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Sending Ochocinco on his way

If riding a bull and trying out for a professional soccer team weren't enough, Chad Ochocinco is adding yet another stunt to his odd résumé of career achievements. David Butler II/US Presswire

A huge cry of joy went up in my home this week when Chad Ochocinco announced he was going to live with a New England Patriots fan for the first few weeks of this season.

That gets him out of our place.

Thank you, Jesus.

No more musket shooting in the backyard. No more cleaning up after his practice bull, Tornado. No more all-night oral readings from his autobiography. Anybody want to buy some copies? We have 11,000 in the basement.

Chad hasn't decided which fan he'll live with in New England, but he says his main requirement is the fan has to have "Internet and an Xbox."

You aren't kidding. That's how this whole thing started.

One afternoon, there was all this banging on our door and it turned out to be Chad, his Prius out front, talking about how he had to have an Internet connection right away, how it was urgent, and could he come in and get our password. So we let him in.

Wasn't much of an emergency. He just had to tweet: "Cocoa Puffs -- grtst serial ever!!!" Next time we turned around, he was on our Xbox, then sleeping on our couch, then moving into the guest room with him and his pet tiger, Emilio. He says Emilio ate Snowball because Snowball attacked, but we still aren't sure. I never heard of a hamster attacking anything.

Chad's all right, at first. Until you find out about Bad Chad and Dad Chad.

Dad Chad is when his four kids come to visit -- Ochoseis, Ochosiete, Ochoocho and little Uno y Media. Four kids. Never been married. Not easy to pull off.

He's not what you call a discipliner. Mostly, the kids have to discipline him. "Dad, no tweeting while driving." "No, Dad, pistachios are not dinner." "Dad, we don't need your autograph. We HAVE your autograph!"

Chad has a different kind of attention deficit disorder. If he's not getting enough attention, he thinks the world is in disorder.

He plans to wrestle an alligator. He tried out for a soccer team with absolutely zero chance of making it. He'd come into our room at 3 in the morning and ask us what we thought of his latest touchdown celebration scheme.

"You think Coach Belichick would bench me if I scored, then made out with the ref?"

"Yes."

"What if I scored, then pulled out a white wig, stood on a soapbox and said, 'I regret that I have but one set of hands to give to my team?' You know? 'Cause it's Boston?"

"Yes."

"What if I scored, then cut the ball into little pieces and served it on a plate to the guy I beat?"

"Oh, yes."

Bad Chad would watch "Dancing with the Stars" reruns for hours. Or he'd use up all the hot water practicing his Hall of Fame speech in the shower. Or he'd come out of his bathroom with a half bottle of his Eau de Chad on. My kids called him Ochostinko.

But the worst was when his fiancée would visit. You probably have seen her -- Evelyn Lozada? Star of the reality hair-pulling show "Basketball Wives," where she specializes in stiletto brawls at bars? Engaged to former NBA star Antoine Walker? Twice? The woman whom Terrell Owens' PR lady recently called "a walking yeast infection"?

The two of them together equal more head swelling than a Macy's Parade. Get this -- they're already planning the births of their in-vitro-fertilized twins -- which they've already named Pepe and Esteban -- and she's not even pregnant yet! What's he going for -- Ocho-Dad?

When she'd leave, we'd turn to him and say, "Leave. We don't want you here anymore, Chad. Get out!"

And he'd look into our eyes, pause a long while and go, "What if I changed my name to Chad ChaChing? You think that would trend pretty high?"

And people say he doesn't block.

We tried everything. Tried playing music he hated, but he likes everything from Rascal Flatts to Kanye to Pavarotti, at 11 out of 10. Do you know how insane-making that gets?

We tried pretending the house was haunted, but he just turned it into an episode of his reality show.

You've heard of hanging chads? This was a Chad that wouldn't stop hanging.

Finally, it hit us. Operation Ocho Go.

We started by putting up posters of Antoine Walker everywhere and pretending we were huge fans. "What?" we'd say innocently. "You have some sort of connection to Antoine?"

Then we pretended to be on the cell with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a lot. "Really, Roger? Two hundred grand? Per tweet?" That's when Chad's eye started twitching.

Finally, the capper. We all started wearing Darrelle Revis jerseys. He left that night.

Good luck to you, Yet to Be Named Patriots Fan. Hope you've got a big backyard.

Tornado and Emilio will arrive by crate.


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Rick Reilly is the 11-time National Sportswriter of the Year. He contributes essays and commentary to "SportsCenter" and ESPN/ABC golf and tennis coverage. He's also the host of "Homecoming," ESPN's unique, one-hour interview show set in the hometowns of legendary athletes. For more Rick, check out the archive.

Feel like taking a detour from sane sports? Try Rick's latest book, "Sports from Hell."