“I Never Bought Real Anything When I Was Playing.” | Ochocinco Becomes The Financial Role Model The NFL Never Knew It Needed

Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson stopped by Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” to drop gems on how he kept his wealth by not getting caught up in keeping up with the Joneses while a player in the NFL. Chartered flights? Nope. Forget Jack Harlow’s “First Class” song; Chad has settled on a budget airline and a basic seat, utterly changing how a baller talks about balling.

“Fly private? Sh*t, I ain’t flying private,” Johnson said to Sharpe on his “Club Shay Shay” episode. “Spirit. Put me on Spirit. Exit row. Window seat. That’s all I need. As long as I get from point A to point B. I don’t need private.”

Ochocinco Avoided Ending Up Broke 

Nearly four out of five former NFL players either go bankrupt or suffer intense financial distress within two years of retirement, per Sports Illustrated. Ochocinco avoided the trappings of purchasing expensive items like vehicles during his career, taking an alternate route but still achieving the look of ultimate success.

“Probably some of the cars, maybe in year four,” Ochocinco continued. “But I didn’t purchase them; I leased everything. Bugatti, Ferrari, I did it all.”

He knew that he was building his brand through his athleticism and subsequent pop culture relevance. That allowed him to devalue luxury brands and place proper value on himself.

“Athletes, more so, if you can get to a point in your career where your name becomes bigger than anything you can purchase, there’s your value,” he continued. “My name itself, Ochocinco at one point, even still to this day, is bigger than [anything]. Why am I driving a Ferrari? Why am I driving a Rolls-Royce and I’m Ocho?”

Are Those CZ’s?

That thought process extended to adornments like jewelry, of which Johnson happily wore the costume version.

“I never brought real anything when I was playing. Never,” he said. “What was the point? I went to Claire’s. For what? What am I doing it for? The women are going to deal with you anyway, because of who you are, and then the other women, who are really doing their homework done Googled how much you making already. Why am I buying a $50,000 watch, $80,000 watch?”

“Everybody is caught up in image and looking a certain way and being rich. It’s me. It’s pointless,” he said with a shrug. “You know how hard it’s to live like that all the time, consistently, and be fly every day?”

Is Ochocinco A Fiscal Savant? 

Still, Johnson buys his family the authentic items they want but with caution.

“The kids, I allow them to do the designer and the nice stuff because I saved 80-83 percent of my salary, so it’s OK, and I have stuff coming in already,” Ochocinco added. “So life is good because I was able to sustain and keep most of my wealth that I made when I was playing.”

“I allow the kids to enjoy, but I need them to understand there’s gonna come a time you’re gonna have to get off that payroll, but for right now, I will always be there for them. No matter what they want. Long as you don’t try to live a lifestyle that you know you can’t afford.”

From his nutritionally unsound but fiscally low McDonald’s habit to placing his brand value over that of corporate luxury, Chad Johnson is the role model that the NFL body politic didn’t know it needed.

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