One of the risks of legally changing your name to your jersey number (or a Spanish mistranslation of your jersey number) is that you could end up with a team that doesn’t assign you that jersey number.
But Chad Ochocinco is in luck: He will keep wearing No. 85 in Miami.
The Dolphins announced today that Ochocinco, who has worn No. 85 since his rookie year in Cincinnati, got the 85 assignment. Rookie receiver Rishard Matthews, a seventh-round draft pick from Nevada, is currently listed as No. 85 on the Dolphins’ website, but apparently Matthews will have to get a new number.
There’s no word yet on whether Ochocinco bought the number from Matthews, as players sometimes do when they arrive on a new team and their preferred number is already taken, but the number clearly has value to Ochocinco. The man who legally changed his name to Ochocinco because “ocho” means “eight” and “cinco” means “five” and because changing his name legally was the only way to get the NFL to let him put his silly nickname on the back of his jersey probably could have been persuaded to pay Matthews a bundle for the number.
If I were advising Matthews, I’d tell him not to settle for anything less than $85,000.