NFL player Chad Ochocinco (pictured) gave his famous moniker the boot on Monday at a Broward County, Fla., courthouse. The Miami Dolphin wide receiver has officially taken back his birth name, Chad Johnson, according to ESPN.
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The new hubby of reality TV villainess Evelyn Lozada, whose nuptials took place this past July 4th, had his last name legally changed four years ago to “Ochocinco,” which means “85” in Spanish. Johnson, however, actually began using the attention-grabbing name back in 2006, because he was inspired by the number that appeared on the back of his jersey.
Johnson has been hinting at changing his last name for the past two years and actually stopped using Ochocinco two weeks ago on his Twitter account. According to Johnson, he did the name change for his lady-love Lozada; it was rumored that she did not want to get married and take on a fictitious name. Johnson told ESPN, “I’m refocused and locked in. Time to get back to the old me,” he said. The player also went on to state that his uniform will say, “Johnson.” “I’m just doing it for the marriage. It has nothing to do with football. Ochocinco is still in me. It’s just my middle name.”
The “Ochocinco” name actually brought the baller lots of good fortune as it spanned the back of his jersey during the times he played for his former teams the Bengals, Patriots and Dolphins.
He actually made even more of a name for himself with his unique moniker, crossing over from football to TV fame with a reality show and appearing on Season 10 of the mega-dance ABC hit “Dancing With the Stars.” The 34-year-old also reportedly sold lots of jerseys and made lots of money during the four years that he held on to his Latino-inspired name.
Watch Chad do the foxtrot here:
Now his critics are wondering if whether the name change will also bring about a refueled player. Chad Johnson was a six-time Pro-Bowler for the Cincinnati Bengals, averaging nearly 80 receptions over the course of seven seasons. Chad Ochocinco averaged only 51.75 receptions in four seasons and was drop kicked by the Patriots after averaging a career low in 2011 and signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins in June.
Folks are wondering whether the old Chad Johnson will recreate the magic that once was on the playing field? Time will tell.