Nobody knows for sure whether the former Chad Johnson changed his name for purposes of marketing, publicity, general tomfoolery (my vote), or because he’s now married to Alberto Ochocinco of Sarasota, Florida. Whatever the reason, there seem to be more seats available on the Ocho Cinco bandwagon heading into 2009. From Darren Rovell, a swell guy who hands the ball back to the referee every time:
In October 2006, Johnson first unveiled “Ocho Cinco” on his jersey for a game in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Before the game, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer ripped off the “Ocho Cinco” to reveal the usual “C. Johnson” on the back of his jersey. Even though Johnson was fined $5,000 by the league, he went ahead and made the name change permanent less than two years later.
Johnson sells T-shirts on a site that read “Ocho Cinco,” but the league will only let him wear and market official league products using the name as one word because that is how he filled it out on the name change application.
Has anyone destroyed his name in more of a literal and figurative sense than this guy? Chad has created two alternate names: the two-word name that he wished to be his current moniker, and the one-word name that he’s legally required to wear by the league. And now with Houshmanzadeh having bolted for Seattle, that case of Surname Envy should be long gone before training camp. But the herpes? That’s the gift that keeps on giving.