Yesterday, in response to Chad Ochocinco’s claim that he was planning to change his last name back to Johnson, I tweeted the following:
This is really getting awkward with Chad Johnson/Ochocinco. Who is going to tell him he has, in general, overstayed his welcome?
My basic point was that with Chad’s production dwindling his antics and off-field self-promotion are becoming generally less palatable and interesting. A few minutes later I softened my stance a bit – mainly because while I may be annoyed by him, certainly more people find him interesting than find me interesting, so who am I to talk? – but the general point remains true.
I decided that to fully extend the olive branch to good ol’ 8-5, I should offer him something of value. Thus, here I am, to suggest nine last name alternatives that I think Chad should consider before going back to Johnson.
When Carson Palmer announced earlier this week that he wants to be traded from Cincinnati and few people took him to task for creating an offseason distraction, Chad and his supporters wondered why a white QB was not getting the same scrutiny that Chad received a few years ago when he essentially did the same thing. This topic was also broached by Chad and T.O. on their TV show during a conversation about Brett Favre and his texting habits and how the legend was essentially getting a pass because he’s white.
By adopting “Pennington” as his new last name, all of Chad’s antics would be described as follows: “In his latest act of toomfoolery, Chad Pennington said/did…” Notice your impression when you read that. You immediately thought of that Chad Pennington, didn’t you? The white quarterback, right? See! And you immediately were going to absolve him of all blame! (Because he’s white!) That’s right, based on his own logic, Chad Ochocinco could essentially buy himself a lifetime pass to be an idiot by adopting a name that everyone associates with a white QB. This one makes too much sense. It should be higher on the list.
[Note: Yes, this would also work if he changed his name to Chad Henne, but I'd probably choose a name that is not so synonymous with sucking terribly. Since Pennington was once good, I'd go with him.]
8. Chad Vertising
You’re going to start noticing that a lot of these are plays on words starting with the letters “ad” that also relate to Chad’s off-field interests. “Vertising” would be a great last name because every time someone used Chad’s full name, they would be saying the word “advertising” as well. No one self promotes more than Chad, so this would fit perfectly. In fact, “chadvertising” could become the new term for athletes who over-promote themselves despite obvious evidence that their skills are declining and that they are less relevant to the average fan. Chad could get into the dictionary!
7. Chad Sense
This one has the same idea behind it as #8. Because most of the self-promotion that Chad does is done online, he should be able to profit from it. Well, one of the very first ways that online content creators were able to drive profits from their content was with Google AdSense. In conjunction with adopting the last name “Sense”, Chad could launch ChadSense, a network for athlete bloggers and tweeters to make revenue. His name would become a perpetual advertisement for his own revenue-generating network!
6. Chad Aptation
I admit, I mostly think this one is cool because it would make Chad’s full name sound a lot like one of my favorite movies. The reason this is relevant for Chad though is that it could signal his willingness to adapt to a new role with a new team. Chad is going to have to understand that he is no longer a #1 WR. He is probably a #3 option at best, maybe a #2 on a bad team. For him to succeed moving forward, he will have to become an adaptation of himself and other wide receivers who have swallowed their egos and accepted new roles.
5. Chad Hesive
Here again, I’m thinking marketing potential. Another way that Chad can extend his football career is to improve his consistency catching the football. There simply is no place in the NFL for a smallish WR who has lost a step and who drops passes. That’s why Chad should develop a new-age version of Stick ‘Em; and if he does, he can adopt Hesive as his last name once again to have an obvious product tie-in. Chadhesive by Chad Hesive. It’s sublime. (Or, as some over-caffeinated marketing jerkwad might say, “It sticks!”)
Now look, I know you’re probably shaking your head at how corny and off the wall some of these ideas are, but remember who the audience of this post is: Chad. For a guy who seems more interested in promoting himself and selling products than winning football games, why wouldn’t he use his last name for marketing? I’m just trying help him maximize the real estate.
4. Chad Visor (or Viser)
Yes, I have one more idea to tie-in a marketing product angle. Chad could develop a line of visor hats or, the one I like better, a consulting firm. The Chadvisers could consult people on everything from finances to over-using Twitter and turning it into a TMI minefield. And again, his name becomes his billboard. That’s efficient Web 2.0 marketing.
3. Chad Olescence
No one has ever accused Chad Ochocinco/Johnson of being overly mature. However, he is well into his 30s now (he’s 33) so he cannot exactly be considered young anymore, nor necessarily immature in the full sense of the word.
Rather, Chad seems to be stuck in a perpetual period of adolescence, but only the kind you can enjoy when you are a world famous, multi-millionaire athlete with declining skills but an inflated sense of self-worth. And that type of adolescence, one that many an NFL wide receiver has gone through, needs a special name. Why not chadolescence?
Once again, Mr. Self Promotion can etch this new word into the public discourse by making it his name. Millions of Americans now know that the correct way to say eighty-five in Spanish is ochocinco (or not), so why not teach them a new word in their own language this time?
“Boy, that Dez Bryant sure is acting like a diva again. When he is going to exit chadolescence and grow up?”
Being the inspiration for a new word can make you live on in infamy. It doesn’t look like Chad will make it into the Hall of Fame, as he once predicted, but adopting Olescence and being the personification of entitled, indulgent adolescence could help him get into the Hall of Name.
2. Chad Wideopen
The reason behind this one is pretty easy.
We know that regardless of if Chad is really open or not, he is going to say that he is. Thus, I think he should adopt “Wideopen” as his last name because it would give him the opportunity to shout “I’m Wideopen! I’m Wideopen!” anytime he wanted to.
Think about it: what is someone going to say to him? “Excuse me, Chad, stop shouting facts. Stop shouting your last name.” Anytime someone accuses him of griping for the ball, he can always just say he is proud of his new name and enjoys shouting it – even at suspicious times like after the 27th straight play where his QB does not look in his direction.
By making this choice, Chad would be protecting himself from himself with this last name and in the process inoculating himself from future rebukes. For that alone it’s worth considering.
And finally, how about no last name?
As we all know, to achieve true icon status you have to eventually lose the lameness of two names and be referred to by just a single name. Need examples? Cher. Madonna. Prince. How about in sports? Jordan. Peyton. Babe. I could go on and on.
By simply ridding himself of a last name altogether, Chad can just become Chad. What, do you think we’re going to get him confused with Chad Clifton? Or relief pitcher Chad Bradford? Is there anyone else in sports named Chad who is even relevant? Seriously, what the hell does Chad even need a last name for? He is the Chad. If he drops the last name, we can all show him the proper respect he has so clearly believed he deserves!
So there you have it. Nine last name alternatives for Chad Ochoinco-But-Might-Soon-Be-Johnson that are way better than if he just goes back to Johnson. That would be boring and make too much sense, and neither has ever described the Chad we’ve all come to know and love (and I use this latter term very loosely).
What do you think? I imagine some of you think my ideas are lame and will want to make fun of me for going public with them. Well guess what…that’s why we have comment sections! So flame away, or offer your own suggestions below.
(And I mean seriously, what else do you have to do? It’s the week before the week of the Super Bowl, pitchers and catchers haven’t reported yet, and basketball is still in the regular season – now that Jaycutlergate is over, this literally is the most important story in sports right now.)