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Ocho-heaven

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / July 30, 2011

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He didn’t come right out and say it yesterday, but we’re betting Tom Brady is over the moon that Chad Ochocinco will be catching passes for the Pats this season. On the field, it’s a no-brainer. But off the field, Ochocinco is a Shaq-worthy spectacle who’s sure to deflect at least some of the overbearing attention from No. 12 and his supermodel spouse. The football player formerly known as Chad Johnson has a knack for finding the spotlight. He has more than 2 million Twitter followers, his own iPhone app, and a fiancee, Evelyn Lozada, who’s on VH1’s “Basketball Wives.’’ (She happens to be Antoine Walker’s ex.) Of course, Ochocinco also appeared on “Dancing With the Stars’’ - he and partner Cheryl Burke did not win - and he and Terrell Owens teamed up for a talk show on Versus called the “T. Ocho Show.’’ (Ever seen the video for Monica’s single “Everything to Me’’? Ochocinco’s in it.) The peacockish Pro Bowler fancies himself a man for all seasons, not just football. Last spring, he worked out with the Major League Soccer franchise Sporting Kansas City - they opted not to offer him a contract - and he also rode a 1,500-pound bull, albeit for 1.5 seconds, at a Professional Bull Riders event. But all that takes a backseat now. After Pats practice yesterday, Ochocinco, who seemingly tweets every thought that comes into his head, needed fewer than 140 characters to express his excitement about joining the Patriots. “It’s 1 thing to jump and be able to land on 2 feet but I had no idea I was landing in Heaven.’’

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