Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson watching warmups during a 2022 Dolphins-Bengals game. Former Bengals Chad Johnson watches warmups before the first quarter of the NFL Week 4 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins at PayCor Stadium in downtown on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. (Sam Greene/The Cincinnati Enquirer, via USA Today Sports.)

Peyton and Eli Manning’s ManningCast alternate Monday Night Football broadcast from Omaha Productions has had plenty of notable guests over the years from the worlds of sports and entertainment. But, as Peyton said this May, there’s one key requirement: “The criteria for being a guest is you gotta love football.” One of their guests for their next alternate broadcast during the Cincinnati Bengals-Jacksonville Jaguars game Monday (8 p.m. Eastern, ESPN2) is quite the notable entertainment figure these days, but he’s also well-known for his football career (especially in Cincinnati), and his love of football. That would be Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson.

One of Johnson’s main media gigs at the moment is co-hosting the Nightcap with Unc and Ocho podcast with Shannon Sharpe. That DraftKings-presented podcast, from The Volume, Shay Shay Media, and iHeartPodcasts, recorded 25 million YouTube views in November. It also posted 61 million social views and 1.2 million podcast downloads that month.

Nightcap has featured plenty of notable moments. At times, it’s seen serious football discussion, including talk on the Jerry Jeudy-Steve Smith Sr. exchange and Tom Brady’s comments on NFL mediocrity). It’s also delved deep into Johnson and Sharpe’s personal lives, sometimes in absurd ways with talk of lobster and gas. And it’s had some moments in the middle, such as Johnson’s conversation about Viagra as a football performance enhancer. So, considering that the ManningCast is known for both football moments and non-football moments, and that Johnson certainly does have that love for football, he seems like he’ll be a good fit for the show.

Nightcap isn’t Johnson’s first or only venture into the media realm, either. He’s also a panelist on the new-look weekly Inside The NFL on The CW this year. And he worked for Fox Sports at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year, co-hosting FIFA World Cup Tonight with Kate Abdo and Maurice Edu. (That followed a long line of soccer ventures from Johnson, including playing in The Soccer Tournament this year, playing in the NPSL and UPSL in 2018 and 2019, trying out for Sporting Kansas City during the 2011 NFL lockout, and repeatedly showing off his FIFA prowess, including on ELEAGUE on TBS in 2020.)

Johnson’s dabbled in other sports over the years, including boxing and bull riding. And he’s done a fair bit else in the media realm, on a wide variety of topics. Some of Johnson’s other media activities over the years includeSports Soup segment on Versus and a talk show there in 2010-11 with Terrell Owens, He also made a Dancing With The Stars appearance in 2010, guest-hosted WWE Raw that year, had his own VH1 dating show (Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch), and has appeared in movies and TV shows American ReunionBlue Mountain StateThe League, and The Game.

On the football front, Johnson followed a college career at Santa Monica College and then Oregon State by being picked in the second round (36th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Bengals. He played for Cincinnati from 2001-2010, then spent time with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. In 2014, he headed to the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes, and in 2017, he played in a game for the Fundidores de Monterrey in the Fútbol Americano Profesional de México league. So he certainly has plenty of football experience all over North America. We’ll see just what he brings to the ManningCast, but it should be entertaining.

This week’s ManningCastfrom Omaha Productions, ESPN, and the NFL, begins at 8 p.m. ET Monday on ESPN2. A full guest lineup will be announced later.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.