I felt moved to post this after a couple of comments I read after this years Super Bowl. While the Chiefs basked in the glory of the win, another story kind of went under the radar. That story was that Chad Henne, the Chiefs back-up quarterback, announced his retirement. The Super Bowl was his last game.
As many of you know, Chad was a Michigan quarterback, and in my opinion, one of the more underrated Wolverines quarterbacks in modern history. He was forced into the starters role as a true freshman when Matt Gutierrez, the expected starter, came up with a bum shoulder before the opener. Chad stepped in and never looked back.
So, after a long career in the NFL including two Super Bowl wins with the Chiefs, he retires. Then I read some stupid comment on the internet—I know, I shouldn’t read the crap from some people on the internet—but I did, shame on me.
Anyway, the comment indicates Chad wasn’t very good but got paid a lot of money and didn’t do anything. Well, friends and neighbors, that made me mad. And whoever wrote it, you don’t know your butt cheek from your elbow! Did you get that. You don’t have a clue!!!
This doesn’t apply to just Chad either, but the comment was made about Chad, and I need to fight back. Anybody who plays in the NFL, especially the back-up quarterback, does more than you can fathom and works more hours than you can dream. For most of the year you are up at 5 or 6 in the morning. You go into the facility, and start your day. Meetings. Reviewing tape of your team, and the upcoming opponent. Sitting in with the quarterbacks coach, then with the offensive co-ordinator. Then maybe with the head coach. Then a full team meeting. Oh, then lets lift some weights and get our physical situation taken care of in the training room. Treatment for injuries and tape for ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders that aren’t working as well as they used to.
Then lets go out to practice. Time to throw about 200 passes, first in warm ups, then to the receivers. Then, lets go work on our offensive game plan, a walk though, and more passes. Then, lets go down to the defensive end of the field and throw some more passes and run around playing the opposition quarterback for the defense. Then, lets stay after practice and throw some more passes for extra work with new receivers, rookies or practice squad guys that want to get some extra work in. Then, lets go back to the locker-room take a shower, head into the training room for post practice treatment. Then, lets go back to the offices and watch some tape of the practice we just had. What can I do better? That route was run a little short– let’s work on that tomorrow in practice. Then, the next day you do the same thing.
That goes on for months. That’s a six or seven day a week routine. You’ve got to work that hard as a back-up because you don’t know when you are going to get the call if the starter gets injured. You’ve got 53 guys depending on you to be just as good as the starter because their jobs and their livelihoods depend on you. No pressure though. Oh, and the other team, when you do get in the game, that opponent wants to get after you in the worst way. They think they can intimidate you and rattle you because you aren’t the starter. Have a nice day buddy!
You have to travel all over the country, sometimes to Europe, for a weekend and return home as tired as you can imagine. Yet, in many cases, there are kids and a wife and responsibilities as a parent and husband that still remain on the schedule. And, I’ve probably forgotten 50 more things they are asked to do doing their day. So, pleeeeease, spare me your suggestion these guys do nothing!
Now, ask the Chiefs coaches if Henne didn’t do anything in the 2021 playoffs when he came off the bench for an injured Mahomes and secured a tight win over Cleveland. Oh, and Chad didn’t do anything when he came off the bench “cold” this past playoff season and lead a 98 yard drive that he capped off with a TD pass to Travis Kelce against Jacksonville.
He didn’t do anything my butt! To all you back-ups out there, I’m one guy who appreciates you all. You are tireless, and respected more than you know. I for one find you some of the more heroic and team oriented guys in the game.
For Chad Henne I have nothing but admiration and great pride that he is a product of the University of Michigan. Good luck in retirement Chad. You had a fabulous career. I am very happy for you. And, Chad, here’s an invitation…you can join me do nothing anytime you want.