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Just Because: Other Hobbies -- Chad Johnson riding bulls

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

NFL players aren't simply men who play football for mercenary wages and who satisfy the lust of those who hunger to watch modern-day gladiators beat each other into oblivion for the purposes of determining a winner and a loser. No! They're real-live people as well. They run restaurants, they own record labels, they play the guitar. In this occasional series of “Other Hobbies,” we'll show you a slice of life of the man inside the helmet who smashes said helmet into somebody else's helmet, who also probably has other hobbies you might not know about and would find fascinating if only they shared their gift with the world or at least made a YouTube video about it.

Today's subject: Chad Johnson and his bull-riding challenge

I'm sure you noticed this, but former receiver Chad Ochocinco has a new job: working with CBSSports.com as a fantasy football analyst. Not only does he get to work with people like Dave Richard and Jamie Eisenberg, he gets to hang out in the new studio at the illustrious CBSSports.com headquarters in sunny Fort Lauderdale.

ANYWAY, fantasy football analysis isn't Johnson's only hobby. No, he also likes to ride bulls. At least, he did that one time in that one place.

The back story is this: Johnson, then known as Chad Ochocinco, apparantly was bored during the NFL lockout, so after trying out for the MLS team in Kansas City, he was challenged by the Professional Bull Riders to try to ride a bull during an event in Georgia.

If he showed up and got on the bull, the PBR would give him $10,000. If he rode that bull for the standard 8 seconds, the league would give him a new Ford F-150 and allow him to rename the bull he conquered. And if he didn't enter the arena, the PBR would rename the bull “#58 No Show Cinco.”

Well, Johnson -- who said he would rename the bull after Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, because, as Johnson tweeted, “everything he says about me is bull[expletive] anyway” -- gave it his best shot.

After he failed to last for eight seconds by, oh, 6.5 seconds, here's what he had to say.

"I feel good. It was fun. I can cross 'ride a bull' off my bucket list," he said. "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."

Oh, and he also said his true goal wasn't to last for eight seconds.

"My plan,” he later tweeted, “was to survive."

Perhaps now that Johnson is done with football (he is, right?), maybe he can take up a new hobby in his advancing years. Needlepoint, perhaps?

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