Former NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco says he would fly coach and buy fake jewelry to save money while playing in the league

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Former NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco says he would fly coach and buy fake jewelry to save money while playing in the league
Chad Ochocinco runs on the field before a game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
  • Chad Ochocinco says that he would fly coach and buy fake jewelry to save money while he played in the NFL.
  • Ochocinco said that his name was more valuable than any of the jewelry you could wear.
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Former NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco says he was quite frugal throughout his playing career.

Speaking with Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe on his podcast "Club Shay Shay," Ochocinco said that he would fly coach and buy fake jewelry while he played in the league, despite making more than $48 million in his career.

"I ain't flying private. Put me on Spirit," Ochocinco told Sharpe. "Exit row, window seat, that's all I need. As long as I get from point A to point B. I don't need private.

"If you can get to a point in your career where your name becomes bigger than anything you can purchase, there's your value. My name itself, Ochocinco, at one point, was bigger. We talk about watches and jewelry and chains, never bought real anything while I was playing. What was the point? I went to Claire's.

"Why am I buying a $50,000 watch? An $80,000 watch? What time is it real quick?" Ochocinco asked Sharpe.

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Sharpe checked his watch and informed him that it was 20 minutes to four.

"How much that cost me? Time is free," Ochocinco said. "There's nothing I can buy that's bigger than my name alone. So it made no sense."

Ochocinco said that the costs of keeping up appearances would get way out of hand for people that put too much money into flashy purchases.

"You know how hard it is to live like that all the time consistently? To be fly every day?" Ochocinco asked. "It's impossible to sustain.

"People on social media say, 'If I spend this bag, I'm just going to make it back.' Nah. It ain't like you think. They think the fix for the problem is, they give me more money, I'm going to be alright. But the more you make, the more you spend, if you have no discipline and no structure."

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While Ochocinco stays away from overspending where he doesn't need to, he's made a name for himself as a generous tipper since his retirement, once tipping $1,000 for his meal at a Florida restaurant on its first day back open during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Congrats on re-opening, sorry about the pandemic, hope this helps," wrote Ochocinco underneath the tip.

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