12: Let’s start this off by saying that I’ve known you since you were born and I never knew that you would grow up to play football. I knew you played basketball at the park a lot, but when did you begin to love football?
Chris: I want to say that I began to love football when I was a junior in high school. The reason for that is that it was more physical than basketball. Plus there was more love playing football. I was getting more recognition from colleges playing football than basketball. I knew I had a better chance of going to college for football than basketball even if it was a D2 or D3.
12: Following the first question, I heard that you were playing receiver at Cy-Falls in Houston, Tx and the next thing that knew you were on TV catching touch downs from Jordan Palmer. What was your experience like at UTEP?
Chris: That was one of the best experiences that I could have had for myself. Every person should have the chance to go to college. I learned so much about myself. I met lots of different people from all over the world. The one thing I regret is not taking advantage of the city life. I really did not grasp what El Paso had to offer. Football and school consumed a lot your attention and time.
12: You were a very quiet person as a youth. Are you still as quiet, and was it difficult to function in a sport that many of the players are boisterous braggers?
Chris: I would say I am a little bit more voice stress now. The thing about me, I talked more on the field than I did when I was off the field. Sometimes you have to let guys know that you mean business. Off the field I would lead more by example than words. People say a lot of things but rarely do what they say they are going to do.
12: I know that you played for the Green Bay Packers. Were there any other teams that you tried out for or did you know that Wisconsin was your destination all along? Nah, Green Bay was the one team that gave me the chance. I came in as a free agent. I had to work extra hard every day to be up with the top guys that got drafted. I did not think in a thousand years that I would be good enough to play pro ball. I figured once I finished college I was going to go be a biologist somewhere.
12: How did it feel to catch passes from the legendary Bret Favre? Is his arm as strong as advertised? What kind of person was he in the locker room/ practice field?
Chris: It was an honor to catch a pass from him. I can say that I am one of the few players who actually caught a pass from him. His arm is as strong as they say. The thing that got me is when he would throw those no look passes. Talking about scary, yikes! In the locker room he kept to himself, got dressed in the coaches’ locker room. On the field he was a clown, rarely took things serious but at the same time got the job done when it needed to be.
12: Aaron Rodgers was waiting in the wings on that Packer team while you were there. Did you interact with him? Could you tell that he was going to be as good as he is?
Chris: I knew Aaron was going to be good; he just needed some time to play and get adjusted to things. The passes he would throw on the field were incredible. How he would fit the ball in small spaces and it was mind blowing. He had a few gatherings at his house that I would attend.
12: How was it to play in the same position group as future Hall of Famer Donald Driver?
Chris: Driver is one of those down to earth guys. He was always willing to help out if need be. He was amazing to watch and learn from. His determination and drive made him the player he was.
12: After your release from the Packers you spent some time with the Saints, and 49ers before playing in the AFL. How was the AFL different in style from the NFL?
Chris: The Afl, was a fast pass, short field, and high scoring game. It’s like playing 7 on 7, with pads. I liked playing in the AFL. They could’ve paid a little more.
12: What lessons have you learned from playing football and how has it helped you in your life?
Chris: Football is strictly a business. NFL, means not for long. On average a guy plays in the NFL for three years, so there is a lot of turnover in the game. It is a cut throat business. They are always looking for the next best thing. I am glad I had the opportunity to experience the NFL. It has opened up doors that a normal civilian would not be able to walk through. I can say that I played in the NFL.
12: What direction is Chris Francies heading in life?
Chris: My path now in life, I would sum it up as, a path to teaching people about God and his ways. What I mean is, most people are lost in their own way and looking for what their purpose is in life. Life is more than how much money we make, what kind of job we have, where we live, and what your social status is. Living for God is what I’m about now.
12: Is there anything that you want to let the people know about you that we didn’t cover?
Chris: Life is too short to dwell on what you don’t have. Enjoy what you do have and appreciate it.
Well young man, I can say that I’m proud of what you have accomplished thus far in your life and 12(Me!) was the 1st rock star receiver that played for the Falls. All of you cats get in line. LOL. Many blessings ahead for you and your family Mr Francies.