Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Dec 2009

UPDATE: Chris Henry Dies From Accident Injuries

Breaking news Thursday morning indicates that Henry has passed away as a result of the injuries suffered in the accident detailed below.

On Wednesday, Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Twitter that Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry was been seriously injured in a Charlotte car accident.

Henry reportedly suffered a serious head injury in the crash, and was listed at a Charlotte hospital in "serious" condition.

Henry was thrown from the bed of a pickup truck while he was arguing with his fiancee, who was driving the truck.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 16 Dec 2009

90 comments, Last at 18 Dec 2009, 10:00am by dryheat

Comments

1
by James-London :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 6:53pm

I hope this isn't as serious as it sounds. Poor guy

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

39
by Podge (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:44pm

This comment seems really inappropriate now.

RIP Chris Henry.

56
by James-London :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:13pm

Not inappropriate, but a forlorn hope. This is very sad.

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

2
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 7:38pm

2 questions
1.Was wearing own jersery?
2 was alcohol involved?

report was jumped, in truck and then fell out when finance drive away ((had argument before truck imncident). maybe door was open?

3
by Nathan :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 7:51pm

...this is really sad, I hope he lives.

4
by C (not verified) :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 7:55pm

Thrown from the bed of a pickup truck?

Is this the same Chris Henry that was scapegoated and thrown of the Bengals because he couldn't stay out of trouble? The same Bengals that were a roster filled with convicts?

5
by Socalgng (not verified) :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 8:02pm

Thank you for your take, anonymous moralist!

6
by Nathan :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 8:07pm

The same guy that was just thrown from the back of a truck driven by his fiancee and now has life threatening injuries? Yes that guy. Show some respect, this is a human life we're talking about.

8
by FireOmarTomlin :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 9:47pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Henry_%28wide_receiver%29#Off-the-fie...

While I do not wish harm/death to Chris Henry, I do find the fact that were he not a high profile athlete with the wealth to afford powerful attorneys, the odds are he would be in jail, and hence have not been in the position to sustain the injury(ies) associated with today's incident.

Tragic.

*edit*
sorry for the double post.

10
by not verified (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:35am

this is a human life we're talking about

Barely.

Drunk driving. Concealed weapons. Beating people up. Multiple drug violations.

And now: Jumping in the back of a moving pickup truck to continue an argument with his common law wife and having that end, predictably, badly? We're not exactly in the realm of tragedy here. This guy was on the path to killing someone one of these days -- that it turned out to be himself doesn't turn him into some kind of tragic character.

11
by Bobman :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:18am

Not to be a dick, but he WAS father of three and seemed to be turning his life around. Strike that (hopefully) IS still father of three.... I'd think their lives are better with a flawed father than with none at all. He won't win any citizenship awards but seemed to be making the best of his "final" second chance.

It IS tragic when a life is wasted, by whatever means, and it looks like a giant logical/moral jump to put him on the path to killing someone.

FYI, Ben Franklin had a common-law-wife for about 30 years. Does that make him bad?

14
by Still Alive (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:23am

No but the fact he cheated on her constantly is not a high point in his favor :)

12
by Still Alive (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:21am

Hundreds of thousands of people die every day. Most of the time it is not some huge catastrophe. It is pretty normal.

It is horrible for their loved ones of course. But it is also something most go through multiple times.

Chris Henry was not some special flower. He seemed like a pretty troubled and messed up dude. It is not surprising his troubled ways caught up with him. Young men with a history like his often die young.

Every human life is not special. Hell a good portion of lives out there are treated worse than most American's pets with little change in our behavior. If you want to get all righteous about life go help some people who are really suffering. So much talk about the value of human life is just posturing.

55
by doubleipa (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:11pm

"So much talk about the value of human life is just posturing."

And this isn't?

Geez buddy you're a pretty special flower yourself.

59
by Still Alive (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:38pm

No its not posturing because it is how I really feel and my actions back it up.

Most people on the other hand claim that human life is oh so valuable, but if the Department of transportation wants 2$ from every citizen to fix an interchange and save 10 lives a year it is "stealing".

Or they purchase a 4 ft TV with money that could save several lives. If you really believe every death is this great tragedy to be mourned you would think more people would back that up with their actions. I think it is more a posture people take to cope with (and even hide from themselves) the fact that they don't actually care.

86
by MC2 :: Fri, 12/18/2009 - 4:36am

How does it feel to be such a self-righteous asshole that you see the death of a young man with small children as nothing more than a chance to broadcast your asinine political beliefs and pass judgment on how people choose to spend their money? I'm sure you give every dime you've got to the poor, right?

16
by FLM (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 8:35am

Human life yes.
Waste of human life yes.
Dumbass yes.
He is always doing something stupid and THE STUPID SHALL BE PUNISHED

7
by t.d. :: Wed, 12/16/2009 - 9:35pm

sounds like fred lane. very sad.

9
by Key19 :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:32am

For some reason, I always expect the victims of these sorts of things to pull through. I guess I'm just confident in modern medicine, and figure that if they were alive and still had a fighting chance when they started getting cared for, they have a pretty good shot of making it.

I also always thought of Henry as a guy who shows flashes but I really felt 100% sure he'd never make it as an NFL WR. It's a shame that such a tragedy will likely be the end of his NFL endeavors (I can't imagine someone suffering a head injury serious enough to possibly kill ever being able to take a hit to the head again and not suffer MAJOR problems). I wish him the best and hope that he lives and isn't a vegetable for the rest of his life.

I'm too young to have any historical knowledge of this, so I'll ask if NFL players are getting seriously hurt/killed off the field more often now than ever? I know there have been some horrible NFL player deaths (off the top of my head I know one guy OD-ed and I think another went head-on into a semi or something), but I think most of them were retired players? Have active players ever been this unfortunate before? Or is this a growing trend?

Off the top of my head for recent players (major off the field injury):

Plaxico Burress
Darrent Williams
Sean Taylor
Chris Henry

I feel like there have been more though.

13
by Bobman :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:21am

Williams and Taylor were more than just injuries, of course.

There was the lineman for the Jags who was riddled with bullets and left for dead in his car summer of '08. Chargers LB (Foley) who was shot by cops and seriously wounded in 07, IIRC.

79
by Mr Shush :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 8:55pm

Raiders practice squad DT Lorne Mayer was shot multiple times when a gunman opened fire in apparently indiscriminate fashion in a London nightclub on New Year's Eve 2007. He survived, miraculously, but it was the end of a previously promising football career (I believe at one point he was the youngest player ever signed to an NFL roster, and certainly he was the first genuinely British-grown player to come close to cracking the NFL).

From what I'd read, it sounded like Henry had been starting to get his life back on track. Regardless, even self-inflicted injuries are tragic. Rest in peace.

24
by C (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:27am

Don't forget the New England Patriot who drown in the boating accident a few years ago.

37
by MJK :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:33pm

Ironic that you say not to forget him, but you don't seem to remember his name...

It was Marquise Hill. Until the accident, he was mainly known for taking up a roster spot for a number of years without once ever being active in a game, without the excuse of being injured. After his tragic death, it came out that he was an awesome locker room presence, one of the most likable guys on the team, and a practice warrior. And while his death was tragic and occurred in part due to some poor judgment calls, he allegedly died trying to save the life of his friend.

50
by dryheat :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:31pm

Yeah....if we're going to throw in Marquise Hill with the others, let's go whole hog and throw in Joe Delaney too...Pat Tillman...and any other old-timer who left the league to fight in a war.

Self-sacrifice is really not the same thing.

29
by zlionsfan :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:38am

I had the same feeling you did, but I think some of that is just time ... after all, one of the things people nowadays don't know about the Lions of the '90s is that they put together all those wins despite losing two members of the offensive line (Mike Utley, paralyzed in a game against the Rams in '91, and Eric Andolsek, killed in '92 in the offseason when a truck - maybe a semi - missed a turn and hit him in his front yard at his home in Louisiana). But I've been a Lions fan since the '70s, and even with all that I couldn't remember Andolsek. (It was a really weird season-to-offseason: Barry misses the first game in '91, Mr. Ford babbles about "a thousand splinters", Utley goes down, the Lions secure the division at Buffalo in OT on the final day, make the NFC Championship only to get torched by Washington again, then Andolsek is killed.) As soon as I saw his name, though, I remembered most of the story. (It was a semi.)

Heck, for that matter, I'd forgotten about Corey Smith as well (lost at sea in the offseason, along with Marquis Cooper). Naturally, Wikipedia has done the research for us. Looking at the list quickly, it seems as though there have been a few more deaths than usual recently, but there's a pretty steady list going back through the '80s, at least. Quite a few car accidents.

15
by pouringlizards (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 4:44am

This really isn't good.

I really don't know enough about Chris Henry, or how it happened, to form any kind of character judgement, or to wildly speculate/moralise based on a few framgented internet reports about how this happened, so I'm not going to.

My general rule of thumb is if someone might be dying, 'special flower' or possible villain, it's really not the time to be making judgements about their character.

19
by C (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:01am

but before people get into tragedy special, this guy was thrown off the Cincinatti Bengals, a team where approx 20% of the team was arrested in a 12 month period. He was singled out and thrown off the team for continued disobedience of the law. You don't get thrown off the team for breaking the law once or twice, this is the NFL and these are the Cincinatti Bengals. Before the sob stories and the " he cleaned it up" talk, understand that he wasn't exactly Warrick Dunn or Ladanian Tomlinson.

Nobody is happy about what happened, but some people continue to put themselves in bad positions and it's hard to call some things " accidents" with repeated dangerous behavior.

27
by John (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:37am

There's a time to shut up.

That time is now.

31
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:04pm

The fact that hes dead doesn't make him any less of a terrible human being. I will not deify the dead.

33
by Sicks Tea Nein (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:11pm

You know, there is a middle ground between deifying someone and calling them a terrible human being.

RIP Chris Henry.

34
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:11pm

No one's asking anyone to deify him. How about just not dancing on his grave?

35
by Temo :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:14pm

You don't have to deify him, just shut up and don't say anything. Like I did with Sean Taylor and now with Chris Henry.

41
by C (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:49pm

Municipal Court Judge Bernie Bouchard once called Henry a "one man crime crew". Rich Rodriguez suspended him and called him an embarassment after ejection. Most NFL teams weren't interested in him, but the Bengals took on a number of guys that ended up getting into trouble. He was thrown of the Bengals ... He was arrested 5 times by the age of 26, gun charges, weed, and fights, and was involved in a domestic dispute.

but of course he was trying to "clean it up".. the same way all trouble makers were just before THEY died.

but nevermind all that. We should all be so sad because he was a living breathing human life and all people that breath should be mourned when dead. He did played our favorite sport too.

43
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:55pm

You're right. I'm convinced now. Let's all gloat over his death and send ASCII middle fingers to his children. It's just the right thing to do.

45
by C (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:09pm

Nobody gloated, nobody is happy, nobody is glad he died.

but before we go out and talk about what a great guy he was and how it was such a tragic unexpected accident... think for a second. RIP... sure.. but don't act like he was just another guy and that Chris Henry making off field headlines was some shocking development.

52
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:51pm

If that's the point you're trying to make, you could have phrased it that way a little sooner. Every one of your posts so far has focused on his personal failings. I'm not a Chris Henry fan, and if you had given me 5 guesses before the season at which active NFL player would die during the season, Chris Henry probably would have been one of them. But on the occasion of someone's death, it's bad form to expound at length on their faults, particuarly when those faults can largely be chalked up to youthful stupidity. This isn't some serial killer we're talking about. Other than the assault, every other incident I see on his record can be traced back to alcohol or weed. Not that that's anything to be proud of, but it doesn't make him a "terrible person", as someone else said; it makes him a stupid kid who made some stupid decisions. Young men in their early twenties do stupid things.

And if we're going to the "nobody said" school of argument, nobody said he's a great guy. He was a flawed human being (as are we all). If you're trying to convince people of that, we already know. We're just trying to act with a little more couth, because again, 5 hours after someone's death is not really the best time to point out all their character flaws. It makes it sound like you're saying he deserved it.

83
by ErrantNight :: Fri, 12/18/2009 - 1:37am

I'd say there's more evidence he was a worthwhile human being than there is you are.

It's so incredibly important to jump on-line after you hear somebody has died and remind everyone not to feel TOO bad if you've managed to get access to a small portion of someone's life and it's peppered with morally disagreeable events.

Better head everyone off at the path before they get too sympathetic that you think maybe might not have been that great of a guy.

Good for you. Thanks for being here. Moral condescension, FTW!

85
by Justin Zeth :: Fri, 12/18/2009 - 3:39am

I can't decide whether your post is intentionally a self-parody, or if you remain blissfully ignorant of that.

17
by Jumpin Jahosofat! (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 10:25am

perhaps he was theatening to hurt his girl, and she was trying to get away, and just maybe, maybe -- he got what was coming to him. Just speculation of course . . . on the other hand, there may have been a puppy in the back of that truck -- and maybe, just maybe he risked his life trying to save that little puppy. Oh -- there are a lot of ways to go with this ...

18
by dsouten :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 10:59am

ESPN just reported that he has died.

20
by Never Surrender (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:07am

As a Redskins fan, I've been through something similar to this (Sean Taylor), am praying and hoping it doesn't end the same way, and perhaps know something of what Cincinnati fans are going through.

My advice to Bengals fans is this: Ignore the arrogant moralists without a lick of social skills who think now is the time to talk extensively about his past. They will not concede that it's possible for someone to turn their life around. They are convinced that they know Henry personally and just know that he was a bad person. They will bring this up at every opportunity, especially when it's most inappropriate. This is just the sad fact of the situation. Ignore them and let them do their feel-good exercise, if they must. The rest of us see what a tragedy it is, and time will reveal their stupidity.

In reality, now is the time to pray and/or hope that Henry makes it through OK as a man. From what I've read he -has- been making an attempt to turn things around. He's a father and someone's son, nephew, brother, etc. Best of luck to you, Chris. We are pulling for you and your family to make it through this OK.

26
by Never Surrender (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:33am

And I see now that the worst has happened. RIP Chris Henry.

28
by Doug Farrar :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:38am

Yep. Many people practically sprained various body parts with all the quick backtracking they had to do when the real news about Taylor came out. I'd like to think this will be covered more responsibly, but I know better.

32
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:09pm

Good post. Saved me the trouble of ranting at about 10 different posters in this thread.

53
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:56pm

OK, maybe it didn't.

62
by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:56pm

Go ahead anyway. Guess some people never heard the phrase "Don't speak ill of the dead". And sadly, a lot of the rude posts WERE after the announcement.

21
by Illmatic74 :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:18am

RIP

22
by CNN (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:18am

NFL's Chris Henry has died from injuries suffered in fall from moving truck, Charlotte, North Carolina, police say

23
by dryheat :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:24am

You know, if you asked me five years ago where Chris Henry would be in five years, I would've answered, "Probably dead." I did not see it happening this way, though. By all accounts he was trying to turn his life around and become a functioning member of society. I feel for his three young children.

25
by JustinKS (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:28am

For the moralists in the thread: Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Rest in Peace, Chris Henry.

30
by tally :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:03pm

Oh, just stop. Now you're judging the moralists.

Comment threads are prime stomping grounds for anonymous righteousness. As well try to keep flies away from a pile of dung.

36
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:17pm

When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I did all manner of extremely reckless things, mostly legal, that hugely increased my risk of getting killed. It's mostly luck that I am here, drinking coffee, this morning. Before we get all snarky about young men doing reckless things that get them killed, keep in mind that it is the same mix of hormones and genetics which gives society young men who are willing to jump out of airplanes or helicopters, or storm beaches, with 100 pounds of combate equipment, as ill tempered fellows try to blow their brains out. Or run up the steps of a burning skyscraper. Chris Henry's recklessness obviously got channeled very poorly, but the gap between jumping into the back of a pick up truck that is about to roar off, and doing things that people consider admirable, is not as huge as you might presume. The fellas who were later glorified for having "The Right Stuff", when they were pushing the envelope above The Mojave Desert, in the dawn of the fighter jet, were often the drunks who were roaring around the roads in sports cars, after closing Pancho's Happy Bottom Riding Club.

38
by MJK :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:35pm

This is essentially a good part of the reason why life expectancy averages for women are higher than for men, and why, if you live to be age 30 or so, your average life expectancy goes up by quite a bit.

40
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:45pm

Hell, I purposely travelled to Beirut in the height of their civil war, because I heard it was an interersting city, and I wanted to see what a political conflict like that looked like. Not exactly like Daytona Beach during spring break. They don't make'em any dumber than me.

48
by dryheat :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:29pm

Good point. You don't get rehabilitated, you just get tired.

51
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:32pm

Yeah, that's about right. I think I'll take a nap.

42
by Noah of Arkadia :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 12:55pm

If I didn't have to die myself I'd feel sorry for him. Then again, it's a tough way to go. I hope he has a smooth trip to the other side.

44
by Justin Zeth :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:01pm

I've said plenty of unflattering things about Chris Henry in the past, I'm sure, and obviously there's no reason to take them back now. At the same time, there's no reason to rub it in now that the man is dead, either.

We can observe that it's not shocking that Chris Henry died young under strange circumstances, and leave it at that, judgment-wise. The story of Chris Henry, life and death, is pretty tragic, but the real tragedy is how common such stories are. This one's just prominent because he made his living on TV.

47
by C (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:11pm

Well said

46
by wr (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:11pm

Given the the story as it sounds now, this seems to be just like Derrick Thomas:

Very sad, the more so because it was totally preventable.

49
by silentrat :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:30pm

Like Derrick Thomas? I was under the impression (I was ~11 at the time) that his accident was a run-of-the-mill car accident and he even nearly survived. Am I wrong in this estimation?

54
by Shannon (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:00pm

"Thomas and one of the passengers were not wearing seat belts and both were thrown from the car; the passenger was killed immediately. The second passenger, who was wearing his safety belt, walked away from the scene uninjured."
Might have been run of the mill had he been wearing his seat belt.

74
by Sifter :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 5:55pm

Just like Princess Diana - not wearing a seatbelt. But no, surely Diana was a faultless saint so her death had to have been the paparazzi's fault...

Hard to talk about a tragedy when the participants haven't got the 2 seconds it takes to buckle up. Makes it even more tragic.

80
by Mr Shush :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 9:02pm

I think you'll find that Diana was assassinated by MI6 using invisible laser beams on the orders of Prince Philip, who may or may not be an alien lizard. Get your facts straight before you post.

90
by dryheat :: Fri, 12/18/2009 - 10:00am

Pffft. Facts....You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true.

57
by Jmagik (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:16pm

To all of you who think that if a young man gets caught carrying a gun, driving drunk, and getting in a fight, that means he is a waste of life, I hope there's a hell for you. I'm not going to get into evaluating Henry's specific legal problems, law enforcement, walking a mile in someone else's shoes, casting the first stone, anything like that. Let's say you're right, and that the things he did were heinous beyond belief.

Are you so !#@!ing shortsighted that you think no one turns their life around? He was 26. TWENTY SIX. He was still a young man. You would judge him as though he was a 70 year old who had committed 3 murders per year for 60 of those years. The guy was a young man, and maybe he was turning his life around. God fucking forbid he would get another chance. To the person who said this was "barely" a waste of life, I don't know how old you are or how much life experience or education you have, but you need to take a hard look at yourself after saying someone is "barely" a waste of life, and judging that they were destined to "kill someone" at age 26 based on his history.

Not that you'll care, but I'd decided to end my boycotting of blog/article comment threads to avoid the hatefulness, myopia, and idiocy that accompanies them. FO was different, mostly people talking or kidding around about sports. So much for that. 26 years old, father of 3 kids, and who knows what he would've done. I don't know the guy, I don't like the guy, and in layman's terms, don't give a damn about the guy, but for god's sake, to call his death "barely" a waste of life an HOUR after it happens is a new low.

67
by Anonymous Coward (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:28pm

Maybe take a hard look at yourself if you hope there's a hell for people who write things you don't like on Internet message boards.

81
by Mr Shush :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 9:06pm

I'm twenty-six. I know I still regularly do things that I deeply regret about ten minutes later, and frankly I've had an awful lot of advantages in life that Chris Henry didn't. Far be it from me to judge the poor sod.

88
by MC2 :: Fri, 12/18/2009 - 4:46am

Well said. I'm not a person who's easily offended, but some of the comments on this thread have been beyond inappropriate.

58
by God (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:32pm

I think that if a young man gets caught carrying a gun, driving drunk, and getting in a fight, that means he is a waste of life.

61
by AT (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:49pm

Funny, that's not what you said about King David.

63
by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:01pm

So, when's your kid coming back? Guy down the street wants to know what to pack for the rapture.

64
by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:03pm

Oh, and while you''re here, who do you like this weekend?

65
by dryheat :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:15pm

Does St. Louis still have a team?

68
by Eddo :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:48pm

Bravo.

And that quote is once again appropriate, given the current state of the St. Louis franchise.

66
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 3:22pm

The Lord runs a parimutuel house, and just takes His percentage....

60
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 2:41pm

The line between a simply hideous story, like this one, and one, although based on a bad story, that provides comic fodder, is quite thin. Do you have to change many variables to get to a situation where a near-billionaire golfer, under the influence of Ambien, Vicodin, and alcohol, in domestic dispute with his wife, climbs into his car and kills someone, and we end up in a situation similar to the Chris Henry outcome?

Pure, dumb, randomness plays a larger role in the world than we generally like to acknowledge, and not just with regard to the outcome of football games.

69
by John (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 4:24pm

Agreed. After the details of this story, the last thing I thought anyone would say is that they saw this coming. Hindsight bias is a powerful thing.

On another note, what is it about athletes that makes (some of) us disproportionately sad when something tragic happens? It's not mere fandom, I don't particularly like or dislike the Bengals, but when I saw the news, I was upset. Same with Sean Taylor. But I had forgotten Marquise Hill and Corey Smith, and don't remember following the story nearly as closely as I followed the Henry and Taylor stories. There's always news of deaths from bombings in Palestine, and I just gloss over it with almost no emotional response. We can't get sad every time a stranger dies; hundreds of thousands of people die every day. But what makes certain stories jump out at us, and emotionally grab us in ways other stories don't? I'd like to think it isn't that Chris Henry was good for my fantasy football team a couple of years ago, and Sean Taylor had a hilarious highlight taking out a punter at a Pro Bowl, but I don't know.

70
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 4:42pm

Hey, when it was reported that Taylor had been shot, I posted a very poor attempt at humour, because I'd become so accustomed to advanced trauma care, and it seemed so ridiculous to me that a young, healthy, rich guy would get shot to death in his home, that I just assumed, despite the utter irrationality of such an assumption, that the worst outcome would be a NFL player missing the balance of the season, like with a broken arm. Ooops.

82
by Mr Shush :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 9:12pm

Familiarity. You (like most of us) had probably never heard of Marquise Hill or Corey Smith before their deaths. Henry and Taylor, on the other hand, because you knew who they were and a certain amount about them, were in some sense part of your life, perhaps in a not dissimilar way (emotionally) to a friend of a friend of a friend who you met at a couple of parties. It's not that you cared about them personally, it's simply the fact that you were genuinely aware of their existence that makes you feel their deaths.

I'm not trying to pass judgment on you, by the way - I'm pretty sure that this is how most people (myself included) work.

84
by John (not verified) :: Fri, 12/18/2009 - 3:04am

Yeah, I guess familiarity is a major part of it. With Marquise Hill I knew DE/LSU and nothing else, from what he looked like to whether he was any good at football to his family life. I had never heard of Corey Smith.

But even among people where we are genuinely aware of their existence there can be pretty big differences in the emotional response. I definitely knew who Michael Jackson was, but while I wasn't happy he died I wasn't too broken up about it. Maybe it's because I thought he was weird, or I was in a different mood that day, or because I wasn't born yet when Thriller came out, I don't know. But based on the incessant coverage of every detail of his death other people must have been very affected by Michael Jackson's death, probably some of the same people saying some awful stuff in these comments about Chris Henry despite being well aware of his existence.

The "friend of a friend of a friend" thing sometimes affects you more as a reminder of your own mortality than on a personal level, especially in preventable deaths. It's probably a pretty good analogy here, although I would hope that friends of my friends wouldn't respond to my death the way some people here responded to Chris Henry's. Maybe most of us haven't had too many gun charges, but I dare say a good percentage of people have at some point in their under-30 lives operated a motor vehicle with a BAC of .092 or smoked some weed.

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by capt. Anonymous (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 4:44pm

Not surprised to see so much "tough talk" on this internet message board. I'm don't have any emotional attachment to this story. What happened to C. Henry just illustrates how fragile life is. I've committed plenty of more reckless actions in my lifetime and am still ticking. Earth is a chaotic place yet so many of us want to pretend that there is some order.

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by morganja :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 5:15pm

It's a shame. Death always sucks. Whatever his faults, he never killed anyone. He seems to have turned his life around, but even if he hadn't, he certainly hadn't done anything to deserve dying. The worst part is the three children.

I don't understand why she didn't stop. Very strange that he 'fell' out of the truck a half mile down the road. It sounds more like he was jumping out and landed wrong.

Whatever the case, with Fred Lane and now this, it's just best NFL players leave Charlotte women alone. Charlotte is always making fun of us up here in the mountains for being hillbillies. I'm not sure there is a more redneck way to go than what happened in Charlotte with Chris Henry.

I feel for the kids and the family.

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by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 5:37pm

Rae Carruth's girlfirend wished that NFL players left Charlotte women alone.

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by morganja :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 6:17pm

Zinger. Dead on, unfortunately.

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by roguerouge :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 6:51pm

Perhaps this makes me a bad person, but my take on the tragedy of Henry's death depends almost entirely on whether his wife was fleeing a domestic abuse situation in that truck and he was chasing her. If a person was attempting to harm someone and died in the act, well, that SHOULD color your response to that death. His past bad acts do lead me to hold my judgment; without that track record, I'd have a different response.

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by The Hypno-Toad :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 7:34pm

My sympathy goes out to his family and friends, the Bengals organization and all Bengals fans.

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by Xeynon (not verified) :: Thu, 12/17/2009 - 8:48pm

I feel bad for his children, his family, and the other people who are left to mourn for him. Whatever he may have done in his life, he didn't deserve to die, and the pain and grief it will cause people who loved him is reason enough to lament what is a very sad story (albeit one which I agree is an overblown one - this sort of thing happens to people who aren't NFL players every day).

When it comes to Chris Henry himself - no good comes from speaking ill of the dead, so I won't.

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by MC2 :: Fri, 12/18/2009 - 4:37am

RIP.

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by Blotzphoto :: Fri, 12/18/2009 - 9:55am

As a Bengals fan, and whats more a Chris Henry fan, this makes me sad. If you didn't get a chance to see Chris play, there was nothing wrong with him between the lines. He had a the chance to be really special, heck, he was really special when he got on the field. He had a screwed up life, like a lot of us do. Because he was a pro football player, his messed up life made headlines as opposed to the back page of the Metro section.

From all accounts he was a great teammate.
RIP Slim