Chad Ochocinco was willing to do anything to get the jersey number he’s held for his whole career on his back in New England. And we mean anything.
Ochocinco has a lot invested in the No. 85 jersey. In the ultimate mockery of societal norms he changed his name to roughly translate to his jersey number in Spanish (it means “eight five,” but who are we to nit-pick). Growing bored with his name once again, Ochocinco flirted with the idea of reverting back to being Chad Johnson in January, but then decided that one identity change is enough.
Personally, I don’t know how Chad has kept himself to only two names. I grow weary of being called by the same name at least once a month, and if it wasn’t for the protesting of my family I would have changed names six times by now. Isn’t that normal?
Aaron Hernandez, the second-year Patriots tight end, was standing in Ocho’s way in his quest to keep wearing the number that’s also his name. When Ochocinco appeared on the field at the Patriots training camp today wearing his favorite numerical call sign, it was assumed by the keenly observing media that the two had reached a deal, financial or otherwise.
The details of that deal will leak out soon enough, and we’ll have that breaking investigative report for you when it’s available. But for now thanks to TMZ we can safely assume that the 21-year-old Hernandez was well compensated.
We’re told Ochocinco — who CHANGED HIS LAST NAME to match his jersey number a few years ago — wants to PAY Hernandez to give up the digits … and sources say Chad feels “no number is too high.”
The all-caps let’s us know it’s important.
Swapping money for jersey numbers certainly isn’t a new practice in the NFL, and easily the best number dealer was former Giants punter Jeff Feagles. When Eli Manning was drafted he wanted the No. 10 off of Feagles’ back, which Feagles then parlayed into a family vacation in Florida.
Before he tucked a gun in his pocket and shot himself, Plaxico Burress also struck a deal with Feagles for the No. 17. Burress was set to pay for some landscaping work around Feagles’ backyard, work that Feagles signed off on once he had an agreement with Burress.
Feagles now has a beautiful outdoor kitchen, but he’s still waiting on Burress’ money.