Founder and CEO of Blu Chip Analytics is working to align psychology and augmented intelligence to better support the development of athletes, sports organizations
Editor's note: This is the debut of a series presented by the NFL Alumni that profiles former NFL players who have transitioned into the business world.
Forty-year-old Chris Spencer has travelled a long road from Madison, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee, with several stops along the way.
“It’s been a fun journey,” says Spencer, who retired from football after the 2014 season. “I am a little farm kid from Mississippi who worked long hours on my granddad’s cotton-soybean fields. I had two brothers and two sisters, and it was all my mom could do when we were growing up to keep the lights on and put food on the table.”
Spencer now is “putting food on the table” for his own family. He is founder and chief executive officer for Blu Chip Analytics based in Nashville. Blu Chip is working to bridge the gap between psychology and augmented intelligence in order to support the personal and professional development of athletes and sports organizations.
“I was pretty naïve when I was growing up,” Spencer says. “For example, I played football as a youngster only because my mother said I had to do something to keep out of trouble. I later received several college scholarships but stayed in my home state at the University of Mississippi.”
Another Ole Miss grad named Archie Manning played a major role in Spencer’s transition from college to the NFL.
“After my junior year,” Spencer recalls, “my offensive line coach told me he wanted to get an idea from the NFL where I stood in the eyes of their personnel departments. The coach came back to me and said they had me rated as a late first or early second round choice if I applied for the draft right then. The next day, Archie Manning called me. I had been Eli Manning’s center for a couple of years in college before he turned pro. Archie said he wanted to confirm that the late first round rating was accurate. He got back to me and said it was true. I asked him 'If I was your son, would you recommend I leave for the NFL now before my senior year?' He said 'Yes' in part because my position at center was very highly valued. It turned out to be the right decision.”
Seattle selected Spencer on the first round of the 2005 Draft. He played 10 years in the league with the Seahawks, Bears and Titans. Like many alumni, he chose Nashville as his post-NFL home.
“I want to help players thru Blue Chip and give them tools for success after the NFL,” Spencer says. “My experience when I played was that clubs had an abundance of resources, but young players did not take advantage of them. Players have many skills that are transferable to other careers, and we want to help open those doors for them.
This interview originally appeared on NFLAlumni.org.
The NFLA consists of 42 alumni chapters with a membership of over 3,500 former players, coaches, team executives, cheerleaders and avid fans. The organization raises money for the Player Care Foundation and local youth charities. Golf plays an important role in helping fund NFLA charities. Each year, more than 150 members participate in the NFLA's annual Super Bowl of Golf.
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