Thursday, September 4, 2008
Bengals putting Ocho Cinco on No. 85 jersey
ESPN.com news services
CINCINNATI -- Chad Johnson is no more. It's officially Chad Ocho Cinco in the NFL.
The Cincinnati Bengals announced Thursday that they have begun "the process of listing the former Chad Johnson as Chad Ocho Cinco for all club business, per the legal change of his surname effected in Florida.
"The list of appropriate changes will include Ocho Cinco wearing his new surname on the back of his jersey for Sunday's season opener at Baltimore."
Ocho Cinco officially changed his name to Chad Javon Ocho Cinco in Broward County, Fla., last week. The league had not changed his name on its Web site or the team's Web site.
"It's something I don't think anyone has ever done before," the Pro Bowl receiver told the Bengals' Web site last week. "Have I ever had a reason for why I do what I do? I'm having fun."
Walker: Time To Win
He's a tremendous player with tremendous talent. But you start to wonder if Chad Ocho Cinco will be remembered more for his ability or his antics, James Walker writes in his AFC North blog.
Two years ago, Johnson gave himself the moniker in reference to his uniform number 85 -- Ocho Cinco means "eight five" in Spanish -- and put it on the back of his uniform before a game. Quarterback Carson Palmer ripped it off before the kickoff. After the season, coach Marvin Lewis -- who dislikes Johnson's attention-getting stunts -- referred to the receiver as "Ocho Psycho."
The receiver asked the media to start calling him by his new name this week. The Bengals couldn't change the name on his uniform until the NFL gave permission.
In an e-mail to The Associated Press on Thursday, league spokesman Greg Aiello said simply: "It's his legal surname."
The receiver has declined to talk about the motivation for his attention-getting change. Lewis said the receiver had been considering it since last March.
Johnson has been a concern for the Bengals this season. He unsuccessfully lobbied for a trade in the offseason, threatening to sit out if he didn't get his way. When the Bengals refused, he relented and showed up for minicamp, but complained that his right ankle was bothering him.
He had bone spurs removed from the ankle and was limited at the start of training camp. In the second preseason game, he landed awkwardly and temporarily dislocated his left shoulder. Johnson is wearing a harness and expects to play in the season opener against Baltimore on Sunday.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report