I had talked to Henry only briefly in the past, but his well-earned reputation for trouble was something I knew all about. His middle name was "Knucklehead."
I introduced myself and then told Henry that I had heard good things about his turning his life around, and that his problem days seemed to be in the past. The Bengals were thrilled with his change. Some coaches and players said he was a really good guy who just had issues when he was drinking -- and that he had stopped that and had matured, putting his vices to the side.
"I will get back with you later this year and do a column on how you've turned it around," I told him. "You have a good message to tell to kids."
"Thank you," he said. "I messed up, but I can help some kids to see that you can get past that stuff."
I never wrote the column.
I wish I did.
Henry suffered life-threatening injuries when he was thrown from a truck Wednesday afternoon in the Charlotte, N.C. area. Henry was in North Carolina to be with his fiancée in part because he was on injured-reserve with a broken forearm.
That's the reason I didn't get around to writing the Henry column. I thought he was set for a big year, but the injury ended that.
The Bengals expected big things as well. I remember Carson Palmer telling me this summer that Henry had a gear when the ball was in the air that no other receiver had -- including Chad Ochocinco.
"He's going to have a huge season," Palmer said.
Instead, he's in a hospital fighting for his life. The circumstances of his accident are still be studied, and some are already probably saying it was just Henry being Chris Henry the bad guy again. Here's hoping that's not the case.
I hope he makes it. He has a too good story to tell, and I still want him to be the one to tell it.