It was his 27th birthday and Ernie Holmes, defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was picking up the meat for his party. Not at the supermarket or butcher's, though. Holmes was personally slaughtering a calf at his father's farm outside Houston. "I gave him a forearm lift," says Holmes, describing his barnyard battle with the beast. "That knocked him into the fence Then I put a full nelson on him." Finally Holmes dropped the animal with a high-powered rifle. "Forty-five minutes later," he says, "we had...

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