Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chris Henry 1983-2009

The NFL has lost one of it’s more conflicted stars.

Cincinnati Bengals troubled wide-reciever, Chris Henry died yesterday, a day after falling out of the back of a pick-up truck and hitting his head.

He was 26.

Henry’s brief time in the NFL is the prime example of how things can go horribly wrong for someone with so much promise and praise.

He was one of the best players in the history of the West Virginia football program and was drafted by the Bengals in the third-round in 2005 and came to the team with much fanfare – and baggage.

In his rookie year he caught 31 passes for 422 yards and 6 touchdowns and the following year dodged the sophmore slump by making 36 catches for 605 yards and 9 touchdowns.

But as good as Henry was at escaping defenders – he could never run away from the law.

Henry’s wrap-sheet includes drunk-driving offense, gun charges, marijuana possession, assault and criminal damaging.

From 2006-2008, he was suspended for 14 games total for violating a number of NFL conduct policies and had been deemed, along with “Pacman” Jones, to be the biggest troublemaker in the league.

He was released by the Bengals in April of 2008 while serving 7 months house arrest for throwing a beer bottle through the window of a man’s car who he believed owed him money...but it was the wrong guy.

He was re-signed not long after that by Cincinnati because of a number of injuries to their wide reciever core, and because of a promise that Henry had cleaned up his act...and he had.

He was a father to three kids and wanted to get his life back on track and continue his life in football.

But it was short-lived.

In November of this year he was placed on injured reserve because of a broken forearm – and never played again.

In a weird twist of irony, it was nothing to do with his criminal record that got him killed, it was an injury he incurred on the football field, while trying to prove to doubters around the NFL that he was a changed man.

If he was not injured that day, he would have been in Cincinnati, practicing with his team and preparing for a game against San Diego – a game in which, if they won, they would be crowned division champs.

Instead he was in Charlotte, North Carolina where it appears he got into an argument with his fiancee who got into a pickup truck and drove away...Henry chased after her, jumped into the back of the truck, but fell and never recovered.

Was Chris Henry a bad guy? I don’t know. Was he someone I would want on my football team? Probably not. Am I mad when I see athletes with all the talent in the world, flush it all away for whatever reason? Definately. If I had half his talent, I’d have a pretty good NFL career under my belt when it was all said and done.

But watching the reaction of players around the Cincinnati locker room, you can’t help but feel bad for the guy.

Chris Henry was 26 and still had probably a half-decade left in the NFL before his death.

But instead it’s just a sad ending to a life that suffered more hits off the field than on it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dec 3

There are a lot of people who have won and lost in the Tiger Woods scandal…so for those of you scoring at home…here is how I see the fallout…and how everyone is affected.


1 – Elin Woods…of course, finding out that her husband is an alleged cheater and for having the spotlight shone on her private life for nothing of her own doing. Ask 20 women if they found out their husband was cheating if they would chase him down with a golf club and 18 of them would say yes…the other two would use something with a sharper edge. She now has to either decide to be a forgiving wife or reach for the pockets of her famous husband and hold on tight. Either way her world has been rocked, she’s been embarrassed and her ego has been shot.

2 – Tiger Woods…and I don’t mean the 50 million dollars a year he will probably end up losing…I mean the fact that he will never be able to go to his sanctuary of golf to work or relax. The course is the only thing he has known in his life and from now on he will not be questioned about the 67 he shot at Pebble Beach…it’ll be about the cart-girls waiting in the clubhouse.

3 – Yapster Parnevik…excuse me Jesper…who the hell are want to know the sad, pathetic thing about your live Jesper – the most famous thing you’ve ever done is introduce Tiger to Elin…and I don’t think ol’ Jesper tapping Tiger on the shoulder and saying “hey best buddy, I know a great girl you’ve got to meet”…more like him sheepishly wandering up to Tiger…correcting Woods when Tiger orders Jesper to get him another box of tees and saying “that girl over there likes you”…guess how many PGA Tour wins he has – 5…the best showing he’s had in a Major…tied for 2nd in 1994 and 1997…maybe you should keep your mouth shut spend more time in the driving range than looking for your 5 minutes of fame, reminding people that you still exist…you’ve chastised the most powerful man in your sport…smart move…don’t wait by the mailbox for all your Tour invitations…not to mention the obvious Man-Code violations…you can make an argument that out of this whole dilemma – HE looks the worst.

4 – General Public…we have hung on the edge of our seat for a week now, wondering what will happen next …and don’t lie…hoping it gets worse…again another sad example of how our lives are so dull and boring that we get a rise in our pants when someone we’ve never met…who could literally buy us…goes through drama…we sit back, laugh, pop a bag of popcorn and hope the carnage never ends…cause there’s nothing in our own lives to look forward to.

And now the winners:

1 – The PGA…you can’t buy this kind of press…yes it’s negative and yes it’s about your star player…but tell me there’s a person in the world who will stop playing golf because Tiger cheated on his wife…this is one of the few quiet times in the PGA Tour…but it’s been the biggest topic of conversation for a week…there’s drama in the PGA now…it’s not your grandfather’s league anymore…the biggest name in your league is no better than Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth…the squeaky clean/boring image of the PGA is gone…and it’s the best thing that could happen to the sport.

2 – Phil Mickelson…what does Phil have to do with this...well, arguably the most hated golfer on the Tour now looks like a saint…Phil has dropped out of tournaments recently to support his wife Amy who has been very sick…he’s been by her side and bypassed a few paychecks to do so…he was immediately punished with the rivalry tag when him and Tiger became 1 and 2…thus making him the bad guy…now the bad guy doesn’t look so bad…Phil has replaced Tiger by being the gentleman of a gentlemen’s game…by being everything Tiger hasn’t been at home.

3 – Tiger’s Girls… they get their 20 minutes of fame and they can always walk around their tables at the MGM Grand or in Times Square and say “I’m the girl that ruined Tiger Woods marriage”…and who knows…maybe they will get a cameo or Playboy spread here and there…and let’s be honest…these women weren’t looking for love anyways…they wanted money, attention and to be in the headlines…and they got their wish.

4 – Tiger Woods… I know, you’re thinking …how is Tiger Woods coming out of this…well…the one thing he’s now shaken from his persona is his image…he is no longer the Golden Boy who has returned to Earth 3 days after he was crucified…he’s a human…he makes mistakes…and not just misreading a putt…he will no longer be looked at as the person every male on the planet should emulate…he’s just another athlete who’s cheated on his wife…and Tiger is undoubtedly thrilled that label is a thing of the past.

The Tiger Woods saga will never end, if Tiger spoke up or not. But life will move on for Tiger…and when he’s 85…he will still be filthy rich and remembered as the greatest golfer of our time…even if he won’t be winning Husband of the Year anytime soon.