Everybody Loves Chris

Chris Long comes from a football family. His brother Jake is an offensive lineman that plays for the Chicago Bears and his father is the legend, Howie Long who played for the Raiders and is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2000. Chris was a sought-out college player who developed into one of the best defensive players in the country while at Virginia. He was taken second overall in the 2008 NFL Draft making him the second son of a Hall of Famer to be drafted in the first round (Kellen Winslow II is the first). After an 11-year career in the NFL, Chris finally announced his retirement on Saturday evening.

This guy was a freak of nature on the field. He was a big guy that can run and move with a relentless motor meaning the ballcarrier could be running down the field and Chris would be one of the first guys to run after him and get to him. He had a variety of moves to get to the quarterback as a pass rusher. He swiped offensive linemen with his hands, had a great first step off the snap of the ball along finding some type of way to get to the quarterback. He was simply too much for any offensive lineman trying to block him because of how quick he was. Chris was a guy that always gave 125 percent on the field and played until the whistle blew which how it should be. Coaches teach you that in pop warner. He was drafted by the Rams and spent the first eight years of his career in St. Louis. While there, he and Robert Quinn became one of the best tandems of pass rushers in the league. After the 2015 season, he signed a free agent deal with the New England Patriots. He was a member of the team that came back from the 25-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51. After one year with New England, he signed a deal to play with the Philadelphia Eagles. He became a situational pass rusher and helped lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

I truly respected him as a football player. He was a leader that got the best out of every guy around him. I could imagine there being some pressure mounted on him because he’s the son of a Hall of Famer, but it never got to him. He created his own legacy. What truly stood out to me more was Chris Long the man. In May of 2015, he created the Chris Long foundation which helped raise money for the Waterboys ORG Initiative. The initiative is dedicated to building wells for communities in East Africa. In 2017, Chris announced that he was donating his entire salary that season to charity which is remarkable. The last three years have been good to him. He wins his first Super Bowl title in 2016-17, wins another in 2017-18 and in February 2019, he was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year for his continued philanthropic efforts. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I wish him the best in the next chapter of his life.