FFL


Fancy Lad Henry Pledges to Stay Out of Trouble

By  Last updated: 27th April 2011

MIDDLETOWN, CT — Connecticut Fancy Lads wide receiver Chris Henry might know where the FFL draws the line on appropriate conduct better than most — he’s been suspended for a total of 14 games in the last three seasons for violating league policy.

Henry, though, has no beef with FFL commissioner Jason Zieger enforcing the policy with an iron fist. If anything, Henry, who was eventually given a second chance with the Fancy Lads last year after his fifth arrest, says he’s learned his lesson through the league’s discipline against him.  In his most recent incident, Middletown resident Matt Pattavina accused Henry of punching him in the face and breaking his car window with a beer bottle.

“Yeah, it helped me,” Henry said, according to USA Today. “It helped me focus up, and it made me realize that if I continually wanted to play, I had to do right and be a professional.  I needed to do some growing up.  To be more than just a Fancy Lad.  I had to be a Fancy Man.”

Since the Montana Blazers signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2005 after a career at West Virginia, he’s faced charges of marijuana possession, carrying a concealed weapon, drunken driving, providing alcohol to minors and assault.

Yet the 26-year-old Henry has been Connecticut’s most productive receiver of the preseason and hasn’t run into trouble off the field. He leads the team with 13 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns heading into Wednesday night’s finale against Phoenix.

Lads quarterback Donovan McNabb said he’s convinced Henry has reflected on his ways and made changes.

“I’m very close with him. We spend a lot of time together, eat a lot of Campbell’s Chunky Soup together,” McNabb told USA Today. “I’ve seen it firsthand. He’s a different person.”

Of Zieger’s approach to player discipline, McNabb said “his system works where you sit a guy out and you threaten to take the game away from him.”

Knights owner Tyler Fleming released Henry after more legal troubles emerged in Week 11 of 2008.  However, Fancy Lads owner Ben Fleming decided to take a chance on Henry this offseason, in spite of his legal problems and previous stints in Montana, Phoenix, and Dallas where he gained a reputation as a divisive teammate.

“Chris came here very unprepared for the FFL and all the challenges he was going to have,” Ben Fleming told USA Today, then added, “Chris had to learn some social skills.

“People here have worked very closely with Chris on being a professional and being what a young lad should be. He has a ways to go in different areas. Now he’s got to match on the field what he’s done off the field.”

Though he has shown supreme talent in practice and exhibition games, Henry has yet to evidence that talent in an actual FFL game.  In his four-year FFL career he has started nine games, but yielded only one touchdown.

“I know what I need to do and I’m going to do it,” said Henry.  “Now if you’ll excuse me, that young child over there from Berlin just asked me to go to the package store and buy him a fifth of bourbon.  Anything for the fans, you know?”



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