There was a time when Chad Johnson actually co-hosted a reality show. In 2010, the then-Bengal wide receiver collaborated with teammate Terrell Owens on a six-episode train wreck called The T. Ocho Show.
In 2012, Chad Johnson married a VH-1 reality television star named Evelyn Lozada, and there was a reality television show on the drawing board for the two of them until an argument ensued over a stray condom discovered in Johnson's vehicle, at which point Johnson allegedly dealt a very real head butt to Lozada's dome.
And that was the end of their reality television show on VH-1.
For a guy seemingly surrounded by so much reality, Chad Johnson lives a very unreal life.
As it turns out, a show on VH-1 may not be necessary to allow us to watch Chad Johnson go careening off the cliff of life. It appears that Court TV, Twitter, TMZ and the immediate news cycle we live in will cobble together the story for us.
Earlier this week, the latest episode aired.
So just to go into full-on "television voice guy" mode, ahem...previously on the "Chad Johnson Free Fall":
Chad Johnson Goes To Jail For An Ass Slap!
We covered this chapter of Ocho in depth last week, Zapruder style. Say what you want to about the judge overreacting, but the facts remain:
1. Chad Johnson isn't on probation if he doesn't allegedly head-butt his wife. (More on this in a second.)
2. Chad Johnson isn't in court that day if he doesn't violate his probation by missing three meetings with his probation officer. THREE.
3. Chad Johnson doesn't go to county jail if he just keeps from slapping his attorney on the ass like a clown.
So Johnson's brief incarceration is 99.9999% on Chad Johnson, and 0.0001% on an overzealous judge. I am unwavering in my belief on this.
And as it turns out, if the judge was looking to get her message across to Johnson, it looks like it succeeded, as he appeared to be contrite in court on Monday when the judge allowed him to leave county jail after having served seven days of his original 30-day sentence:
"I just wanted to apologize for disrespecting the court last time," said Johnson, wearing a tan jail jumpsuit with his hands shackled at the waist. "I apologize. I did have time to reflect on the mistakes I made in this courtroom."
Johnson walked out of jail shortly after 4 p.m. and was met by his attorney, Adam Swickle, and sports agent Drew Rosenhaus. Johnson told reporters he was thankful to McHugh because she was the first person to get him to slow down and think about the path his life was taking.
"No one has been able to do it, not even my parents," he said. "I thank her. Everything she did was justified."
All of the other aspects of his original "pre-ass slap" plea agreement also would apply going forward: 25 hours of community service, counseling twice a week, probation extended for three more months. Here's the video of the magical moment where Chad Johnson rejoins society:
So our "playful rapscallion" is back among us, looking to get back on an NFL roster. The narrative with Chad Johnson has always been that he's been more clown than criminal, and when taken in the proper dosage and context, he is "harmless." Ocho being Ocho. How else do you explain the portion of the media up in arms over Judge McHugh's original 30-day sentence conveniently forgetting what the crime was that started this row of dominos in the first place:
HE HEAD-BUTTED HIS WIFE. HE DREW BLOOD.
Well, thanks to TMZ (who, by the way, reports circles around many of the mainstream sports media outlets on things like this), we now have the visual proof that Johnson can dish out some punishment. Behold, the pictures of Evelyn Lozada's forehead.
I'm curious if people look at those pictures and still think the judge overreacted, what with Lozada's forehead looking like she just got done fighting Abdullah the Butcher in a Texas Death Match. (And let's not lose sight of the fact that Johnson had already gotten off from jail time with merely probation on the head-butting offense. He was in court for missing probation meetings!)
And thus ends another episode. As I go back into TV voice guy mode, next week on the "Chad Johnson Free Fall"....
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Support Our Journalism
Johnson is spending a lot of money for a now-unemployed wide receiver -- $45,982.76 a month, TMZ reports.
That figure includes $16,000 in child support payments and about $9,000 a month for his mortgage. As far as the "feeding your family" argument goes, that all makes sense. But TMZ also reports that Johnson is only making $3,000 a month (no word where that's coming from), and his, ahem, optional expenses range a bit beyond that. Johnson is spending $2,500 on food, $2,650 on car expenses, $3,500 on clothes, $5,000 on entertainment, $1,000 on his pets and $250 on personal grooming, according to TMZ.
As television execs try to figure out the next reality television project for Chad Johnson, let's all agree that there's not one single, solitary thing about a guy whose daily sartorial requirements are a T-shirt and sweats spending $3,500 on clothes that's grounded in reality.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.