Chad Johnson/Ochocinco came in a disappointing fourth (once again, if I’m remembering correctly), a shockingly low ranking for the man who turned taunting into an art form. I considered sticking around to see who was No. 1, but I decided to go downstairs for a snack instead. When TV and pudding cups fight for my attention, the creamy chocolate always wins.
Anyway, in an effort to make up for ESPN’s blatant disrespect of Ochocinco’s end zone antics, here is a list of Chad’s most memorable celebrations (with links to videos when possible). Yes, he’s gone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce about the magical gloating of 2005.
10. Cleveland Leap (Youtube) — After his second touchdown of the game, Johnson jumped into Cleveland’s infamously rowdy fan section, the Dawg Pound. In the video, an interview with Fox 19, Chad says the hostile fans poured beer all over him.
The game: Bengals at Browns, September 16, 2007. Chad’s numbers: 209 yards, two TDs. The result: Browns 51, Bengals 45.
9. Sombrero (Youtube) — Ochocinco hauled in a 36-yard touchdown pass to put the Bengals up 14-7 in the second quarter. Back on the sideline, he played dress-up with a poncho and sombrero. The video includes this wonderfully educational graphic: “Spanish 101: Ochocinco = 8/5, Ochenta y Cinco = 85.”
The game: Lions at Bengals, December 6, 2009. Chad’s numbers: 137 yards, one TD. The result: Bengals 23, Lions 13.
8. River Dance (Youtube) — Johnson caught an 18-yard touchdown pass, then mocked Michael Flatley (and maybe Brian Urlacher) by breaking into a jig. This video includes some wonderful bagpipe music.
The game: Bengals at Bears, September 25, 2005. Chad’s numbers: 77 yards, two TDs. The result: Bengals 24, Bears 7.
7. CPR — After a 14-yard score, Johnson got down on all fours and tried to resuscitate the ball. Without video evidence, it’s difficult to know if his heroic efforts were successful.
The game: Bengals at Jaguars, October 9, 2005. Chad’s numbers: 52 yards, one TD. The result: Jaguars 23, Bengals 20.
6. Camera Man (NFL.com) — Johnson broke a two-month touchdown drought in his signature style, commandeering a CBS television camera and panning across the field. The highlight video also includes some great footage of Dhani Jones arriving at the stadium on his bicycle.
The game: Titans at Bengals, November 25, 2007. Chad’s numbers: 103 yards and three TDs. The result: Bengals 35, Titans 6.
5. Hall-of-Fame Jacket (NFL.com) — With the Bengals opening the season at home on Monday Night Football, everyone knew Chad would come up with something special. After scoring a touchdown to put Cincinnati up 7-0, Johnson put on a yellow jacket. Large black letters on the back spelled out “Future H.O.F 20??”
The game: Ravens at Bengals, September 10, 2007. Chad’s numbers: 95 yards, one TD. The result: Bengals 27, Ravens 20.
4. Fine Sign — Johnson scored, then retrieved an orange sign from behind a snow bank that said, “Dear NFL, PLEASE don’t fine me AGAIN!!!!!” The league fined him $10,000.
The game: 49ers at Bengals, December 14, 2003. Chad’s numbers: 91 yards, one TD. The result: Bengals 41, 49ers 38.
3. Santa Chad (NFL.com) — Playing on Christmas Eve, Johnson followed a 41-yard touchdown catch by pulling out a red Santa bag and tossing footballs into the stands as gifts to the fans.
The game: Bills at Bengals, December 24, 2005. Chad’s numbers: 117 yards, one TD. The result: Bills 37, Bengals 27.
2. Ode to Tiger — Chad caught a 54-yard touchdown pass, then used the orange pylon from the corner on the end zone as a putter to knock the ball into an imaginary hole. Completing the Tiger Woods impression, Chad celebrated his shot by pumping his fist and awkwardly high-fiving a teammate.
The game: Ravens at Bengals, November 27. 2005. Chad’s numbers: 88 yards, one TD. The result: Bengals 42, Ravens 29.
1. The Proposal (Myspace, seriously) — Johnson caught a 68-yard touchdown, then ran over to a cheerleader on the sideline, removed his helmet, got down on one knee, and proposed. Only adding to the outrageous scene, the camera followed Chad back to the bench, where he wrote “T.O. I got you baby” on a white marker board.
The game: Colts at Bengals, November 20, 2005. Chad’s numbers: 189 yards, one TD. The result: Colts 45, Bengals 37.