Bengals, NFL to recognize Chad as Chad Ocho Cinco

It’s official: Chad Johnson is Chad Ocho Cinco. The NFL and Bengals will recognize Ocho Cinco’s name change this weekend when Cincinnati takes on the Ravens in Baltimore.

Chad Ocho CincoThe receiver had his name changed in his home state of Florida last week. It’s a reference to his uniform number—Ocho Cinco means “eight five” in Spanish. When the NFL celebrated Hispanic Heritage month in 2006, he wore it on the back of his uniform for pregame warmups, but had to remove it for the game because of NFL rules—it wasn’t his real name.

The Pro Bowl 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. Coach Marvin Lewis said the receiver had been considering it since last March.

The change to Ocho Cinco is the receiver’s latest promotional move. He’s also known for his touchdown celebrations, his golden Mohawk for one season, his race against a horse and his list of defensive backs who failed to cover him.

This whole thing is absolutely ridiculous but as a sports writer I can’t wait to use this name in game previews and recaps. I know I’ll smile every time I write, “Palmer found Ocho Cinco in the back of the end zone for the Bengals’ go-ahead touchdown. Then Ocho Cinco got loose again in the Ravens’ secondary for a 15-yard gain. Ocho Cinco certainly didn’t take a siesta on Sunday as he torched the Ravens.” Ocho Cinco…ha!

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