New England Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco shocked fans Thursday when he announced on Twitter that he will be changing his name back to Chad Johnson after nearly four years as Ochocinco.
The 34-year-old Patriots receiver initially announced he would like to be called Ochocinco instead of Johnson in October 2006 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month when he was a player for the Cincinnati Bengals. The player's jersey number is 85 and he wanted to be referred to by his number rather than his name. While ocho cinco means eight five in Spanish, eighty five would be ochenta y cinco.
When Ochocinco glued a label reading Ocho Cinco instead of C. Johnson on the back of his jersey in 2006 during a warm-up, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer ripped the label off his jersey and Ochocinco was charged $5,000. The NFL has strict rules about what names are allowed to be posted on a player's jersey. In response, Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Javon Ochocino in August 2008 and has had Ochocinco written on his back since 2009.
Ochocinco revealed Thursday, however, that he has plans to change his name back to Johnson. When a fan told Ochocinco that he has five signed jerseys with the player's name on it posted on his wall, Ochocinco had an interesting response.
Take them down, the player tweeted. I'll be Johnson on July 4th.
The twitter announcement shocked fans who replied with a flurry of tweets. Ochocinco replied with some jokes.
Yes, there's a warrant out for OchoCino so I'm changing it to avoid jail time. Thug Life, he replied to one fan.
Is that warrant named marriage? another fan joked, making reference to Ochocinco's engagement to Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada.
Damn they after you as well? the player replied in a tweet.
Later, he confirmed the earlier rumors that he is changing his name.
Yeah, I am, but changing my first name to 'Gigantic,' Ochocinco joked in a tweet.
Ochocinco first showed interest in changing his name back to Johnson in January 2011 in an interview with an ESPN reporter. He later revealed that because of financial issues he would have to wait before changing his name.
Fans believe Ochocinco is changing his name for his fiancé, Evelyn Lozado. Lozado and Ochocinco have been engaged since November 2010 after the former Basketball Wives star broke off her engagement with former Boston Celtics and Mount Carmel star Antoine Walker.