Even in the churning vortex of the NFL, Rodney Harrison was always a fearless operator. He played safety with unusual ferocity for 15 seasons, the last six with the New England Patriots (2003-08). There wasn't a tight end sprinting across the middle or a running back blowing through the line he wouldn't try to tackle. But tackling this gnawing question, well, this one has him seriously flummoxed. "Oh," he said recently, pausing. "That's -- that's tough." Harrison, in his sixth season with NBC's "Football Night in America," is part of the broadcast crew for Super Bowl XLIX. In the coming days, you'll probably see the two-time Super Bowl champion discussing the unprecedented success of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, his former head coach and quarterback, but there is one thing you won't hear. He refuses to place one above the other. "Obviously, Bill Belichick jump-started Tom Brady's career," Harrison said. "Yeah, we'll put Drew...
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This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Feb. 16 Gambling Issue. Subscribe today! ON THE NIGHT of Dec. 1, 2012, a man named Jack Easterby -- a lanky and balding former college basketball player and golfer with a thick Southern accent and a demeanor so relentlessly positive that it approaches goofy -- stood before the Kansas City Chiefs and tried to make sense of death. Not just death: a murder-suicide. That morning, shortly after killing his girlfriend with 10 shots, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher arrived at the team parking lot with a handgun. He was distraught, crazed, panicked. A few team officials surrounded him, pleading with him to surrender his weapon and to not do any more damage. From down the road a police siren grew louder. Belcher decided it was over. "You know that I've been having some major problems at home and with my girlfriend," he said. "I have hurt my girl already, and I can't go back now." Belcher knelt...