Outside the Lines: Kermit Alexander

Tom Friend's piece on former 49ers and Rams cornerback Kermit Alexander takes a close look at a fascinating life -- well beyond the notorious play that helped define his career:

Then came Nov. 10, 1968. Kermit was an All-Pro that season, and in a game at Wrigley Field, the Bears made the mistake of running the elegant Gale Sayers to his side of the field. Kermit went airborne to take out the lead guard, but the guard dove away from him to avoid contact, which left Kermit flying straight into Sayers' right knee -- just as Sayers was planting his leg.

This story has so much depth. As the sub-headline reads: "The man whose tackle injured Gale Sayers ended up living the hardest life of all. Until fate gave him one last chance at peace."