The man known to most as “Ochocinco” has an almost villainous aura around him. He is loud, boastful, irreverent, and self-promoting. His 3.6 million fans of a Twitter presence, alone, is equal to that of his league. On the outside looking in, there aren’t many redeeming qualities for a character like him. Or so you would think.
First and foremost, consider this. The average NFL career spans less than four years. The 34 year old Johnson has been in the league for 11 years now. Unlike many wide receiver-types in the NFL, he is independently successful. His business ventures, carefully spurred by his charisma and presence, have generated revenue for him that continue to contribute to the strong foundation that he has waiting for him – Post NFL.
It’s a give and take. He is one of the few guys in the league that has consistently focused on building his “next” as effectively as he is living his “now”. The result is a calm and charity that you don’t see from many athletes these days. While most athletes seem to be participating in a money grab, he is known more for giving than not.
The man formerly known as Chad Johnson, formerly known as Chad “Ochocinco”, and formerly known as “Ocho Cinco” is a different guy than most would believe. The recently married and (newly-re-renamed) Chad Johnson is a man who lives contrary to people’s mis-opinions.
He is one of the most charitable and kind presences in the NFL. He is one of the most genuinely nicest guys. And most importantly, he competes for his job like few others. Only an athlete of his caliber can find a job after being essentially out of work for a year. If you consider his demeanor throughout his embarrassing stint with the Patriots, he maintained his vigor, his fitness, his desire, and fortunately – his confidence.
Chad looks recommitted to achieving greatness this year, on the field and off. Just a few weeks ago, a widower reached out to him on Twitter for prayer. In return, he flew her out for his wedding. Some in the NFL call his social media presence an annoyance. But people that know him (or follow him) know that is not an annoyance. He truly cares about positively affecting others through his various social platforms. But most importantly, NFL-insiders know that it is just the way for him to keep a confident edge in an industry that chews you up and spits you out. His opponents respect him for it. His detractors should take note, he’s had one of the longest runs in league history and as soon as he’s done – he will have a job elsewhere. His marketability ploys aren’t such a joke after all, are they?