OTL: Chris Henry — His Life, Effort to Change his Public Image, and the Day He Died
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)
New details continue to emerge as Charlotte, N.C., police investigate the death of former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry. In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Henry’s fiancée, Loleini Tonga, describes for the first time the events of Dec. 16, the day Henry died. Tonga acknowledged that she and Henry had an argument that day at her parents’ Charlotte home, and tells Outside the Lines’ John Barr that Henry jumped out of the truck bed on the driver’s side of the moving vehicle she was driving, but insists he was not attempting to end his life. Barr also speaks with Henry’s former agent and high school coach, as well as Bengals Director of Security Rusty Guy, who was extremely close to Henry and his family. Bob Ley hosts.
Sanchez & Palmer, Then & Now
NFL Countdown (Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN)
As the Jets and the Bengals prepare for Saturday’s Wild Card game, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez reflects on his early memories of his Bengals counterpart Carson Palmer — at Southern California’s Santa Margarita High School where he served as Palmer’s water boy. Long before both quarterbacks were first-round NFL Draft picks, Sanchez grew up idolizing Palmer. The two have followed similar paths — Sanchez played his first two years of high school football at Palmer’s alma mater and then followed him at USC. Today, Sanchez occasionally asks Palmer for advice on being an NFL quarterback. Rachel Nichols reports on the ties that bind Sanchez and Palmer.
“I was a fan immediately, just watching him play, the way he inspired his team, the way he brought emotion to the game. He got excited, he got fired up, and obviously he’s a great player. You always have big‑time heroes and stuff growing up. There’s always the Michael Jordans, Wayne Gretzkys, guys like that. But then your local town hero, that was Carson by a long shot.” — Mark Sanchez, on his relationship with Carson Palmer
“Carson was just one of those guys who would love to prank other guys and mess around a little bit. He would either unscrew the water top and watch somebody just pour it all over themselves, or take a squirt gun to practice and get after the guys in the towers filming practice. We would be kneeling and he would be talking to other guys on the team and tell me, ‘Hey, can you get that ball way over there?’ and point across the field. I’d sprint over and get it (and he would say), ‘No, we don’t need that one.’ He knew how excited I was to be there all the time, so he would mess with me. He’s always been great to me, so it’s been fun.” — Mark Sanchez, on being Carson Palmer’s water boy in high school