Cincinnati Bengals fans, brace yourselves for this news. Chad Ochocinco showed up at Paul Brown Stadium today (June 9) and took a physical.
The appearance at PBS was Ochocinco's first since the season ended on December 28 with a win against the Kansas City Chiefs, a span of more than five months.
Most in the Bengals organization didn't expect to see Ochocinco until mandatory minicamp started on June 18.
The appearance at PBS comes less then 24 hours after Ochocinco made a phone call to Bengals.com beat writer Geoff Hobson. This was Ochocinco's first communication with Cincinnati-area media since February.
Hobson talked with Ochocinco for almost 30 minutes and the gist of the converstation seemed apparent: Ochocinco is ready to play and he wants his fans to know this.
"I need the fans to embrace me," the five-time Pro Bowler told Hobson. "I know people are mad at me, I read the message boards. but I've apologized 85 times."
"If [the fans] can embrace me, I can spread my wings and be myself," Chad says. "When they're mad at me, I don't know if I can be myself. I'm an emotional guy. I want them to know that I love them and I want to win."
Chad knows some fans are mad at him for his antics over the last year, but he says there is one person in Cincinnati who definitely isn't: Carson Palmer.
"I know people are trying to say we're mad at each other and all that, but we're good," Chad says of him and Palmer. "We're like Brokeback Mountain, I'm going to be with Carson so much in July that I'm going to be the nanny [for Palmer's almost five month old twins]."
Palmer and his wife Shaelyn, a former USC soccer player, welcomed twins Fletch and Elle into the world on January 20.
After declaring that his relationship with Palmer was under no duress, Ochocinco let the Bengals coaching staff know that he'll be doing whatever he can to help this season, "I'll be their hose," Ocho says of the coaches. "I'll put out any fire their under."
Over the weekend pictures surfaced of Ochocinco taking in the NBA Finals with son Chad Johnson II. While there, Chad received some advice from two very well-known Los Angeles residents.
"Denzel [Washington] told me, 'Go back to being Chad. People want to see that swagger. The Chad that's always smiling and wanting to be the best. Have fun. Stop worrying about things you can't control,'" Ochocinco said.
Kobe Bryant also offered Ochocinco some advice.
"Kobe was quick and to the point, [he said], 'Go back in there and show them what you can do. Do what you can control,'" Kobe acted out his advice in Games One and Two of the NBA Finals, willing the Lakers to wins each time.
Celebrity advice aside, Chad knows that if he wants to continue to be a celebrity, he needs his fans back.
"The city's been good to me and I've been good for the city," says Ochocinco, who has caught 53 career touchdown passes. "I'm entitled to make a mistake. I'm ready to rebound."