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Where Are They Now

Where Are They Now: Chy Davidson

Catch Up with the Jets Legend from Queens


Forget the Kevin James sitcom, the real King of Queens in 1976 was Bayside High School's Chy Davidson.

One of the most prolific running backs to come out of New York, the future Jets wide receiver scored 28 touchdowns during his senior season to help win the city's PSAL Championship.

"I didn't even play most of the second half of games because of the scores we were running up on," Davidson said. "I was averaging like four touchdowns a game and ended up winning the Iron Horse Award as the most outstanding New York City high school football player."

Going from being a Commodore to a Ram, Davidson went on to play three seasons at the University of Rhode Island, redshirting his senior year.

"Normally, you have somebody playing ahead of you, and that person is more in alignment with what the coach wants," Davidson said. "So they figured if I use a year to develop a little bit more, I'd come back and be the starting guy. And I ran track that whole year and really improved my speed. But when I came back, the coach didn't want to give me a year of grad school."

So with a degree in Speech Communications in hand, Davidson literally put pen to paper hoping that he'll be able to resurrect his chances of taking the field again.

"There was no future in football for me at that point because I hadn't played in over a year, almost two years. So I went to the library and got the NFL book out, and I handwrote letters to every team. Because at that time, you had to formally forego your eligibility in order to get a tryout," Davidson said.

"So I wrote handwritten letters, put them in envelopes, put a stamp on them, and sent them out. And needless to say, I didn't get any hits because I didn't have any stats or anything to speak of.

"But then they had a Combine in Rhode Island, and I did really well on the strength test. And then when I ran my 40 time, I had a 4.32 to a 4.48 on 12 watches and that kind of opened up some eyes and I started getting letters from teams."

Despite having a more crowded mailbox, Davidson was not chosen during the 1981 NFL Draft and made plans to sign as a free agent with Miami. But a short time later and before Caller ID, he was taken aback when New England selected him in the Supplemental Draft.

"The phone rings, 'Hey, is this Chy Davidson?' I said, 'Yes.' And he said, 'This is Coach Ron Erhardt of the New England Patriots.' And I hung up on him. I thought it was a prank phone call," Davidson laughed. "And then he called back and said, 'Hey, Chy. This is Coach Ron Erhardt of the Patriots. I want to congratulate you. We just drafted you in the 11th round of the Supplemental Draft.'

"I just started crying. I just couldn't believe that I was getting drafted. I didn't even play (my senior year). I was so grateful to have that kind of a start that really propelled me into the game, and started to pave the way for me to have a career."

There were, however, a few bumps in the road. Released by the Patriots late in training camp, Davidson would sign with and be released by Washington in 1982, and then spend a short stint with the USFL's Washington Federals in 1983. And that's when a hometown connection led him to the hometown team Jets in 1984.

"Bobby Hammond and I were actually in the USFL camp together," Davidson said. "He was at the end of his career and had gotten an opportunity to coach (running backs) with the Jets. And because of our affiliation, we had both went to the same high school and knew each other, he was able to get me a tryout for the Jets."

Davidson made his NFL debut in Week 13 of the 1984 season, when New York traveled to Miami for a game against the division-rival Dolphins.

"Derek Gaffney had gotten injured during the week, and so they activated me off the injured reserve squad that game, and it was a dream come true to have your first real game on Monday Night Football," Davidson said. "I was playing special teams mostly, not too much receiver. But I remember very candidly making sure I stood by Coach (Joe) Walton with my helmet off so people could see me, because I knew the cameras were going to be on Coach. I'm going to make sure people know I'm playing or at least I'm here today."

What's among Davidson's fondest memories from when he wore the Green & White in 1984 and '85?

"The relationships that I had with Wesley Walker, Bruce Harper and Lam Jones, just because of our size. It made me feel like I belong. I had a great relationship with them. And then Dennis Bligen, who was my roommate in camp, Dennis and I were both from New York and we became brothers. We were on a mission to send as many draft choices home as we could so we could get a job," he laughed.

Following his time with the Jets, Davidson went from the football field to the field of education. Initially thinking that he'd like to give back by coaching high school football, he learned to do that, he needed to become a teacher. So after quickly earning a license, he did.

"I started teaching in New York City at Jackson Heights," Davidson said. "And then I was very fortunate that my middle school phys ed teacher (Lou Trager), who became the principal of my middle school, saw that I was teaching somewhere else and brought me back to Junior High School 109, which is the school that I went to. And then he mentored me for 10 years and really helped me to elevate my credibility as an educator."

Davidson went from being a teacher to a dean to an assistant principal to principal in the New York City Department of Education before becoming neighbors with the Jets' facility at Hofstra as assistant principal and then principal at Hempstead High School.  

After 23 years working in schools, in 2018, Davidson became the manager of the Public Consulting Group in Charlotte, NC, which develops strategic partnerships with both state agencies and school districts around the country.

"The whole game changed in education. Anyone that was a practitioner knows with all of the political influences and everything that's going on now, people aren't jumping into the education field. So my passion right now is making sure that those that are in this field feel valued, feel understood and feel respected," Davidson said.

"Most of what I do is to help those that supervise, make them understand and trust that they can make a mistake and that they're not going to be evaluated and penalized. And that there's safe space for them to grow and to learn. Because it's just a different environment than we've ever had before. And what's just so much needed is anyone to be front of especially black and brown kids that look like them, to be able to navigate this educational environment."

Making their home in suburban Charlotte, Davidson and his wife, Janet, have four daughters: Kimberly, Kyla, Kerani and Kanisa; and two grandchildren: Ava-Mari and Amzi.

"Just an aside, I've been so fortunate in my life to have these experiences, ups and downs," Davidson said. "I do a lot of leadership developments and a lot of professional talks, and I always leave everyone with the three things that I live by right now.

"First is to be kind in all of your personal and professional relationships because you really never know what anybody is going through or what they've been through. I know it's a natural thing to judge, but give people the benefit of the doubt and just be kind.

"The next thing is to hold people accountable without shaming them. Which is one of the hardest things to do. How do you lift someone up when you're critiquing them? Coach them to help them to get better.

"And then the last thing is, I want every relationship that I'm in with another human being just to be a little bit better because I was in it. I want to add value to every life that I touch. Imagine what this world would be like if we each added value to each other's life."