I can't believe that I won't be able to tag this article with "humor."
I was reading David Fleming's column on ESPN.com's Page Two a couple of days ago. Fleming took a trip to visit Johnson at his home, and Johnson mentioned that he was considering changing his last name.
I thought he was joking, and enjoyed a good laugh.
Turns out that Johnson was dead serious, and decided to go ahead and make an unprecedented PR move right before the start of the NFL season.
We already knew that Johnson was a character, but I don't think anybody honestly expected him to take it this far. And you know what? His reason for the name change actually makes sense.
"Maximize your opportunities in this game at all times and at all costs," Johnson said earlier this summer. "That's my motto. I'll give you an example. This brings all of what I am together into one thing: have fun, be original, stay a step ahead and maximize your opportunities.
Here it is: I'm thinking about legally changing my last name to Ocho Cinco next season. Cool, right? The league, the announcers, the media, they would all be forced to refer to me as Ocho Cinco.
From a money standpoint, think about how much I could make, because everyone would have to buy the jersey all over again. Think how much my team would make? Sales will skyrocket. Boom. It's fun. It's original. But if I do it I better perform." Johnson told Fleming.
The Ocho Cinco phenomenon began last year before a game against the Atlanta Falcons. He gave an interview mid-week (shown below) ripping DeAngelo Hall and demanding that the press refer to him as "Ocho Cinco" in honor of Spanish Heritage Month.
Johnson has long been one of the NFL's most entertaining and controversial players. His touchdown celebrations get a lot of press, as does his notorious trash talking. He rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but from this fan's standpoint, he represents all that is good in the game of football: He's a fun-loving player who wants to win. He realizes that he is paid to entertain the fans, and he always delivers.
I'm just glad this dangerous offensive weapon is playing for my favorite team.