Despite his physical appearance, Chad Johnson was more than just flashiness and glamour. He moved to his fame and fortune by thinking smarter instead of thinking harder.
The former star NFL wide receiver flew with Spirit Airlines early in his career and admitted to wearing Claire’s fake jewelry to save money.
“Flying private? I’m not flying private,” he said on Shannon Sharp’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast. A seat. That’s enough,” explained Johnson. “As long as you go from point A to point B. You don’t need private.”
Johnson estimated that he saved 83% of his salary by making shrewd moves like living in a Bengals facility as a rookie.
“I never brought the real thing when I was playing. Never,” he said. “What was the point? I went to Claire. For what? What am I doing it for? Anyway, because of who you are, women I’m going to deal with it. Why buy a $50,000 watch or an $80,000 watch?”
The 45-year-old Johnson, who was a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro in his 11-year NFL career, said he wasn’t perfect and told Sharp that he wasn’t obsessed with material things.
“If you can get to a point in your career where your name is bigger than what you can buy, that’s where the value is,” Johnson, who once changed his last name to “Ochoshinko,” told Sharp.
Instead, Johnson became known for offering generous tips to waiters and waitresses and engaging fans with video games.
“Everybody’s stuck in an image, they have a certain point of view, they’re wealthy. That’s me. It’s pointless,” he shrugged. “Do you know how difficult it is to live consistently like that all the time and fly every day?”
Johnson spent his career primarily in Cincinnati, spending a year in New England. He finished his career with 766 catches for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns.
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