked the Giants.