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A long 5 hour flight from Cincinnati to San Diego will be a time of deep and solemn reflection on their friend Chris Henry, who lost his life this past week in a strange and bizarre accident.

Many questions that may never be answered.  Hundreds of memories that may bring laughter.  Personal fears and worries now have to be adjusted... and evaluation of being MORE than an athlete will come up on this trip.

Some players who hurt bad enough will react differently than others who are facing the same thing.  Emotional pain lasts a long time and dealing with death isn't ever easy.  It's strange.  No one likes to even "go there" in their mind... so that's why as an athlete, other vices and uses of time will sure be on the Temptation List... but the greatest thing that one can do is face it as reality.  

A pill can be taken to cause one to feel numb, then as soon as it took the pain away, the need and desire to have another pill is there.  An athlete has to face this also.  One can't live by popping pills just to deal with the loss of a friend.

Drinking has to be limited at times like this, because the bottle also can be a crutch that athletes can run to hoping to take the ache away.  Crutches are used but have to be discarded so that the healing process can go on.

Everyone has their security blanket and each player knows what has gotten him or her through the last loss of a dear friend or loved one.  The key that each player this week needs to do... as they arrive in San Diego is to realize that it's OK to cry, laugh, look happy and even to look completely disgusted and discouraged.

Chris Henry is gone.  He will not be here this week, and next week and forever... but all of that is way too much to handle today.  On a flight, they will dwell on the good times.  Much reflection.  They will talk openly of good times they have had.  This will bring the players even closer than any other time.

Bengals Coach, Marvin Lewis, has already talked all that he can about who they are and what Sunday is all about.  These athletes are professional and they know that Sunday will be a game that the entire world watches to see how they react.  Many want the Cincinnati Bengals to lose.  Some have already written them off... yet for each player who got on this flight will arrive with one thing on their mind and that is... bring home a Victory for Chris Henry... and come back home with wounded emotions... to continue healing... showing up each week with a desire greater than ever before to show what unity, integrity and hunger to win is all about.  

There will be a long dark shadow of remembrance on Sunday.  In the shadow of Chris Henry, the Bengals will win and they will win big.  I have to believe that something good will come out of this.  

Mike Brown really liked Chris Henry.  Marvin Lewis felt that he had some of the greatest talent on the team, and Defense Coaches from other teams said, "when playing the Bengals the deep threat that worried them was Chris Henry."  

Article by, Mark Arnold


  1. This is such a true post!
    I never really thought of players in this light before. Some of them, just like Henry, had/have crutches. Maybe this will shed some more truth on players and they will rethink their own lives/addictions.
    After seeing Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson crying on television, it showed how close knit this team truly is. I follow Chad on TWITTER and on USTREAM (his video blog) and he posted that 85 (chads number) plus 15 (henry) equals 100% greatness. That has also showed the difference this year in CINCI! They have had greatness this year and they have lost greatness. But, like you have said...they will learn to be winners in their own lives from this, and they will learn to be winners on the field. Go Bengals! You are in our prayers!

  2. It’s such a tragedy to lose a talented young man at the age of 26, with unexplored potential who was turning his life around. I’m saddened along with the Bengals organization and the NFL, which was hoping to see this talented young man, develop as a man that would far exceed his football skill set. Chris Henry was not just a football player, but he was also some one’s son, brother, father, uncle, cousin, nephew. And last but certainly not least some one’s friend.

    Rick Boykin

  3. Very well said, hopefully there will be more positive that will come from this tragedy. We will be thinking of Chris every time we see the Bengal stripes.