We know the Bengals lost yesterday, but it's pretty obvious now that Chad Johnson is our favorite player in the NFL. He has brought a new, brilliant quality to touchdown celebrations: The backstory. Earlier this year, Johnson did the Riverdance against the Bears that might very well have been mocking Brian Urlacher baby-making abilities. And then, yesterday, in a time for NFL cheerleaders that has to be known as the golden age, Johnson celebrated his touchdown by mock-proposing to Daphne, a Bengals cheerleader. He then made a sign for Terrell Owens, saying he "got his back," which isn't exactly true, since Johnson was actually on the field playing a game, while Owens was hanging out at the Airport Marriott.
So, about that Daphne backstory: Not only is she an NFL cheerleader — which of course is loaded with backstory right now — but Daphne also has more in common with Johnson than most cheerleaders. From her bio, she mentions that her hero is Oprah Winfrey — who happens to be Johnson's hero too. She's an account executive at radio Kiss 107 in Cincinnati, which Johnson has professed to being his favorite station. And, of course, her favorite player is also Chad Johnson's favorite player: Chad Johnson.
But it's the Oprah thing that kills us.
Daphne On Oprah: "She is a driven, goal-oriented woman who accomplished much-deserved success and did so gracefully."
Chad On Oprah: "What she's accomplished, there aren't even words for it. That's what I'm trying to do, but in my own way. She networks real well. I don't have that network ability, so I need that networking person who can help me out in whatever way possible because I don't get that here. All I get here is football. So Oprah, call me."
Sometimes when Johnson does his touchdown dances, we think he's beaming messages directly to us.
(Update: A reader points out the spelling of Daphne's "honor" degree from Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kent.: "Cum Lade." We think she means "Laude." We hope.)