But to Reis and his father Mike, the word recovery takes on a much bigger meaning — a meaning that the two spent the last two years detailing in their book “Recovery of a Lifetime”.
“The idea for a book came right after Super Bowl XLIV. It was such a big moment that I kind of felt like I had to do something with it,” said Chris Reis, a former All-State receiver at Roswell High School that went on to star at linebacker at Georgia Tech, played five seasons with the New Orleans Saints and made the improbably recovery of an “ambush” onside kick to open the second half of Super Bowl XLIV— a play that swung the momentum in the Saints favor and eventually led to the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory.
The game, and recovery, became a pivotal moment in both his and his father’s life. Inspired by Chris’s success on the football field and as a Christian role model, Mike Reis felt it was time to address his destructive behaviors —including addiction to alcohol and sex.
“Right after the Super Bowl my dad told me he had a drinking problem and he was getting help. I asked him if he minded if I put that in the book I was thinking about and a few years later we started collaborating on our vision for the book,” Chris said.
“It’s a play on words with the word recovery relating to the Super Bowl, but the majority of the story is about a father and a son, chronicling the struggles my dad battled and the journey we took to get through it all together.”
Opening with the recovery in the Super Bowl, chapter one ends with Mike Reis landing in jail two weeks after the big game then confronting his problems with the help of his son before finding his own path to recovery.
Mike, who now works as a speaker and master-certified addiction recovery coach, said the book cover 40 hours of interviews with a collaborator and countless hours of crying and bonding with his son.
“We learned a lot about each other and as a father I don’t know too many parents that disclose everything in their life to their children,” he said.
“But the true recovery for me was the recovery of a relationship between father and son.”
“Recovery of a Lifetime” will be released the week of this year’s Super Bowl in New Orleans and is available for pre-order at www.recoveryofalifetime.com.