I know that many NFL fans outside of the Cincinnati Bengals fanbase don't care much for Chad Johnson's antics. There's no doubt he's a talker -- and some NFL fans hate that. Bengals fans love him for several reasons; with descriptions of being a "great receiver" and an "instant game breaker". He brought character to this team when there was none. Off the field, he's good-hearted, hilarious, charitable with a talent of lifting spirits when the team is in the dumps. He might not be the leader in the mold of Carson Palmer. But if this team is down, he's most likely going to be the one that lifts their spirits.
The Pepto Game
The Bengals entered the 2004 bye week after starting the season losing three out of their first four games. They lost to the Jets by a touchdown and squeaked by a 4-12 Miami team by a field goal. Then the Bengals lost back-to-back games against division rivals Baltimore (9-23) and Pittsburgh (17-28). The team had little life and the city became disappointed. Enter Chad.
While helping to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Chad Johnson sent a challenge to Daylon McCutcheon, Anthony Henry, Robert Griffith and Earl Little packaging Pepto-Bismol to Cleveland's secondary.
"I thought that would be a good idea, since I'm working with Pepto, to send these guys some Pepto because I'm going to make them sick." A note to McCutchen read: "Daylon, Just wanted to add a little color and relief to your week. All the best, Chad." McCutchen, like most NFL players in the league, enjoyed Chad's gift. "I think for the most part, (Johnson) is not an in-your-face guy. He just likes to have fun. He enjoys playing football. He's a jokester."
Chad said of the down-beaten Bengals. "We need a little pick-me-up, and this might be a little spark," Johnson said. "Now, I've got to go out and back it up. That's the easy part. We've all got to go out and back it up."
Unfortunately the backing up part failed. The Bengals lost 17-34 and Chad only caught three passes for 37 yards.
Please don't fine me, again
It was 2003. Paul Brown Stadium, cold with banks of snow, was packed hosting the San Francisco 49ers. After a Brian Simmons fumble recovery, Jon Kitna led the Bengals on an 11-play drive capped with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Chad Johnson. Chad went to the snow bank and pulled out:
Chad was fined $10,000.
The tipped 82-yard touchdown
This suggestion came from reader and best friend, eddieket. And eddieket is all football. Hosting Baltimore in 2003, the Bengals played with a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. After a 24-yard Zastudil punt to the Cincinnati 18-yard line: (the rest is from what I wrote in 2003 at BengalsZone)
Jon Kitna launched an 82-yard miracle reception to Chad Johnson on the first offensive play in the second quarter. Miracle, you say? Ed Reed stepped in front of the pass, around the Ravens 35-yard line, and for a brief second had both hands on the ball. Unable to secure the pass, Johnson, just behind Reed, was at the right spot at the right time. "I knew it was our day. It (the TD pass play) worked once, and it almost worked a second time later in the game." Johnson said afterwards.
Chad Beats the Colt
The Chad Johnson Marriage Proposal
The lucky lady was former Ben-Gal cheerleader, Daphne. What's that? You want visual evidence that she exists. Well, I'm not one to turn down readers.
After the proposal, Chad writes out "TO, I got you baby" -- the sound of Phil Simms' disgust is classic!
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Chad Johnson proclaims himself Ocho Cinco.
"My name isn't Chad no more. Anybody that writes about whatever I say today, you call me Ocho Cinco," he said. "Do not say 'Chad.' You're going to get a pay cut. I'm not playing. Questions? DeAngelo Fall. Do not say Hall or I'm going to stop the interview."
Here's one of his best interviews where he calls out most of the NFL. You can hear Dave Lapham in the background doing his best job to talk about the game. It was fruitless.
Chad came out of the lockerroom on game day with Ocho Cinco on his uniform.
Palmer wasn't pleased and yanked it off. Ocho Cinco caught six passes for 78 yards and a touchdown in a 29-27 loss to the Falcons. Ocho was fined $5,000.
During the 2005 season, Chad Johnson hung a sheet of paper in his locker titled Who Covered 85 in '05. It labeled the other team's number one cornerback in which Chad would check yes or no. Then, in early November, Marvin Lewis replaced the list with a Did 85 do everything he could to lead his team to victory list.
The list asks.
- Did he study Extra Tape?
- Zero Mental Errors in Practice?
- Make a Teammate Better?
- See all Sights and Hots?
- Did He Run After the Catch?
- Did He Finish in Blocking?
Chad wasn't pleased. He caught five passes for 91 yards -- including a 48-yarder. Chad's original list later returned. To this day, we're not sure if "NO" was ever officially checked.
Finally, Chad appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
"Not even the American military can stop 85."
If you have more, bring it.