Montreal Alouettes

Chad Johnson - Receiver - 2015 - Oregon

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What will Chad Johnson say next - Tim Baines - Ottawa Sun - 25-09-2014

Sometimes in this job, it's hard not to get a bit giddy.

Like when you meet one of your favourite football players ever -- a guy who not only was one of the NFL's best receivers, he was also one of its best entertainers, a reason fans bought tickets and watched on TV.

Chad Johnson. Chad Ochocinco. He can be Chad Whateverthehellhewantstobe. But Thursday at TD Place, walking over and giving me a hug and saying, "I love you, man," yep, Chad Johnson, who now wears the colours of the Montreal Alouettes, is a special guy and a Twitter legend (@ochocinco), with 3.61 million followers.

"However you were to be perceived, all you had to go by was ESPN or what was written about you," said Johnson. "The phone and the send button has allowed me to take back. It cuts out the middleman. I'm very unpredictable and interesting. I say things that everybody's thinking, but won't say -- without crossing the line."

In the NFL, as a Cincinnati Bengals star from 2001-10 (where seven times he caught passes for more than 1,000 yards), he celebrated his touchdowns in a special way. He did a Riverdance, he pretended to perform CPR on a football, he got down on one knee with a mock marriage proposal to a cheerleader and he held up a sign that said: 'Dear NFL, please don't fine me anymore."

For his first CFL touchdown earlier this year against Winnipeg, he hugged the ref and whispered, "I love you" in the baffled man's ear.

"I would think they would yearn for the days where their biggest worry in the NFL was what celebration I was going to do next," said Johnson Thursday. "That was the trouble back then in the NFL -- me, T.O. and Steve Smith. It was about, 'OK, here they go having fun again,' and cracking down on that.

"The game of football is about entertainment. It's a billion-dollar organization not because we're robots, because it's an entertaining game. They say, 'Act like you've been here before.' No, I'm not going to act like I've been here before. Because I really never have. It took me hell to get to this point, the work you go through throughout the week, the hours you put in and when I score, I want to act joyous."

Johnson is loving Montreal and his Alouettes teammates and the CFL, but can't understand why it isn't colder in Canada this time of year.

"This entire experience has been great," he said. "The women are gorgeous. I love everything about it. I try to describe it, I say it's very European. It has a feeling of Paris, just no Eiffel Tower. I'd love to come back next year. People are oddly nice. One thing I've been looking forward to is the cold weather. I've put three months in and I haven't seen a f---ing snowflake. I want to do a snow angel in the nude. I've already prepared myself to stay year round so I can experience what all the friggin' talk is about."
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Johnson would not report to camp for the 2015 season and his CFL career ended with 7 catches and 1 touchdown.

-- statistics --

 

 

Chad Johnson   Oregon  
  Receiving      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
2014 Mtl 7 151 21.6 46 1
Total 1 7 151 21.6 46 1

 

--NFL --

 

 

  Receiving      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
2001 Cin 28 329 11.8 28 1
2002 Cin 69 1,166 16.9 72 5
2003 Cin 90 1,355 15.1 82 10
2004 Cin 95 1,274 13.4 53 9
2005 Cin 97 1,432 14.8 70 9
2006 Cin 87 1,369 15.7 74 7
2007 Cin 93 1,440 15.5 70 8
2008 Cin 53 540 10.2 26 4
2009 Cin 72 1,047 14.5 50 9
2010 Cin 67 831 12.4 42 4
2011 NE 15 276 18.4 53 1
Total 12 766 11,059 14.4 82 67