Thursday, February 9, 2012

Former Bengal Chad Ochocinco Changing Name Back To Johnson

by Anthony Cosenza of
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Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson was born to be an entertainer. Even though he didn't get to realize his NFL dream this past Sunday by becoming a world champion, he still holds a special place in the hearts of many Bengals fans. He had a tumultuous NFL career in Cincinnati, and it became increasingly interesting when sometime during the 2007 and 2008 seasons he decided to change his last name to "Ochocinco." It was a play off of his number and his then-recent affinity to soccer.

Despite the fact that the name is incorrect Spanish ("Ochocinco" translates to "eight five," not "eighty-five"), Chad used this as a major marketing ploy, building his persona on and off of the football field. It began with him coming out during pregame warmups in a jersey with the last name Ochocinco during the 2007 season. Quarterback Carson Palmer playfully ripped it off of his back, likely to avoid some sort of league fine. Even though Chad legally changed his name to "Ochocinco", he had to wait a full season to have Reebok issue actual jerseys with the "Ochocinco" name on them, otherwise he would have had to personally eat quite a bit of money.

We saw a big change in Chad this season with the New England Patriots, both on and off of the football field. Now, he's making another big change--Chad claims he'll be changing his name back to Johnson this summer.

It's the second time in a little over a calendar year that Chad has let everyone know that he'll be changing his name. Though when he says something on Twitter, you know that it's pretty official.

@Ochocinco- Take them down, i'll be Johnson on july 4th RT @RudyDaGreat1: I just notice I got bout 5 @Ochocinco jerseys signed sitting on the wall

We'll see if Chad finally sticks to his word about this, but it would make his career come full-circle. It's not totally clear why he's changing his name back--music video station VH1 assumes it's because of his upcoming wedding to Evelyn Lozada. I'm sure that a lot of people will also probably point to "The Patriot Way" and/or his career seemingly coming to an end in the near future.

If you still have your "85 Johnson" jersey buried somewhere deep in your closet or garage, it may be safe to dig it back out of retirement.

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