He was the first professional athlete I had ever known personally. And in his prime as a football player he was an all-pro pass defender, the best in his business. Like many other people, I was drawn to him, to the force within him that made him a winner, a man with the courage to put his body on the line against an opponent before 75,000 people. On a Monday, six days before his team would play against the Dallas Cowboys, the two of us were having lunch together. The upcoming game was the subject of our conversation. “How will you prepare yourself for the Cowboy pass offense?” I asked him. “What will your schedule be this week?” “Well the mornings will all be practice at the stadium,” he answered. “And then I’ll go home to my den and load the projector [these were the days before VCRs] with game films, and I’ll study the Cowboy receivers until I know all of…
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