Catching up with Wayne Chrebet - Part II

Q)What have doctors told you so far about your future?

Chrebet: It's kind of a generic, case-by-case basis. Head trauma is not an exact science. It's kind of wait-and-see -- which is not good, not to have a definitive answer. It's frustrating, to know it's getting worse at times, it can get worse. Certainly, it's more of a concern than it was when I was playing. I really didn't care what was going to happen down the road. But I'll deal with it. I'm never going to complain about it.

Q: Are you having the same symptoms you talked with us about in June, or are there new symptoms?

Chrebet: I could tell you how I feel, we can go through all the symptoms, but some things I can't explain, they just are. There's really no words to describe it. It's puzzling.

Q: Were you becoming more concerned about your future when you suffered your last concussions, in 2004 and 2005?

Chrebet: Even back then, honestly, I sugar-coated it. I wanted to play. I didn't want to scare my family and friends and be treated any differently. Again, now, I wouldn't want to scare people, but I'm more concerned. I've been battling since I stopped playing. My whole thing is I hope in the near-future these things subside and we don't need to know about them because they're going away.

Q: A lot of people still care about you and want to know how you're doing. Are you uncomfortable talking about your struggles publicly?

Chrebet: I appreciate the concern. I get letters from fans and friends. It is what it is. I'm trying to be a little more honest about it with people and with myself. But I'm not wondering about the what-ifs, what else I could've done. I'll never complain about the longevity of my career.

Q: Despite your health issues, are you able to enjoy your time now that you aren't playing and are pursuing other interests?

Chrebet: Yeah, I've been consuming my time with trips and doing appearances, staying involved. I haven't been to the Super Bowl in a few years, so I did some stuff with the NFL and got away with some friends. I'll be going out to the Pro Bowl -- I went there once when Vinny [Testaverde] took me. I went to the Bergen Jamboree [boys basketball tournament] to watch Garfield High School [his alma mater] play. I'm just trying to enjoy things I didn't do in the past.

Q: How are your horses doing?

Chrebet: The racing is going great. I own part of a pacing filly, Future Destiny, with George Foreman, who just won the Miss New Jersey. Racing is my fun, to go out and watch the horses, travel to Ohio and Canada and Kentucky. I enjoy that a lot.

Q: And Chrebet's Restaurant & Lounge, right across from the Jets' Hofstra University practice fields, is about to open its doors.

Chrebet: It will probably open the last week in February and it's coming out great. I'm very excited about that. It's something I've always wanted to do. Now I can really sink my teeth into it, be involved in the menu, the day-to-day planning. We've been renovating the place for 14 months. I wanted to open it last year, but I wanted it to be perfect.

Q: Any lingering regrets for the way your career ended and what and what you're going through now in your life after football?

Chrebet: The end of the sentence is always going to be "It was worth it." In 10 years, if we're talking and I'm like, "Man, this is getting worse, I can't leave my house," I probably couldn't say that. But I loved playing, so it was the price I had to pay. Again, how can I complain? I'll deal with it.

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