I was glued to my tube the other day when a shot of NFL star receiver Chad Ochocinco (formerly Chad Johnson) was looking back at me. I was immediately attentive because any time you see this guy’s mug, there is a story attached.

Here is another athlete who doesn’t know how to keep a low profile and just collect the big bucks. He is talented; there is no question about that. But he wants the spotlight at all times. Whenever he scores a touchdown, there is a new soap opera about to take place in the end zone.

I suppose he got tired of paying fines, so a few years ago he decided to show his discontent with not getting the football on every play. This came as a surprise because he and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer were seen at games together seeming to be scouting for their own benefit.

His discontent made no impression on Bengals coach Marvin Lewis who told him in no uncertain terms to get over it and play football. It was then that Chad decided he wanted to be traded. To this end, he pouted and became an overall malcontent.

To his credit, he hasn’t had a brush with the law. He seems to be satisfied with hovering on the brink of self-destruction. However, all of this attention given to him has become beneficial. The Bengals weren’t the only game in town, and a few other opportunities opened up for him.

He was selected to be a contestant on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars,” and all I could do was pray that he would behave himself. He was partnered with Cheryl Burke and it didn’t take long for his hormones to kick in. He made it obvious that he was enamored with Cheryl, and he began to give her the full court press. First he gave her a diamond encrusted ring. This led America to ask the question, “Are they engaged?” Cheryl responded to all queries with the, “Just friends” line.

Next came a diamond encrusted heart for Cheryl’s birthday. I don’t know a lot about jewelry, but I am willing to bet the total cost of these gifts would pay rent on a nice apartment for a year.

I am happy to report that Chad was able to show enough dancing skills to hang on for most of the show. However for the finale, he was sidelined with a football injury.

With dancing behind him, he moved on to his reality show where 85 women competed for his attention. The show was titled “Ultimate Catch,” and I am sure Chad’s ego didn’t suffer any damage over this title. In the meantime, he is communicating with Cheryl long distance asking her not to cheat on him.

With show on full go, Chad’s brinkmanship rose to the surface and he started exercising his desires despite the direction the producers wanted the show to go. The demand that started a stink was his emphasis on no Black women on the show. When he made his selection, he desired only dark-haired White women and Latinas.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the Bengals acquired wide receiver Terrell Owens, the self proclaimed “eighth wonder of the world.” He not only has a competing reality show, “The T.O. Show,” but he is seemingly the biggest spoiled brat in the league. His pet peeve is not getting the ball as much as he wants, and he has no trouble shoving anybody under the bus to achieve his desires.

It should be very interesting when these two egos clash in Cincinnati.

Now back to Chad and the romance department. He has revealed the ending of the show by indicating that he has no intention of picking any of the contestants. His new main squeeze is Evelyn Lozada, and there appears to be no room for anybody else. Sorry Cheryl.

However, there is an indication that maybe the worm has turned. In Indianapolis he dined at a restaurant called St. Elmo’s, and uncharacteristically picked up the tab for all of the diners. Total bill: $10,000.


Tim Lacy

Special to the AFRO