Marvin Harrison’s gun seized by police

According to the Indianapolis Star, Philadelphia police seized a 9 mm handgun from Marvin Harrison’s SUV during a traffic stop on Wednesday evening. Harrison had a valid license for the gun, but had denied that he was in possession of the weapon when the police officer asked him about it.

No charges were filed, but as the Star points out, this isn’t the first time Harrison and his guns have found trouble.

Harrison was a suspect in an April 2008 shooting in Philadelphia, but the local DA declined to press charges citing a lack of evidence. When she announced her finding in January 2009, then-DA Lynne Abraham refused to rule out prosecuting Harrison in the future.

Investigators said a gun owned by Harrison was used in the shooting.

A Philadelphia man, Dwight Dixon, later accused Harrison of shooting him. Dixon was shot again in July 2009 and died two months later. Current DA Seth Williams has called Harrison a person of interest in that case.

In the 2008 shooting (in which three people were injured), two of the victims said that Harrison had fired the shots, but he was never charged with anything due to lack of evidence. Dixon also said that Harrison had shot him, yet the receiver wasn’t charged with anything then either.

Now Dixon is dead after being shot again and Harrison is driving around lying about having a gun in his SUV. If he had a valid license for the gun on him, why did Harrison lie to the police and tell them that he wasn’t carrying the weapon?

I’m no Jessica Fletcher, but something doesn’t add up here.

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New details emerge in Marvin Harrison shooting

In the February GQ story, “The Dirtiest Player,” Jason Fagone tells the tale of eyewitness Robert Nixon, who witnessed the Harrison shooting.

It was a scene* to make anybody stop and watch. Broad daylight in North Philadelphia. April 29, 2008—a Tuesday. The corner of 25th Street and Thompson, about seven blocks north of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the steps Rocky climbed. A block of brick row houses, a church with a rubbed-out sign, a Hispanic grocery, a vacant lot. In one sense, the presence of a future Hall of Famer at this seedy vortex of the city—Harrison, eight-time Pro Bowl wide receiver with the Indianapolis Colts, then at the tail end of a thirteen-season career and a $67 million contract—was incongruous. Especially given that Harrison, who is usually described as “quiet” and “humble,” was noisily stomping the fat man in the face and gut.

To Nixon, the fat man looked semi-conscious.

After several minutes, Harrison and McCray walked away. The fat man slowly picked himself up. Shouting epithets, he staggered to his car. Nixon watched as Marvin Harrison got into his own car, parked to the west of the fat man’s. The fat man put his car into reverse. Thompson Street is one-way going east. The fat man backed up the wrong way until he was smack in front of Chuckie’s Garage, a car wash Harrison owns. The fat man was now blocking Harrison, who was trying to drive away.

Nixon saw Harrison get out of his car and exchange words with the fat man. He couldn’t hear the words, but he could see the gestures of threat and counterthreat. The fat man stayed in his car. He called somebody on his cell. Harrison got back into his car and called somebody on his cell. After a minute or two, Harrison got out of his car for the second time.

Marvin Harrison is six feet tall and 185 pounds. He has a neatly trimmed mustache and the body-fat content of an Olympic swimmer. He became the dominant wide receiver of his era not by outleaping or outwrestling defenders but by exploiting an almost supernatural talent for getting open: for feints, fakes, jukes, dodges, bluffs, stutter steps, sudden bursts of sick speed. But at this moment, Nixon says, Marvin Harrison did not run. He stood on the sidewalk and calmly raised his wiry arms. In each hand, Nixon clearly saw, was a gun.

Nixon froze.

“YOU A BITCH-ASS NIGGA!” Nixon heard the fat man scream at Harrison. “YOU AIN’T GONNA SHOOT. YOU AIN’T GONNA SHOOT. DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO.”

Nixon was across the street and thirty yards away when Harrison started shooting. Pop pop pop pop pop pop—a great staccato gust of bullets. Steadily, Nixon says, Harrison unloaded both guns into the fat man’s car, stippling the red Toyota Tundra with bullet holes as the fat man ducked in his seat. Eventually, the fat man sat up and sped off, heading straight toward Nixon’s position as Harrison darted into the street and continued to shoot.

Read the rest of the story here. It’s an eye-opening read. Harrison was always the consummate professional on the field, but this story paints a very different picture.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Decade Debate: Greatest Fantasy Players

In the world of fantasy football, a decade is a long time. It’s rare for a player to achieve fantasy stardom for five straight years, much less ten. As part of our Decade Debate series, here is a list of the top players of the ’00s, by position, under a high performance scoring system. The criteria is simple — we’re looking for sustained excellence.

QB: Peyton Manning, Colts

Let’s see, from 2000 to 2008, Manning has averaged 4,195 passing yards, 31.2 touchdowns, and only 13.6 interceptions. He is the model of consistency, never missing a start and finishing in the top 6 each and every season. In 2009, he’s on pace for another 4,967 yards and 35 TD. At just 33 years of age, the durable Manning has a shot at being the top fantasy QB of the ’10s as well.

Honorable Mention: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper

Read the rest of this entry »

2009 fantasy football is coming soon—a look back at 2008 QBs

Remember when we were instructed to draft running backs with our first two, and in some cases, our first four, fantasy football picks? Yeah, that was so 1999. Heck, that was so 2004 or 2005 when LT and Shaun Alexander were dominating the gridiron. But a funny thing has happened. Running backs by committee are not only keeping legs fresh, they are wreaking havoc on fantasy rosters. Also, a recent trend toward pass-happy offenses is making quarterbacks and receivers more valuable. Last season, QBs were dominating — here is how the Top 10 QBs finished fantasy-wise in 2008 (your league may have scored differently than mine) and what you can expect from them in 2009:

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints—Brees fell 15 yards short of Dan Marino’s single season passing yards record, finishing with 5069 yards, along with 34 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Is he going to match that? There’s no reason to believe he won’t.

2. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers—I had LT last year and one of the reasons his stats suffered was because this guy kept throwing the damn ball. Rivers threw for 4009 yards with 34 TDs and just 11 picks. This year, will they go back to more of a run-first offense? Probably not — not with LT a year older.

3. Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals—Ah, the Fountain of Youth is a beautiful thing. Warner drank from it often, and of course when you have guys named Boldin and Fitzgerald to throw to, it can make you look good and feel ten years younger. Still, who expected 4582 yards and 30 touchdowns with 14 picks and a trip to the Super Bowl? Not me. This year, Warner may not have Boldin, who just keeps whining about his contract, but don’t think the QB’s numbers will suffer all that much.

4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers—Brett who? You certainly won’t hear anyone blaming the Packers’ 6-10 season on Rodgers. It was in fact their defense that failed them, because Rodgers passed for 4038 yards with 28 TDs and 13 interceptions. And just for kicks, Favre’s numbers with the Jets were 3472 yards, but 22 TDs and league leading 22 picks. Going into 2009, Rodgers’ stock has to be even higher.

5. Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos—On what planet does 4526 yards and 25 touchdown passes get you run out of town? In Denver, where new coach Josh McDaniel screwed up and tried to trade for Matt Cassel. Oops. Cutler is now in Chicago, so that means his fantasy stock automatically drops a few notches.

6. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts—The Colts got off to a horrible start and in fact didn’t win the division for the first time in years. But Manning finished strong, with 4002 yards, 27 TDs and just 12 picks. Marvin Harrison is no longer catching his passes, but that doesn’t mean Manning doesn’t have weapons.

7. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles—It was a roller coaster season in 2008, but the Eagles came within about a quarter of reaching the Super Bowl. Somehow McNabb held it together (what, they have ties in the NFL?) and wound up having a great season, passing for 3916 yards with 23 TD passes and 11 picks. He only had 147 rushing yards and 2 rushing scores, but that’s what Philly has Brian Westbrook for. McNabb is getting long in the tooth, but he’s smarter and as accurate as ever.

8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys—Okay, so there may be trouble in paradise and there is no T.O. anymore, but Romo is still a very good fantasy QB. His 3448 yards and 26 TDs were a bit off his 2007 pace (4211, 36 TDs), but part of that is because he missed a few games with a thumb injury.

9. Matt Cassel, New England Patriots—With zero pro experience and almost zero college experience, who would have thought Matt Cassel could come in for Tom Brady and have the season he did? Okay, so he is no Brady, but Brady is in a class of his own anyway. Cassel’s 3490 yards with 21 TD passes and just 10 interceptions were good enough to land him the starting job in Kansas City. How that will affect his fantasy stats remains to be seen, but don’t expect too much of a drop-off on an improved Chiefs’ team.

10. Chad Pennington, Miami Dolphins—You know Chad is still gloating after being pushed out of New York by Brett Favre, and then leading his Dolphins to the division title. Pennington is always risky as a fantasy QB because of injuries and inconsistency, but 3653 yards and 19 TDs is not shabby, nor was his microscopic total of 7 picks. If he stays healthy, Chad should have another good season.

The other name you’ll have to consider in 2009 is Brady. He missed the final 15 ¾ of the season after getting knocked out of the opener against Kansas City, but early reports are that Brady is looking and feeling great and will be at full strength in 2009. Randy Moss is salivating, and so will fantasy owners, though they will do so skeptically.

Are you ready for some football? I know I am and feel great just talking about it!

(Next week: Wide Receivers)

Marvin Harrison has no plans to retire

Remember Marvin Harrison? Well, apparently the 37-year old receiver is healthy, has no plans to retire and wants to play in 2009.

“I played in 15 games last year and a playoff game, and I intend to play again this season,” Condon said Harrison told him in a conversation Thursday afternoon.

Harrison, who turns 37 in August, was released by the Colts after the 2008 season, in large part for salary-cap relief. Harrison, who didn’t agree to a restructured contract, was scheduled to count more than $13 million against the Colts’ 2009 cap.

Last season, Harrison had just 60 catches for 636 yards and five touchdowns — the lowest full single-season totals of his career. He missed 11 games in 2007 because of a knee injury, catching just 20 passes and scoring one touchdown.

There hasn’t been much interest in Harrison at this point, but Condon said he expects his client to sign with a team close to the time that training camps open later this summer.

The knock on Harrison is that he won’t play for a veteran’s minimum salary, but considering no teams have showed interest in him to this point, he might change his tune once the season draws near. One would think that a receiver-needy team would have interest in a receiver of Harrison’s stature, but nobody wants to overpay for a 37-year old with knee issues.

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