Everett was a quarterback for the Purdue Boilermakers from 1981 to 1985. Originally recruited out of his high school in New Mexico to play either safety or quarterback, Everett was soon slotted into the quarterback role where narrowly missed out on being a four-year starter at Purdue, as a game day decision before his first game as a freshman led to Scott Campbell getting the nod over Everett. Campbell held off Everett for three years, one of which Everett was able to redshirt to gain an extra year of eligibility. Upon Campbell's matriculation to a seven year career in the NFL, Everett took over the reins of the pass-oriented Boilermaker offense. Everett went on to break dozens of Purdue records.
As a junior, Everett led the Boilermakers to the 1984 Peach Bowl, where he passed for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Purdue lost the game to Virginia, quarterbacked by future Green Bay Packer Don Majkowski, 27-24. During the 1985 season, Everett led the NCAA in total offense (3,589 yards), which at the time was also a school record (since broken by Drew Brees). Everett also finished 6th in balloting for the 1985 Heisman Trophy.
Everett excelled in the classroom at Purdue also, earning regular membership on the Distinguished Students list while earning his Bachelor of Science degree in industrial management. During his time at Purdue, Everett regularly tutored fellow Purdue athletes in courses such as calculus and statistical analysis.
Everett is remembered as an excellent passer, especially with the Rams, where he was a statistical leader in several passing categories. His Rams teams were successful early in his career, earning playoff berths in 1986, 1988, and 1989. However, after 1989, he would not find himself back in the playoffs for the remainder of his career. Despite that he continued to produce fine statistics, and was rewarded with a trip to the 1991 Pro Bowl game, played in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The 1993 season was a low point in his career. He played in only 10 games but managed to throw 12 interceptions. He only threw eight touchdown passes, tying the lowest amount in his career and matching his rookie total when he only played in six games. The next season in New Orleans he turned his performance around. In three years with the Saints, he threw 22, 26, and 12 touchdowns.
Over his career, he managed to perform well enough to be among league leaders in several passing categories. His 203 touchdown passes rank 25th all-time, and his 34,837 passing yards are good enough for 14th all-time. He also ranks 15th all-time in completions and 16th all-time in pass attempts. On a year to year basis, he was among the top ten league leaders in the following categories: pass attempts (seven times), completions (eight times), pass yards (seven times), and passing touchdowns (six, including leading the league twice).
"Chris" Everett Controversy
Following the 1989 regular season, Everett was reportedly "shellshocked" from the multiple times he was sacked and hit in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers (the 49ers won, 30-3). At one point in the game, Everett was so rattled that he collapsed to the ground in the pocket merely in anticipation of yet another sack, even though the 49ers' defensive players actually had not yet reached him; a play now known as Everett's "phantom sack". From then on he was perceived to shy away from hits, and later acknowledged that his confidence was never fully restored.
This reputation led to Everett's infamous 1994 confrontation with then Talk2 host Jim Rome. Rome had made a habit of repeatedly mocking Everett's reputation for being averse to taking hits by referring to Everett as "Chris" Everett (a reference to female tennis star Chris Evert). Everett appeared as a guest on the show and Rome wasted no time, applying the insult twice within the first 10 seconds of introducing Everett. Everett warned Rome not to do it again, implying that physical consequences would ensue otherwise.
Everett, visibly angry by this point, then went on to challenge Rome, predicting that now that the warning had been issued, Rome wouldn't dare to repeat the insult again. Rome promptly applied the insult a third time and Everett responded by physically charging Rome, overturning a table and knocking down Rome live on air before leaving the set. This incident was later parodied on an episode of Cheap Seats with Randy and Jason Sklar portraying the two.