As Johnson continued to make news, and went from Johnson to Ochocinco, his celebrity continued to grow. His Twitter follower count climbed into the millions and his attention-getting began to wear on Marvin Lewis. There was a rift between Lewis and his star WR and Chad asked to be traded, although the Bengals declined the request. While Chad gained popularity for doing things like randomly treating a couple of hundred fans to free dinner, or for riding bulls, and playing soccer, in Cincinnati, his star was dimming as fans wanted more production and less play. Finally, after a disastrous Bengals season in 2010, he was traded to the Patriots.
It’s easy to criticize Chad, and point out that he was a locker room cancer, and too concerned with himself. He does love attention and always has, but for most of his career Bengals fans were willing to overlook it, and even encourage it. Success allows the privilege of eccentric and even bad behavior. In the NFL, if you can run fast and score TDs, a lot can be overlooked, by teams, the media, and fans alike. When Chad was leading the league in receiving, a few fines for acting crazy was fine, but when his production dropped, suddenly he was a cancer.