Thou Shalt Not Pass

Nnamdi Asomugha, a big giver, makes misery for NFL receivers

Photograph by Andrew Cutraro for TIME

Portrait of Nnamdi Asomugha.

Nnamdi Asomugha--pronounced Ah-sum-wah--believes there are two keys to his profession, which is to prevent some of the swiftest, surest-handed athletes on the planet from catching our national oblong obsession, the football. The first, says the All-Pro cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles, is patience. When defending a receiver, if you lean in too early--whoosh!--he is blowing by you, cradling the quarterback's spiral and chest-bumping his teammates in the end zone. You, meanwhile, are alone, toast, the target of taunts from Philadelphia's famously ill-tempered fans.

The second? "You have to be able to dance," Asomugha says during an early-September interview at a New...

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