A TRUE DESPERADO -- And He's All Ours at Old Saint Joe's!

Perhaps you have not seen him enter the church lately with his wonderful wife Shannon at his side, with Michaela holding one hand as he carefully balances Hannah in the other! No, we haven't heard his wonderful voice in our choir lately, either! That's because our dear friend and parishioner Chris Greisen -- a Sturgeon Bay native -- is taking arena league football by storm.

As you watch him succeed on the field, you will come to know that his successes in football is not simply a byproduct of his obvious athletic endurance or his great knowledge of football. His successes are also due to the support of a very caring and loving family back here in Door County as well as the love and support that comes from the three closest women in his life.

And if that is not enough of a firm foundation, I cannot help but think that it is Chris' great determination and his love for God and the People of God that empowers him to live and give life to its fullest!

Chris and I have been exchanging voice-mail messages lately: I hope we can make contact soon because we have much to catch up on. Nevertheless, Chris wishes us well and has mentioned that he truly misses his Sunday mornings at Old Saint Joe's -- he also misses singing in the choir -- both as a solo and as a duet with one of his little daughters rising high above on congregation bolstered upon Chris' shoulders.

I truly miss Chris, Shannon and the girls. They have become close friends over the years, and I miss their presence in our church, Shannon's great cooking and some provocative wonderful, spiritual conversations with Chris. The Greisen's are very good people, and I am honored that they consider all of us at Old Saint Joe's to be 'family' at their home away from home in Northeast Wisconsin. Here's an update on Chris' status in the Arena Football League, courtesy Arena Football League:

AFL NOTES: In the search for a quarterback with indoor experience to battle for the starting job last season, the Desperados signed Chris Greisen on Oct. 18, 2004. After an intense competition through the 2005 training camp, Greisen was the backup quarterback behind Clint Stoerner as an AFL rookie last season. Greisen will return as the backup, but will look to better learn the nuances of playing quarterback in the AFL behind starter Clint Dolezel. Greisen - who has spent time with NFL and NFL Europe teams - was the second-rated signal caller in af2 in 2004. In addition to bringing knowledge of the angles and speed of the indoor game to Dallas, he also brings consistency as displayed by his accuracy and toughness at every level he has played.

AFL 2005: Greisen settled in as the backup quarterback and saw time in 14 games for Dallas. He became the club's holder on PAT and field goal attempts from Week Two. OTHER PRO EXPERIENCE: 2004 - Greisen gained indoor experience playing for the Green Bay Blizzard of af2. In 10 games, he finished second in the league with 2,718 passing yards, 61 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 183-of-311 passing. 2003 - Greisen signed with the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe and connected on 76-of-131 passes for 843 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. 2002 - Greisen returned to training camp with the Arizona Cardinals but was released at the end of preseason. He signed to the Washington Redskins practice squad Dec. 18, where he remained for the last two weeks of the season. 2001 - In his third season in Arizona, Greisen was inactive for all 16 games as the team's third quarterback. 2000 - Greisen saw time in two games for Arizona as a reserve quarterback, completing six-of-10 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. 1999 - After being drafted in the seventh round (239th overall) by the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL Draft, Greisen played in two games and was the emergency quarterback in 12 contests. He completed one-of-six passes for four yards.

COLLEGE: Greisen was a two-year starter and two-time All-America selection as he led Northwest Missouri State to the NCAA Division-II national championship. He finished his Bearcat career as the school record holder with 5,731 yards passing and 51 touchdown. As a senior, he shattered school single-season records by completing 200-of-332 passes for 2,937 yards and 25 touchdowns to earn All-America, All-Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association first team and conference offensive player of the year honors. In his first year as the starter, Greisen earned All-America first team and All-MIAA honors after connecting on 155-of-272 passes for 2,456 yards, 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions. As a sophomore, Greisen appeared in eight games as a reserve, completing 15- of-28 passes for 284 yards and one touchdown, earning Academic All-MIAA honors. As a true freshman, Greisen saw time in eight games as a reserve, hitting 13-of-31 passes for 178 yards and three scores. He also punted three times for 111 yards (37-yard average).

PERSONAL: A two-time all-conference selection at quarterback for Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., High School, Greisen also earned all-region honors for Sturgeon Bay's basketball team. Born July 2, 1976, Greisen earned a degree in physical education with a minor in mathematics. Greisen runs the Chris Greisen Quarterback Academy during the season at Texas Stadium and through the offseason in Green Bay, Wisc. Greisen and his wife, Shannon, have two daughters, Michaela and Hannah.


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