Chad Johnson spent 11 years as a professional football player. Now he's joining the media to talk about a different kind of football.
The former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver was announced as one of three personalities who will anchor Fox Sports' "World Cup Tonight" studio show during the global event this fall. Joining Johnson in the studio are host Kate Abdo and former U.S. men's national team player Maurice Edu.
Anyone familiar with Johnson off the field knows he has long been a soccer fanatic, going back to his days as a youth soccer player. You only need to scan his Twitter feed to see that soccer content far outnumbers his old workplace. That interest became major news in 2011 during the NFL lockout, when he received a trial with Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City and played in a reserve game.
From Fox Sports:
“We’re thrilled to be putting an absolute exclamation point at the end of every match day with FOX Sports’ star-studded FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT team,” said Neal. “Kate, Mo and Chad bring expertise, experience and originality to FOX Sports’ nightly coverage of the tournament, and we look forward to having them, along with a few surprise guests, raise the level of excitement in recapping all the action for viewers across America.”
Johnson's soccer career continued after he retired from American football, joining the semi-pro Boca Raton FC. He has also tried his hand at professional bull riding and exhibition boxing. The man enjoys breaking out of his comfort zone.
Of course, most American sports fans will be more familiar with Johnson's NFL career, in which he posted 11,059 receiving yards and 67 touchdowns and garnered six Pro Bowl nods. You might also remember some name changes.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is scheduled to kick off on Nov. 21.