By Mike Wise
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Attention bachelorettes interested in fraternizing with a certain headbanging NFL tight end who resides west of Leesburg: Captain Chaos is now . . . Captain Caged.
Chris Cooley, the only player in league history to simultaneously put the Dallas Cowboys and Redskinettes in disarray, is marrying the woman who got fired from her job because of him.
Okay, it was a part-time job. And it paid only $75 a week.
"But it'll be a good story to tell our kids one day," Christy Oglevee said.
Maybe we should explain.
Christy is Chris's fiancee. They met two summers ago when a cheerleader Cooley briefly dated brought her fellow Redskinette -- Christy -- over to Chris's house. This was probably not a good idea for two reasons: 1) The Redskins prohibit company employees from fraternizing with players; and 2) Introducing a person you've started dating to your attractive friend can be hazardous.
Confronted with evidence that they indeed had hung out with Cooley, both cheerleaders were told to turn in their halter tops. On Fan Appreciation Day, no less. The scandal ended up on WWDC-FM radio (DC101), and for a while it was unclear whether Cooley was trying to put the entire squad on the unemployment line. The incensed Redskinettes even choreographed a number in which they were going to turn their backs on Cooley at a home game. He got wind of the plan, ran over after scoring a touchdown and tried to give one of the cheerleaders the football. But she wouldn't accept and the ball fell to the ground. Worse, the touchdown was called back.
And you thought Al Saunders had problems.
Anyhow, Chris fell hard for Christy, and that was that. The backwoods kid from Utah was in deep smit. Now DC101 is throwing his bachelor party and the wedding is slated for May in Lansdowne.
Some of the old wounds have healed, too. "Most of the cheerleaders are nice to me, but some of them aren't -- which is kind of a shame," Christy said. "Because that happened a long time ago."
The only drawback in all this is the inevitable death of Cooley's "Animal House" persona. The nickname Captain Chaos doesn't exactly befit a kept man.
Captain Chaos was born in 2005 when former teammate Brian Kozlowski bet Cooley $100 he would not introduce himself as such to the St. Louis Rams' captains before a game. "There were five captains," Cooley said. "I looked every one in the face and said: 'I'm Captain Chaos. Nice to meet you.' " Reebok made a T-shirt and it stuck.
The affinity for '80s headbanger bands, including Whitesnake, Slayer and Poison, might also have to take a back seat to matrimony -- although Cooley and Christy managed to take in Def Leppard in the past year.
And what to make of all those visits to Principal Joe Gibbs's office, where Cooley has been reminded how unbecoming it is for an NFL player to, say, eat off the floor of the team plane?
"Hey, the applesauce cup flipped over," he explained. "I just ate it out of the cup off the floor like a dog. I didn't think it was that big a deal."
"I love football as a game," Cooley added. "I don't want to say it's not important to me. But if I can't be happy outside of football -- if I can't have a good time and be happy . . . if I can't make it something I like, that's a miserable experience for me."
That's where the Oglevees come in. According to Chris, they know a good time. In honor of Christy's 21st birthday last year, Christy's father, Scott, and Cooley threw back 21 shots of Jim Beam bourbon. Apiece. "Oh, we were hurtin'," Cooley said.
Over the spring, Chris, Christy, Scott, her uncle Craig and aunt Shannon ended up at Vixens Gentlemen's Club in West Virginia for what turned out to be a family outing.
"Everyone knew who Chris was," Christy said. "The owner came out, they gave us VIP treatment and all of a sudden I look up and the strippers are dancing to 'Hail to the Redskins.' It was crazy."
Said Cooley: "I would just tell you this: I don't change at all with Christy. She's the kind of person who'll do whatever I want to do. We have a blast."
Cooley's home life actually is pretty tame. His mother, Nancy, moved from Logan, Utah, a year ago and lives nearby. She now teaches business and coaches softball at a suburban Virginia high school. She also dogsits George the Great Dane and Charlie and Chip, the little yapping Yorkie and Yorkie mix that coexist with Lily and Daisy, the kitties.
"He's grown up a little bit," Nancy said. "But mostly he's the same. It's a funny label, but that wild-man stuff isn't the real and true person. Chris would rather stay home and barbecue than go out most nights."
And yet, what a wacky summer those two kids had. Christy, who works as a hairstylist in Chantilly, went to Cancun, Mexico, with Chris for eight days. Then they rode in a Central Park carriage with Chris's 21-year-old brother, Tanner, who got married in July. Courtesy of Joe Gibbs Racing, they ended up in Tony Stewart's pit at a NASCAR race and later threw back beers with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
"Awesome," Cooley said. "We went and said hi to Dale and he said, 'You want to come party tonight?' So we said, 'Sure.' He says, 'Catch my helicopter over to the house when the race ends.' Dude, you had to see this place."
They were transported to a home that went on for a country block, replete with a faux Old West town. "We partied in the saloon that night," Cooley said.
The summer ended with fishing, first for bass, pike and muskie on the St. Lawrence River. Then he and his dad, Ken, hooked some brown trout on the north fork of the Shoshone River. Did we mention pneumonia? "I was waist deep in the river out in Wyoming and two days later I couldn't breathe," Cooley said. "It started out as the flu and got worse."
He's all better now, primed for perhaps a Pro Bowl season in an offense whose grace period is over. The team and Cooley's agent are trying to hammer out a contract extension that will keep him in Washington for a good long time.
And this is a good idea for two reasons: 1) Putting on a wedding at Lansdowne is not cheap; and 2) The Vixens folks can use the business.