Chris Godfrey – An Athlete for Life
Chris Godfrey, who played guard for the Seahawks in the 1988 season, does not hesitate when asked whether he was in favor of his sons following in his footsteps.
“Football is a good sport,” says Godfrey, who has one son, John, just finishing his college career as a fullback-tight end at Ball State, and another son who was a sophomore lineman on his high school team last fall.
“Life can sometimes be hard and football can be a wonderful preparation for it,” he says. “There really is nothing quite like it. I hope even more young men get to experience our sport.”
Godfrey entered the NFL as a member of the New York Jets in 1980, and he would go on to play with the Michigan Panthers of the USFL before rejoining the NFL with the New York Giants (1984-1987). As a member of the Giants’ offensive line dubbed “The Suburbanites,” Godfrey was a starter in the team’s Super Bowl XXI win over the Denver Broncos in 1987.
“Our fans were hoping we would win Super Bowl XXI, but when we lost our season opener against the Dallas Cowboys all seemed lost,” he recalls. “But we did not give up, and by the end of the season we were 17-2 and awarded Super Bowl rings.”
For his efforts that season, he also earned honors as All-Pro NFL Films, and All-NFC (AP, UPI).
“The lesson to be learned is that winners get up after a loss,” he says. ” They don’t stay down. They learn from their mistakes and try to do a better job the next time.”
Godfrey graduated law school from Notre Dame after playing his college ball in the 1970s on three Rose Bowl teams at the University of Michigan. His daughters Mary Grace and Anastasia were members of the Michigan Wolverines swim team.
“When I was in law school,” he recalls, “there were students who always took the position that potentially dangerous products should be outlawed. The other end of that argument is that you have to live too. Those sorts of risks are everywhere. I am pleased that our game is being made safer. You don’t want to be reckless, but at some point you’ve got to live.”
Godfrey does a good deal of living in his adopted hometown of South Bend, Indiana. His law firm – Godfrey Law Offices – specializes in estate planning. He also founded a non-profit, “Life Athletes,” which is dedicated to helping young people grow in their relationships with one another. He speaks at schools and forums across the country and has appeared in various media; and in his spare time, he is President of the St. Joseph’s High School Board of Education.
He and his wife Daria have six children and three grandchildren.