We all know his name, and for 13 years we watched in amazement as Marvin Harrison dazzled Colts' fans with his ability to yank balls out of tighter coverage than saran wrap on a ham sandwich, the blinding speed that very few cover men could match, and the quiet man behind the thunderous receiver.
But now we are being reacquainted with Harrison in a new light that is marred with controversy and the speculation of murder.
ESPN.com is reporting that the FBI has joined the Philadelphia Police Department’s investigation into ex-receiver Marvin Harrison’s role in a shooting death last summer, located in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia.
Dwight Dixon, a convicted drug dealer, was the victim of a blatant shooting, in which the gunman reportedly walked up to the vehicle Dixon was occupying, shot four times through the driver’s side, the rear window, and twice through the passenger side. Dixon suffered wounds to the chest, stomach, and arm.
Harrison’s involvement in all of this goes back a bit further for him and Dixon, apparently.
Right before slipping into a coma, the victim claimed that on Apr. 28, 2008, the two got into an argument at Harrison's bar Playmakers, and soon after, while outside, Harrison pulled out two semi-automatic pistols and began shooting furiously at Dixon, striking him once in the hand.
Now, the investigation has gained new fuel thanks in part to Sept. 4 death of Dixon, and the rumors of other people coming forward with new information.
The entire expose can be read here.
Marvin Harrison was one of the biggest household names for not only Indianapolis fans, but also for the city of Philadelphia—his old stomping grounds.
Harrison owns a car wash and is well known for his sports bar, Playmakers.
Harrison requested to be released by Indianapolis at the end of the 2008 season, after he was told he would have to take a pay cut.
Harrison didn't play at all in 2009, despite rumors of a couple teams showing interest; rumors that never showed themselves to be true.
As sports fans, when we think of a long-time veteran such Harrison being the focal point of an ongoing murder investigation, we often think of such a situation to be surreal, believing there is no way that guy could do anything like that.
We think of his performances, and accomplishments, his demeanor—in Harrison’s case quiet and reserved—and think to ourselves that someone like that could never pull a trigger and take a life.
But the reality is, people are people.
There is no way for us to truly know any sports player/star without knowing the actual person. Outside the afford of our television, or what type of picture the media paints when said player is “peaking,” we only see a small percentage of the "what" behind the "who."
For what we do know about Harrison, and his lifetime of accomplishments and community work through the NFL and its partnerships, one can only hope that this investigation is more of a formality, rather than reality.