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Pick of the day: GQ on Colts receiver Marvin Harrison

I don't normally read GQ or keep up with pro football, but I recently came across Jason Fagone's excellent story in the February issue about a 2008 shooting Colts receiver Marvin Harrison was allegedly involved in (HT to Gangrey).

Suffice it to say, you don't need to be an NFL fan to appreciate what Fagone has done. The story has more in common with an episode of "Law and Order" than it does with a wild card play off game.

Fagone tells you all you need to know about Harrison and how unlikely it was for him to have a brush with the law. I especially enjoyed this bit:

Harrison was not supposed to be this guy, the black athlete with a gun. Insecure, obnoxious, prone to acts of catharsis—that was Terrell Owens, Michael Vick. But Marvin?

Marvin drank juice.

Pro football has made Harrison a multimillionaire. Yet, instead of retreating to a McMansion in the burbs, he tends to a series of businesses on his home turf in North Philly. His mini-empire includes a bar and a car wash, where in 2008, he was confronted by Dwight Dixon, a.k.a. Pop. Fagone describes Dixon as "three hundred pounds of swagger squeezed into expensive Gucci and Polo shirts," who did not like it when he was barred from several of Harrison's establishment.

Rather than spoil it for those of you who don't know what happened, I will just say shots were fired. Fagone pieces together what happened through his reporting, which leads me to one of the interesting debates the story raises. The opening scene, which describes the shooting, is written as if Fagone was there. He was not, of course, but recreated it, relying heavily on the account of one eyewitness. While Fagone inserts a disclaimer early on that reads, "Re-created from interviews, court filings, and police reports, and told through the eyes of Robert Nixon," it raises some questions about whether Fagone should have taken so much of what Nixon said at face value. (Nixon initially told police he didn't see anything. By the end of the piece, he is locked up on an unrelated charge.) I'll leave that for the rest of you to debate.

The story moves swiftly and Fagone's asides are often hilarious. It's a great read and may have serious consequences for Harrison.

By Annys Shin  | January 27, 2010; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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