Chad Johnson: Eye of the Tiger

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    The NFL all-star wideout who never holds his tongue talks to GIANT.

    Never mind Webster’s, the NFL (aka the No Fun League) has deemed “controversy” to be a four-letter word. If so, four-time Pro Bowl receiver Chad Johnson has cussed like a sailor his whole career—from his infamous touchdown celebrations and solid gold smile, to off-field antics like racing a horse and daring boxing champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to go toe-to-toe with him for three rounds. Yeah, number 85 likes the hype. Believe it or not though, this year, the self-styled “Ocho Cinco” has rededicated his focus to a few other four-letter words: “team”, “wins” and of course, “ring”–as in “Superbowl ring.”

    On his rookie season vs. his sophomore season:
    “I got that first year under my belt, nice and quiet, got my feet wet and understood what I was doing. Then I let Chad come out. Every bit of Miami—trash-talking, celebrating, flashy gold teeth, the Mohawk, everything.”

    On the Baltimore Ravens:
    “They’re the only games I really get excited for. Against Baltimore, I get so hype, like the feeling you had the night before Christmas when you was little. And we got ‘em the first game of the [2007] season? Monday night? They shoulda never gave me no platform like that!”

    On his relationship with coach Marvin Lewis:
    “Marvin Lewis and I are different from any other player-coach pair in the NFL. 3 in the morning, I have an idea on something, ‘Marvin I think this might work on Sunday,’ ah man. Usually there’s a line kept between player and coach? That line is crossed. You would think he’s my dad. I leave the club and call him just to be calling.”

    On his infamous touchdown celebrations:
    “They forgot to renew the rule against celebrations this year. So many people have gotten in trouble this off-season, the competition committee isn’t even worried about it. Therefore, I’m gonna have fun. All I’ll say is Monday Night, Hall of Fame. Leave it at that.”

    On his 40-plus “Alley Boyz” entourage from Miami:
    “I’m still with the same group from way back, the people I grew up with. Difference is, when I’m around, the bad stuff has to cease. I ain’t no angel, but I’m not gonna do anything to jeopardize my opportunity. Other players, their people are still doing the same thing.”

    On whether NFL players are being unfairly scrutinized by law enforcement and the media:
    “Once you get in trouble once, you’re under the microscope. They’re looking for you. But it’s not them, it’s what we’re doing.”

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