The NFL lockout has left some players looking at other career options. For some of them there are financial reasons, but one football player just can’t seem to get accustomed to being out of the spotlight.
Chad Ochocinco started off giving Major League Soccer a try. After a less than stellar go on the pitch, he’s now taken a run on the dirt. Fulfilling a long-term dream of riding a bull, Ochocinco lasted what was officially called 1.5 seconds. In reality, he spent more time in the air than on the back of the bull…so long as you don’t include the time the bull was standing under him in the chute.
“I feel good. It was fun,” said Ochocinco after the ride. “I can cross riding a bull off my bucket list.”
Ochocinco had joked on his Twitter account about wanting to ride a bull to pass time during the NFL lockout. PBR COO Sean Gleason caught wind and issued Ochocinco a challenge…$10,000 to attempt to ride a bull at the Lucas Oil Invitational. If Ochocinco managed a full ride of eight seconds, he’d also receive a new Ford F-150 with EcoBoost Engine.
However, the financial part of the agreement was likely secondary to the last enticement. If Ochocinco completed the ride, he’d get the right to permanently re-name the bull. While many would expect Deja Blu’s new moniker to involve being owned by 85, Ochocinco had different ideas on his Twitter account. “Why not name the bull Marvin Lewis, everything he says about me is #Bull[censored] anyway.”
Ochocinco had been out of the spotlight for a few months, so he accepted the challenge. He was to ride Deja Blu as the feature event at intermission of the Lucas Oil Invitational. Gleason stated that Ochocinco generated some much-needed publicity for the PBR. “I think our viewership for this show will be our highest of the year, but I think the effects will be long-ranging,” Gleason said.
“A guy like Chad can come in here and think that this is going to be an easy thing to do and then stand there and say, ‘I had no idea. This is unbelievable.’ That’s going to help our sport more than anything.”
Ochocinco agreed, stating “this sport doesn’t get enough credit. The guys who do this week in and week out deserve the utmost respect. They should be the highest-paid athletes in sports.”
Nine-time world champion and PBR co-founder Ty Murray offered him a two-day crash-course in bull riding.
“We practiced several crash scenarios today,” Murray said. “He’s a phenomenal athlete, he’s very easy to teach because he’s so athletic and aware of his body. But what he did was monumental and to try and ride a bull for 8 seconds with his lack of experience is impossible.”
It turns out that all Ochocinco really got out of the lessons was the crash part. The ride was short, but his purse for the event was gone even quicker; he donated the $10,000 to Feed the Children.
His charitable nature resonated well with the PBR and Ford. “After watching Chad go through the two-day process, the fact that he got on the back of Deja Blu was impressive,” Gleason said. “Following such an inspired effort, the PBR and Ford decided to back up his promise to award the truck.”
Ochocinco is going to give the truck away to one of his Twitter followers. As of yet he hasn’t determined how he is going to pick who get the vehicle.