You remember him as Chad Johnson when he first showed up as an excellent wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. His ego and sense of showmanship were such that he became famous for making amazing catches on the field but also for stunts such as using a goal-line marker as a "putter" and playing golf with the football after a touchdown, and putting on a fake NFL Hall of Fame yellow jacket after another score.
He was a showman, all right, more than a scholar. He decided to play on his uniform number (85) and call himself "Ochocinco," which means eight-five in Spanish. ("85" would be "ochenta y cinco.") For the love of Pete, or Pedro, he even changed his name legally to Chad Ochocinco.
As always happens, the league smiled while he was a productive, capable player, and after he wore out his welcome in Cincinnati, he played a year for New England, and then was all set to play for Miami last year, until he was arrested for headbutting his wife, and that was the end of his playing days for now.
But he always finds a way to stay in the news, right in the public eye. This latest, from yesterday, is not so good, though.
Still dealing with the domestic violence charges involving his now-ex-wife, Evelyn Lozada, old #85 failed to show up for a meeting with his probation officer last month and was taken to court to answer for that. During the hearing, he did what seems to come naturally to football players: he patted a guy on his team right on the left buttock. But this was not an offensive lineman who had cleared the way for Chad to score; this was his attorney, Adam Swickle, who got the butt tap.
Her Honor, Judge Kathleen McHugh, was not amused. The judge refused to take a plea deal that would have seen him doing community service and more anger management counseling. Nope. She put him in the Ironbar Hilton for 30 days in jail and added three months onto his one-year probation, which now will run until December.
He won't be the first, nor the last, to realize that what seems so doggone adorable while you're on top of your profession is something you go to jail for when you're finished.