Reggie Harrison’s memory isn’t good with dates, but the visions can still be crisp. He has placed the lowest moment of his life sometime near the mid-1980s: A young man standing at Hains Point, where the Potomac River meets the Washington Channel in our nation’s capital, leaning over the precipice of a tragic decision.
“I fought the devil twice,” said Harrison, 65, who changed his name to Kamal Salaam-El to honor his Moorish heritage. “I got so despondent that I wanted to end it all. I came close to doing what Junior Seau did, what Ray Easterling did. My gosh, Mike Webster and I were rookies together.”
About a decade after he barged through the Cowboys’ line and blocked Mitch Hoopes’ punt for a Steelers safety to spur them toward victory in Super Bowl X, Salaam-El was saved by an elderly woman who passed him in the park that Sunday morning. She saw the tears streaming down his face and said, “Young man, are you OK?”
“I don’t know how I came out of it,” said Salaam-El, who lives in Woodbridge, Va., with his third wife, a former high-school girlfriend. “I just thank God that I did.”
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