It will be a long time before Bengals fans forget about their former receiver Chad Johnson aka Ochocinco. I have to include that because he went out and legally changed his name at one point to Chad Ochocinco, just so he could have it on the back of his jersey and not be fined by the NFL.
While even more modern fans have likely heard of Johnson’s popularity, there could be quite a few that have no idea that Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens played a season in Cincinnati with Johnson and Carson Palmer. That season really left a bad taste in every fans mouth, and it basically led to the end of that era with Palmer.
No matter how strongly you feel about the duo, the one thing you can’t deny is that they are entertaining. They both were recently on Bleacher Reports’ show Simms & Lefkoe which led to a trash talking storm the likes of which you could only expect from these two.
The targets varied between themselves, the Bengals’ organization, doubters, haters and even the NFL. You can see the video here, you just have to skip to about the 4:46 marker for the Owens and Johnson segment.
It starts out innocently enough as it seems the hosts had no idea Johnson had invited Owens to the set. Johnson starts it off with a question that leads to a very interesting place though, when he asks who they think the better receiver is. When both imply that it is Owens, Johnson gives this response:
“He’s not the better f— receiver. He had the better cards dealt to him, and took advantage of those opportunities... These are awesome organizations [that Owens played for]. When I came in, I was in the Sh— Bowl, according to everybody else, and I made the most of the cards that I was dealt.”
Johnson seemed like he was going to dive deeper into that thought but a frustrated Owens started showing instances when he played for lesser organizations later in his career.
It didn’t seem like Johnson was trying to talk down about the organization. It was more the exposure that Owens received by being apart of these teams, which during the era before twitter was a big deal. The only way people would learn about you prior to that time was mostly through ESPN highlight reels, and you can bet the Bengals weren’t at the top of the priority lists, and that they weren’t making regular trips out to their training camps. Owens was definitely dealt the better hand in that respect, and it is truly impressive what Johnson and Palmer were able to do by putting the Bengals back in the spotlight.
The other interesting comments were when the two talked about being in Cincinnati together. The picture they paint seems to be slightly different from what was visible on game day. Both imply that when it was time to work they put their head down and did the work, but they were just easy to paint as villains.
That year was 2010. It seemed like the Bengals were going to be offensive juggernauts, but that just never materialized. Neither Owens or Johnson reached 1,000 receiving yards, but Owens was able to pull in nine touchdowns.
There were plenty of times that the diva nature showed that season, and your team’s star wide receiver should be some what of a diva. They need to want to get the ball in their hand. However, having two major divas on one team seemed like too much. There were also cases where it seemed like the two weren’t on the same page with Palmer.
Did the duo receive too much of the blame? Probably, but when you prop yourself up into the spotlight you will be the first to receive the blame.
Either way these two are still two very entertaining individuals, and they were both great receivers from their era. It is always a joy when they get a camera in front of them.