"What would you do if you were in' his shoes?" says his teammate Games. "It's easy for people to be critical of Jason. But if you were being given those opportunities, would you say no to them?"
Sehorn's problems over the last two years have not been isolated to football. In 1998 his marriage to former University of Virginia volleyball player Whitney Casey fell apart less than three months after he had blown out his knee and only nine months after their wedding on Valentine's Day. Sehorn had met Casey during his senior year at USC, and they'd dated for nearly six years. "I grew up to believe you're not supposed to get a divorce," Sehorn says, "but I should be grateful Whitney made the decision she did. We split because, as she said, everything was always about Jason, Jason, Jason, and she wanted to pursue a career."
"It really wasn't about Jason, Jason, Jason, because it wasn't his fault," says Casey, now a TV news reporter in South Florida. "I look back, and I understand that I needed time to develop on my own. Every woman needs to have that time in her life, before she gets married, when she establishes herself. In my mind Jason was like a knight, and he will always be like a knight. He's strong and brave, and he's a remarkable person. Now that I've been on my own for a while, I realize how lucky I was to know him."
Not long after Casey left, Sehorn told his mother that he wanted to get away from his home in Teaneck, N.J. Casey had decorated the four-bedroom house, and it held too many memories. He retreated to a condo in Newport Beach, Calif. Not wishing to buy new furniture, he rented "only the bare essentials," as he puts it: a couch, a bed, a kitchen table, a coffee table. He bought a bike, a skateboard and a pair of in-line skates, and nearly every day he took one or another along the Strand, as inconspicuous as the next guy, a hat covering his head. On the skates, he says, "I always made sure I pushed off my right leg—the one I'd damaged. It was a great workout. And no one recognized me. This is Southern California, remember? The same place that let two NFL teams walk."
Old pals from his USC days tried to get him to date, but Sehorn was reluctant. "Did I go out sometimes?" he says. "Yeah. But I wasn't looking for anybody." Then one day in February 1999 there came a knock on his door, Sehorn pulled it open and faced a stranger who looked pleasant enough. He said, "You Jason Sehorn?"
The man produced some papers, ripped off a top copy and handed it to Sehorn. It was a court document stating that Casey had filed for divorce. "To say it didn't hurt would be a lie," Sehorn says. "I was married to this person. You're supposed to make it work."
Sehorn sought counseling with his minister, but otherwise his disappointment and heartache remained private. Months passed before friends and teammates learned that he and Casey were no longer together. "What was I supposed to do," he says, "write an article about it?"
"This was when Jason started taking flights across the country," says his mother, Nancy. "He traveled constantly. And he always seemed to take red-eye flights. He would fly out on a Monday night, return on Tuesday, fly out on Thursday, come back on Saturday." Most of the excursions were between California and New York. On the plane, Nancy says, "he'd have five hours when no one could call him and he had no responsibility. He'd read his Bible. It went on that way for three months, from February to May. I don't think Jason was trying to escape from life, but I do think he wanted a reprieve from it."
"Honey," his mother told him, "I think you ride planes like I used to ride trains—except you get to go first class."