In the last week, former Dolphins Wide Receiver Chad Johnson was arrested for domestic battery, fired from three jobs (the Dolphins, Hard Knocks, and Ev and Ocho) and is now being divorced by his wife, Reality Star Evelyn Lozada.
Tuesday night’s episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks documented the former Ochocinco’s final days in Dolphins training camp, up to and including his termination by Head Coach Joe Philbin.
A humble, apologetic, and slipper-clad Johnson was filmed while meeting with Philbin the day after his arrest. The coach basically tells him he and the team aren’t a good fit for each other, thanks him for his time, and sends him on his way. In the meantime, staff is seen packing up his locker.
At one point, Johnson is practically pleading for his job, saying he’s never been in trouble before (which we now know is not completely true). But it’s too little, too late. And Johnson’s off-the-field issues were only compounded by the fact that he wasn’t exactly stellar on the field either. The only pass that came his way during Saturday’s first preseason game went right through his hands.
So if Philbin was looking for a reason to keep him, Johnson didn’t give him one. If anything, he made it way too easy for the coach to say “so long,” and “next…” But that’s the NFL.
Hard Knocks, baby…hard knocks. Especially if you’re Chad Johnson this week.
Guilty or not, if you didn’t watch that episode and feel a little sorry for Chad, you’re missing a sensitivity chip. Or something. (Thank you, Jennifer Aniston.)
I want to personally thank Mr. Johnson, (formerly Ochocinco, formerly Johnson) for the fantastic story lines he created for me over these last several months. He is truly a sports writer’s dream.
And so, I leave you with this:
In episode one of Hard Knocks you said that if not for football, your backup plan was porn. Let’s please not go there.
But may you find peace, happiness, and success wherever life brings you next.
And if Ocho’s Johnson is that place…well then, so be it.
We’re pulling for you anyway.