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T. J. Houshmandzadeh

T. J. Houshmandzadeh

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T. J. Houshmandzadeh, Jr. (icon ; born September 26, 1977) is an American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 wide receiver
Wide receiver
A wide receiver is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is the key player in most of the passing plays. Only players in the backfield or the ends on the line are eligible to catch a forward pass. The two players who begin play at the ends of the offensive line are eligible...

 who currently plays for the Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football team based in Oakland, California. They currently play in the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 of the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the AFC's North Division in the National Football League . The Bengals began play in 1968 as an expansion team in the American Football League , and joined the NFL in 1970 in the AFL-NFL...

 in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft
2001 NFL Draft
The 2001 NFL Draft took place on April 21–22, 2001 at the theater at Madison Square Garden, in New York City. This was the 66th National Football League draft in league history. The draft was broadcast on ESPN both days and eventually moved to ESPN2. No teams elected to claim any players in the...

. He played college football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

 at Oregon State
Oregon State Beavers football
The Oregon State Beavers football team represents Oregon State University in NCAA Division I-A college football. The team first fielded an organized football team in 1893 and is currently a member of the Pacific-12 Conference. The head coach is Mike Riley, with Danny Langsdorf as the offensive...

. Houshmandzadeh is of mixed heritage: his mother is African-American and his father Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

. Houshmandzadeh has also played for the Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

 in 2009 and the Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional football franchise based in Baltimore, Maryland.The Baltimore Ravens are officially a quasi-expansion franchise, having originated in 1995 with the Cleveland Browns relocation controversy after Art Modell, then owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced his...

 in 2010.

Cerritos College


T.J. graduated from Barstow High School
Barstow High School
Barstow High School is a public high school located in Barstow, California. Founded in 1915, the school soon expanded and relocated to its current location in 1938. The school serves about 3,000 students in grades 9 to 12 from across the city, as well as outlying areas...

 in Barstow, California
Barstow, California
Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population was 22,639 at the 2010 census, up from 21,119 at the 2000 census. Barstow is located north of San Bernardino....

. He later enrolled at Cerritos College
Cerritos College
Cerritos College is a public comprehensive community college founded in 1955 located in Norwalk, California. It was named after Rancho Los Cerritos, a ranch that served prominently in the region in the 19th century...

. In his two seasons with the Falcons in 1997 and 1998, he was a two-time First-Team Mission Conference selection at wide receiver and kickoff returner. He wanted to play as running back
Running back
A running back is a gridiron football position, who is typically lined up in the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block.There are usually one or two running...

 his freshman year, but believing he was too tall to play running back, he voluntarily moved to wide receiver. He finished his Falcons career with 1,152 receiving yards on 65 receptions. He also had two 103-yard kickoff returns and an 92-yard punt return.

Oregon State University


Based on his junior college
Junior college
The term junior college refers to different educational institutions in different countries.-India:In India, most states provide schooling through 12th grade...

 performance, Houshmandzadeh was offered an athletic scholarship
Scholarship
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.-Types:...

 at Oregon State University
Oregon State Beavers football
The Oregon State Beavers football team represents Oregon State University in NCAA Division I-A college football. The team first fielded an organized football team in 1893 and is currently a member of the Pacific-12 Conference. The head coach is Mike Riley, with Danny Langsdorf as the offensive...

 by then head coach Dennis Erickson
Dennis Erickson
Dennis Erickson is an American football coach and former player. He was the head football coach at Arizona State University until November 28, 2011, a position he had held since the 2007 season. In 2008 the Arizona Board of Regents had approved a contract extension to keep Erickson at Arizona...

. Oregon State is where he and New England Patriots
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots, commonly called the "Pats", are a professional football team based in the Greater Boston area, playing their home games in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. The team is part of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National...

 wide receiver and former Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the AFC's North Division in the National Football League . The Bengals began play in 1968 as an expansion team in the American Football League , and joined the NFL in 1970 in the AFL-NFL...

 teammate Chad Ochocinco first met as Beaver teammates.

In his sole season as a starter for Oregon State, Houshmandzadeh caught 42 passes for 656 yards and six touchdowns. He helped his team defeat Notre Dame in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl
2001 Fiesta Bowl
The 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, played on January 1, 2001, was the 30th edition of the Fiesta Bowl. The game was played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona between the Oregon State Beavers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish .In the game, Oregon State quarterback Jonathan Smith threw for 305 yards...

. T.J. contributed a receiving touchdown, assisting his team to a 41 – 9 victory.

Cincinnati Bengals


T.J. Houshmandzadeh was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the AFC's North Division in the National Football League . The Bengals began play in 1968 as an expansion team in the American Football League , and joined the NFL in 1970 in the AFL-NFL...

 in the seventh round (204th overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft
2001 NFL Draft
The 2001 NFL Draft took place on April 21–22, 2001 at the theater at Madison Square Garden, in New York City. This was the 66th National Football League draft in league history. The draft was broadcast on ESPN both days and eventually moved to ESPN2. No teams elected to claim any players in the...

.

Houshmandzadeh had a modest rookie season, recording 21 receptions for 228 yards, while also being used to return punts and kickoffs. His most notable achievement was in a game against the Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are a professional football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

, in which he set a franchise record with 126 punt return yards.

After the 2001 season, questions about Houshmandzadeh's speed led to him slimming down to his current playing weight of about 200 pounds, which increased his on-field performance remarkably. Houshmandzadeh has gained a number of rushing yards on reverse plays. In 2004, he rushed six times and gained 51 yards (8.5 yards per attempt); in 2005, he rushed eight times for 62 yards (7.8 yards per attempt) and scored his first touchdown.

He's been called one of the NFL's most underrated players by many pundits. In fact, ESPN.com
ESPN.com
ESPN.com is the official website of ESPN and a division of ESPN Inc. Since launching in 1995 as ESPNet.SportsZone.com, the website has developed numerous sections including: Page 2, SportsNation, ESPN 3.com, ESPN Motion, My ESPN, ESPN Sports Travel, ESPN Video Games, ESPN Insider, ESPN.com's...

 analyst K.C. Joyner noted that with only three dropped passes in the 2005 season, Houshmandzadeh ranked first in the league with a 2.6 dropped pass percentage.

"They're both unique," says former Bengals quarterback
Quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

 Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer is an American professional football quarterback for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals first overall in the 2003 NFL Draft. He played collegiately at the University of Southern California and won the Heisman Trophy in 2002...

 of his primary receivers. "They do completely different things well and complement each other perfectly. T. J.'s a physical guy; a physical blocker, physical when he gets the ball. He's like (the Pittsburgh Steelers'
Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Founded in , the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC...

) Hines Ward
Hines Ward
Hines E. Ward, Jr. is an American football player who currently plays the wide receiver position for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, where he is the longest-tenured current player on the team. He was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL. He played college football at the University of Georgia...

."

Houshmandzadeh missed almost all of the 2003 season with a severe hamstring
Hamstring
In human anatomy, the hamstring refers to any one of the three posterior thigh muscles, or to the tendons that make up the borders of the space behind the knee. In modern anatomical contexts, however, they usually refer to the posterior thigh muscles, or the tendons of the semitendinosus, the...

 injury. In 2004 he was listed as the team's third receiver behind Peter Warrick
Peter Warrick
Peter Warrick is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals fourth overall in the 2000 NFL Draft...

 and Chad Johnson. However, Warrick became injured and Houshmandzadeh was promoted to the starting lineup with Johnson.

Houshmandzadeh took advantage of his opportunity to prove himself, recording 73 receptions for 978 yards and four touchdowns. With the release of Warrick during the 2005 training camp, Houshmandzadeh retained the starting position and he and Johnson soon earned recognition for being among the NFL's most exciting receiving tandems. Houshmandzadeh and the team's high-powered aerial attack is credited as a primary reasons for the Bengals' recent resurgence and he was given a four-year, $13 million contract and an undisclosed bonus in March 2005.

Early in the 2005 season, Houshmandzadeh suffered an injury to his right hand, which limited his effectiveness for several games. In the 2006 season, he battled a recurring minor foot injury that kept him out of the first two games of the regular season. On September 24, 2006, he made his season debut, catching nine passes for 94 yards and two fourth quarter touchdowns in the Bengals' 28-20 win over their division foe Pittsburgh Steelers. The second of these catches was a tough reception in the end-zone against Steelers cornerback
Cornerback
A cornerback is a member of the defensive backfield or secondary in American and Canadian football. Cornerbacks cover receivers, to defend against pass offenses and make tackles. Other members of the defensive backfield include the safeties and occasionally linebackers. The cornerback position...

 Deshea Townsend
Deshea Townsend
Trevor Deshea Townsend is a former defensive back in the National Football League, and is currently a defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals and most recently a player for the Indianapolis Colts...

. Even though he was closely guarded by Townsend, Houshmandzadeh was able to tip Carson Palmer's pass, catch it, and gain possession as he landed on his back. For his performance, he was named the AFC offensive player of the week. In mid 2006, he suffered a mild concussion during the Bengals 49-41 loss to San Diego from an early hit by San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers are a professional American football team based in San Diego, California. they were members of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 Free Safety Marlon McCree
Marlon McCree
Marlon Tarron McCree is an American football safety who is currently a free agent, as well as a mentor and coach. He was drafted by the Jaguars in the Seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft...

. He started as wide-out in both of Cincinnati's following victories against the New Orleans Saints and the Cleveland Browns.

Houshmandzadeh finished the 2006 season with 90 receptions for 1,081 yards and nine touchdowns, all career highs. His 90 receptions and nine touchdown catches led his team. He and Chad Johnson also became the first Bengals teammates ever to each record over 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

Houshmandzadeh opened the 2007 season by scoring a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional football franchise based in Baltimore, Maryland.The Baltimore Ravens are officially a quasi-expansion franchise, having originated in 1995 with the Cleveland Browns relocation controversy after Art Modell, then owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced his...

 and two touchdowns in the loss to the Cleveland Browns. Against the Seattle Seahawks, Houshmandzadeh totaled 141 yards on 12 receptions for one touchdown. By the end of the year, he finished with a franchise record 112 receptions for 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 112 catches tied him with Wes Welker
Wes Welker
-San Diego Chargers :Welker, who was not drafted during the 2004 NFL Draft, signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers. Welker made the Chargers out of training camp, but was released after the first game of the season.-2004 season:...

 for the most in the NFL
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl
Pro Bowl
In professional American football, the Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League . Since the merger with the rival American Football League in 1970, it has been officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference against those...

 for the first time in his career.

Seattle Seahawks


Houshmandzadeh was signed by the Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

 on March 2, 2009 to a five-year $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

40 million contract with $15 million guaranteed. He had also been courted by the Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

. The Cincinnati Bengals reportedly gave him an offer, but he countered the statement saying "Cincinnati's offer wasn't enough for me to continue to play there, I think I should be able to start fresh." He jokingly went on to say "I want to win some games for once", which is a reference to the Bengals' history of losing. Ironically, the Bengals swept the AFC North on their way to a 10-6 record, while Seattle finished 5-11. On September 4, 2010, the Seahawks released Houshmandzadeh.

Baltimore Ravens


Houshmandzadeh signed a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens on September 6, 2010 for the veteran league minimum of $855,000. However, since his $7 million salary with the Seattle Seahawks was guaranteed in his previous contract, Seattle paid him the remaining $6.15 million for 2010. During his short and disastrous tenure in Baltimore, "Housh" mustered only 30 receptions for 398 yards. He managed to score only 3 touchdowns, although one of them won Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the 2010 Divisional Playoff loss vs. Pittsburgh, Houshmandzadeh dropped a critical pass which would've converted a third down and potentially changed the outcome of the game. That, combined with his constant complaining and general poor play, lead to him not being re-signed. He was a free agent through the beginning of the 2011 season before the Oakland Raiders signed him. "If I go to the right team I'll shock a lot of people," he said while he was a free agent. On August 15, 2011 he worked out for the Patriots.http://bleacherbumsports.net/2011/08/14/pats-to-work-out-trio-of-vets-monday/ He also worked out for the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers.

Oakland Raiders


The Oakland Raiders signed Houshmandzadeh on November 1, 2011. The signing reunites Houshmandzadeh with former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer is an American professional football quarterback for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals first overall in the 2003 NFL Draft. He played collegiately at the University of Southern California and won the Heisman Trophy in 2002...

, as well as Head Coach Hue Jackson who was a former assistant with the Bengals.

Andy Furman incident


Andy Furman, a sports commentator on Cincinnati's 700 WLW (700 AM
Amplitude modulation
Amplitude modulation is a technique used in electronic communication, most commonly for transmitting information via a radio carrier wave. AM works by varying the strength of the transmitted signal in relation to the information being sent...

) was fired on November 1, 2006 for calling Houshmandzadeh a racist on the air. On October 5, 2006, Houshmandzadeh failed to appear for a paid appearance on the show the previous evening. The next evening, Furman, a New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 native, alleged that he heard from another source that Houshmandzadeh called him a "punk-ass white boy" for criticizing the no-show. Houshmandzadeh has denied making the comment.

Name


The name Houshmandzadeh (in Persian characters ﻫﻮﺸﻤﻨﺪﺰﺍﺪﻩ) is derived from the Persian name Hooshmandzadeh, a compound name meaning the "son (ﺰﺍﺪﻩ) of wisdom or intelligence".

Houshmandzadeh's name pops up in a 2006 NFL fantasy football
Fantasy football (American)
Fantasy football is an interactive, virtual competition in which people manage professional football players versus one another and that allows people to act as general managers of a pseudo-football team. The players that an individual is able to manage are professional American Football players...

 television commercial where a fantasy player cannot pronounce his surname properly with words like "Houshamazilla", "Houshmazode", "Houshvadilla" and even to "Houshyamomma". Ex-Teammate Chad Ochocinco introduced him as "T. J. Who's-your-momma" on television during an ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

 Monday Night
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Football is a live broadcast of the National Football League on ESPN. From to it aired on ABC. Monday Night Football was, along with Hallmark Hall of Fame, and the Walt Disney anthology television series, one of the longest running prime time commercial network television series...

pre-season game on August 28, 2006. Coincidentally, Houshmandzadeh would have a career season that year. ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

 later referenced Houshmandzadeh's 2006 season in 2011 in a similar fantasy football commercial with the "Karaoke Draft of '06", with a fantasy football fan singing Houshmandzadeh's name to the tune of Barracuda
Barracuda (song)
"Barracuda" is a song written and recorded by the rock band Heart. It was released as the first single from the band's second album Little Queen .-Reception:...

by Heart
Heart (band)
Heart is an American rock band who first found success in Canada. Throughout several lineup changes, the only two members remaining constant are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. The group rose to fame in the 1970s with their music being influenced by hard rock as well as folk music...

.

In Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts, Inc. is a major American developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of video games. Founded and incorporated on May 28, 1982 by Trip Hawkins, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting the designers and programmers...

' Madden NFL
Madden NFL
Madden NFL is an American football video game series developed by Electronic Arts Tiburon for EA Sports. The game series is named after Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden, a well-known former Super Bowl-winning coach of the Oakland Raiders and color commentator...

series of games, Houshmandzadeh's surname is shortened to "Houshmandz". The game limits last names to 12 characters, and his name is 14 characters. Several other players have shortened names, such as Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger
Benjamin Todd "Ben" Roethlisberger , nicknamed Big Ben, is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Steelers in the first round in the 2004 NFL Draft...

, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
-Arizona Cardinals:Rodgers-Cromartie was drafted by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. On July 25, he signed a 5-year, $15.1 million contract with the team that includes $9 million in guarantees. Rodgers-Cromartie was named the starting nickelback for the 2008 season, behind...

, LaRod Stephens-Howling
LaRod Stephens-Howling
LaRod Stephens-Howling is an American football running back and kickoff returner for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft...

 and Kory Lichtensteiger
Kory Lichtensteiger
Kory Adam Lichtensteiger is an American football center currently playing for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft...

. These players' jersey names have been fixed in since Madden 2010, but the 12-character limit still remains.

His surname is often shortened to "Housh" or "Hoosh" by fans, which is sometimes mistakenly interpreted as booing.

External links