When the word got out that Cincinnati's biggest superstar was taking his talents to Bill Belicheat's New England Patriots, there were folks that were genuinely sad to see him leave and genuinely happy to see him go. To the people in that latter group, you might as well be a communist, a party-pooper. Your favorite snack is a saltine cracker, and you always drive the speed limit.
Chad Javon Ochocinco Johnson brought life to a conservative city, and now the life of the party has officially "chucked the deuce."
Chad Johnson's legacy as a Cincinnati Bengal will be viewed by some as a checkered timeline of chicanerous tomfoolery and shenanigans, while having a pretty decent career. For me, being a Chad Stan, that man not only played the game of football the way I'd envision myself playing it, but he lives life in a way that I can totally respect. He lives life to the fullest, he's down for his people, and he's a hard worker. If you can't respect that, then you're whole perspective is wack. Maybe you'll love him when he fades to black.
So it doesn't matter that Chad was a six-time pro-bowler, caught over 750 balls, totaled over 10,000 receiving yards, and hauled in 66 touchdowns. What matters is that for ten seasons the man pulled off real miracles. From buying video games for kids, taking fans out to eat, going to the movies with the homie Phil and fans, and being one of the most accessible superstars on the planet...who else does this? Chad does.
The man gave his life to football, and he just so happened to play for an organization that runs their team like a six-year-old does with cleaning their room....haphazardly. It's tough not to play the "what if" game with Chad's career. What if he played for a different team? What if Carson Palmer's knee doesn't explode in the playoffs? What if Chad actually got his trade request satisfied?
So now he goes to New England, where disenchanted players from horrible organizations go to flourish and experience success. We all remember Corey Dillon and Randy Moss in Foxboro, and Chad will have the opportunity to do the same thing. Chad will be a model citizen in New England, he has the utmost respect for Belicheat, and for goodness sakes, he'll get to play with Thomas Brady. Life will be good for #85.
As for the city of Cincinnati, stock up on those Carson Palmer jerseys as he's now the biggest star in this town. Oh wait, he's retired? Whoops.