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Chris Henry: 1983-2009

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 27: Chris Henry #15 of the Cincinnati Bengals is pictured during the NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Bengals won 23-20.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
JerseySenior Analyst IDecember 17, 2009

It's possibly the most ironic tragedy I've ever seen.

We all know the story by now. Chris Henry was strewn from the back of a pickup truck in a domestic dispute, suffering injuries that ultimately took his life.

But when reading the ESPN report of the story, the line that stood out for me was this:

Before the 2009 season, Henry got a new tattoo that matched his new outlook. Below his left ear, in flowing one-inch script, was the world "Blessed."

Football fans know about Henry's off-field issues. He's been suspended thanks to run-ins with the law, and his issues even dated back to his college days at West Virginia, where coach Rich Rodriguez called him an embarrassment to the program.

But before this season, Henry figured it out. Understanding how many "second" chances he'd received, Henry cleaned up his act, and acknowledged this with the aforementioned tattoo. He knew he shouldn't still have any career aspirations, but he did, and he was thankful.

His season, though, ended early, thanks to an injury on November 8th. And now, his life has ended early as well.

For all the chances Henry received, his fortune ran out entirely once he recognized it. Therein lies the sad irony in this tragedy.

Bengals president Mike Brown, about Henry: "At the time of his tragedy he was running to daylight."

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