Poor Chad Ocho Cinco. The former Chad Johnson went through the trouble of changing his name, and not for the normal, mundane reasons — marriage, religioius beliefs, witness protection — but for strictly selfish ones: he wanted to get paid.
You see, players get a percentage for every NFL jersey sold bearing their name. “Ocho Cinco” would’ve been a big hit with the kids, and presumably allowed Mr. Ocho Cinco to buy those gold fronts he’s been enviously eyeing. The NFL higher-ups have other ideas, it seems, because the league only recognizes Chad Johnson, at least for merchandise-related purposes:
“While the NFL has recognized the legal name change of Chad Johnson to Chad Ocho Cinco, the league informed the Bengals today that certain issues remain to be resolved before Ocho Cinco will be permitted to wear his new surname on his jersey,” the league said in a statement.
“He will wear the name Johnson on his jersey today and will be referred to as Chad Johnson on the official play-by-play sheet,” the statement said. “Further questions should be directed to the league office.”
Contacted Sunday by The Associated Press, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, “He has a financial obligation to Reebok, which produces the jerseys available to fans. That has to be resolved before the on-field jersey can be changed.
“The same obligation exists for any player that changes his number or name.”
Translation: you can change your name to whatever you want as soon as Reebok runs out of “Chad Johnson” jerseys.
Frankly, I can’t get really worked up by the NFL flexing their corporate muscles over this. It’s not like Ocho Cinco has a non-financially-motivated reason for going through all the trouble. And if we have to wait a week, a month, or even a year until officially sponsored Ocho Cinco NFL jerseys are available for purchase to the general public, well, I’m fine with at.
As are most people not named Chad Javon Ocho Cinco, I suspect.