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An Unfinished Life: A Tribute to Chris Henry


When people look back on the troubled life of Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Chris Henry, there will be different views. Some will think of theChris Henry constant arrests, others will envy his big-play ability, and some will wonder what exactly happened on the back of that pick-up truck which led to his untimely death.

When the Philadelphia Eagles  were looking for help at the wideout position, one name that came up was Chris Henry. Whether you liked him or not, the guy could flat out play. But at the tender age of 26, Chris Henry has passed away.

What most disgusts me this morning is the numerous derogatory comments about Henry on the ESPN Message Boards. Even during a time of tragedy, there are people who have posted racially motivated hated and have focused on the “Bad Boy” image Chris Henry had. Sadly, Henry gave them fuel for their ugly fires.

During his time at West Virginia, Henry was ejected from a game and suspended for another and former WVU Coach Rich Rodriguez  told Henry that he was an embarrassment to himself and the program. Henry was labeled as a problem child.

Nevertheless, Henry was given a chance by the Bengals and he showed he could play the game. Henry became a vital part of the Bengals offense in 2005 and helped them reach the playoffs. Despite the future looking so bright however, Henry could not shake his troubled past.

After getting arrested five times, the Bengals and Henry parted company. With no other team taking a chance on Henry, the Bengals would give him one last chance and he would make the most of it.

Chris Henry worked like a demon during the off-season and got both his personal and professional life in order. Henry was raising his three children, seemed to be at peace with his fiancé and was doing great things on the field. Then on November 8th, Henry broke his left forearm in a win over the Baltimore Ravens and the man who found his game and God was sidelined once again. This time, it was because he was trying to help the team win and do the right thing.

The report from the Associated Press states that Chris Henry may have been involved in a domestic dispute which led to his falling out of the back of a pick-up truck and eventual death. People across the nation are saying that Chris Henry reverted to his old ways, but we really don’t know. What we do know is that Chris Henry got hurt in the line of his NFL duty, was trying to do the right thing, and seemed to always be fighting demons.

We should admire the fact that Henry fought hard to restore his image. Anyone who knew Chris Henry would tell you he truly was a great person who was greatly misunderstood. If you look closely into the eyes of Chris Henry, you can see a sadness that he was always trying to overcome. He did that best on the football field. May he rest in peace.

photo: www.sportinglife.com