During each of our lives there are things we are ashamed of, for some it’s a physical trait, a quirk that no one else really notices, or a task you tried and failed at. For myself, I am a lifelong Cincinnati Bengals fan. For the majority of my life, I have lived with in a sixty minute drive of Cincinnati, even growing up in a town that hosted the Bengals pre-season training camps. With that admission, I must also say, that I was a huge Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson fan too.
It was easy to love Chad’s childlike enthusiasm for football and life in general. How could you not like a guy who raced a thoroughbred horse (and won), for charity? His on the field antics were always good spirited and a celebration of his hard work. Hard work that represented the change of the blundering Bengals of the last decade and a half, to the new playoff bound team.["Image by Chris Breeze via Flickr"]
Disregarding Chad’s limited work in his rookie season, Chad averaged 88.5 receptions, 1,339 yards and 8 TDs a season with the last name Johnson. Since legally changing his name to Ochocinco, and turning 30 years old in 2008, Chad has averaged only 51.75 receptions, 621.75 yards and 4.5 TDs per season. The turnaround can be attributed to his age, an injury plagued 2008 season which he only played in 13 games, or his need to be better known as a celebrity than a football player.
Chad’s down fall started in 2009, the WR let the world know just how naive he is on the HBO series “Hard Knocks,” which documented the Bengals’ training camp. Johnson, proclaimed a love for McDonald’s, saying that, “People who say McDonald’s is bad for you are lying,” and that he eats at the fast food chain regularly. If McDonald’s isn’t technically a toxin to the human body, it’s definitely not a good source of nourishment. Chad was also well known, and well criticized for participating in a conversation with Head Coach Marvin Lewis about money. Lewis had to explain to Johnson how checks worked, and how a bank made money. Chad at the time was asking Lewis for tips on investing his money; he didn’t understand interest, or why he should invest slowly, especially if it did not result in instant returns of millions of dollars. (It’s no wonder he’s now married to broke former athlete Antoine Walker’s ex, Evelyn Lozada.)
In 2010, Ochocinco; The Ultimate Catch ran for one season on VH1. The premise behind the show was Chad would find a “girlfriend” out of 85 reality tv wanna –be contestants. 2010 would also promise to be Chad’s last season in Cincinnati before being traded to New England.
Much like Corey Dillon, (a onetime standout at RB for the Bengals) I wished for a championship send off for Chad in New England. All the pieces were there for chad to be successful, a great coach, a great QB, and a pass first offense that Chad should flourish in. Unfortunately, given a scenario that Chad, tweeted “was heaven” didn’t work out. Chad’s struggles to learn the playbook meant that QB Tom Brady was never able to trust that Chad would be where he needed to be, resulting in a disappointing season where he only caught 15 passes for 276 yards and one TD.”Image by CMYKcolours via Flickr”
Chad, who used to proclaim the Bengals’ on field problems were due to the organization not being ran efficiently, like the model Head Coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft had built in New England. Now Chad is blaming New England for his awful 2011 season. Chad believes that the institutional control Kraft and Belichick put on the former six time Pro Bowl WR, restricted his playing ability.
This is my breaking point, “Child Please!”
85 was a disappointment last year, an embarrassment to anyone who has ever supported you. You begged for the chance to play in New England, and you blew it. And now, before you prove to anyone you still have anything left, you criticize the Patriots? This is beyond amazing, completely and utterly mind shocking even for you, the man who proclaimed himself a future hall of famer. There is nothing sacred with 85. It’s all about 85, Ochocinco, Estaban Johnson, Chad Johnson, or whatever persona you’ll be going by next week. Well, your brand is failing and it’s pretty sad. I can’t find better words than the one’s Bob Dylan sang in “Positively 4th Street…” ["Image by ky_olsen via Flickr"]
“And now I know you're dissatisfied with your position and your place
Don't you understand, it's not my problem
I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment, I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time, you could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is to see you”
Showing that he’s still first and foremost a showman, receiver Chad Johnson (known as Chad Ochocinco during his time with the Patriots) told the Miami Herald that having his personality “controlled” while in New England last year contributed to his on-field struggles.
Signed by his hometown Dolphins shortly after his June release by the Patriots, Johnson, who legally changed his name back earlier this month, said, “I’m going back to my normal ways. My normal ways, when I was at my best, when I got fined, look at the production those years. Usually things don’t go right when you try to change the way you do things. I’m back to normal.
“My personality was controlled last year. You didn’t hear me at all last year. Zero. Zilch. When my mouth is running, it forces me to perform.”
Left out of his statement, of course, is that Johnson struggled with the playbook last year, never quite knew where he was supposed to line up, and never quite gained quarterback Tom Brady’s trust because of that….
- Chad Johnson, not Chad Ochocinco, on Dolphins jerseys – NFL News
- Chad Ochocinco reverts to Chad Johnson in Fla. courthouse – USA TODAY