Once January rolls around, it’s sometimes hard to remember all of the things that happen in the course of the preceding 4-5 months; there are hundreds of games, thousands of transactions, and stories, both good and bad, that pop up every day.
But one of the unforgettable stories of the 2017 season came in early October, when video surfaced of Miami Dolphins offensive line coach/run game coordinator Chris Foerster inhaling lines of white powder off his desk in the team’s facility using a $20 bill.
Foerster resigned on the same day the news story exploded, on Oct. 9.
And in an interview with NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, he checked himself into rehab in West Palm Beach, Florida, that day too.
“I was to the point where I was just praying to God, ‘I want this stuff out’,” Foerster told Pelissero. “Not like exposed, but I want this out of my life. I can’t do this anymore. All this [expletive] I had going on outside of work, I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to drink anymore. I don’t want to use anymore.
“And sure enough, two weeks later, the video came out. So you can say it’s divine intervention. It wasn’t the way I saw everything leaving my life like that. But I knew it was coming. At 55 years old, man, I just couldn’t do this anymore.”
The Dolphins paid for Foerster’s 60-day intensive inpatient treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, and he’s currently at a sober living facility for his intensive outpatient treatment.
The 56-year-old Foerster, who began his coaching career in 1982, not long after his playing career ended at Colorado State, said no one really knew about his addiction, and he kept his cocaine habit secret. His alcohol abuse, he said, goes back 30 years, but he was introduced to cocaine in 2015.
The drug “put the accelerator on” his downfall, Foerster said.
While in California with the Dolphins last September – the team was stranded there because of Hurricane Irma – Foerster met the woman who posted the video of him doing drugs online. Foerster and Kijuana Nige partied together for two days, and according to Foerster, by the time he made the video for her, in late September, he’d used cocaine for eight or nine straight days.
He barely remembers making the tape.
Though he tells Nige in the video that he’s using before a meeting, Foerster says it happened before the team left for the airport. He insists that he never ran a meeting while high.
Nige put the video online late on the night of Oct. 8; Dolphins head coach Adam Gase and a member of the team’s security staff spoke with Foerster that night, and he went to work the next morning, but was asked to leave while the team decided what to do. Initially, Foerster asked if he could take a leave of notice, but the team asked him to resign and he eventually agreed.
Though his secret life has likely cost him his marriage and family – he has three adult children, two of whom haven’t spoken much to him since he began treatment – Foerster is hoping to get back the other thing he lost: his job as a coach.
“The No. 1 consequence for me is I have a chance to fix my life,” he said. “I have a chance to get well, I have a chance to get right, I have a chance to get better, I have a chance to try to repair relationships that may be destroyed and ruined for the rest of my life. But I have a chance to get it right, man. And I’m sincere in that.
“Why do I want to coach again? Because I love coaching and helping players. Is that going to be on the high school level? The college level? Is it never going to be again? Then maybe it’s never again. I had 25 years in the league and 10 in college. I’ve been blessed. I made a terrible mistake and I’m responsible for it, and I didn’t go to treatment because I wanted to get my job back. I knew this [expletive] was out of control. It’s been the most humbling experience. But it’s what I needed.”
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