"I want you to stay up there long enough to get them both in," Stupek said. "O.K.," Sehorn replied, and he did as he was told.
Sehorn did not play high school baseball, but after graduating he went out for an American Legion team, the Siskiyous Spirits, mainly because he was looking for a good time with his buddies. In July 1988 he caught the eye of a Chicago Cubs scout who, after seeing him play in only three games, signed him to a $60,000 contract. But two years of struggling to hit the curveball in the low minors persuaded Sehorn that he was wasting his time, as well as the Cubs'. "The pitcher throws a slider," he says, "and you kind of look at it and say, 'What did he just throw me?' That was me for a while."
In 1990 Sehorn was back home and on the football team at Shasta Community College. The first time he touched the ball, against Oakland's Laney College, he took a lateral from a teammate on a kickoff return and ran 93 yards for a touchdown that won the game with 30 seconds left. The next week, against the College of San Mateo, he caught five passes and ran each one in for a touchdown. "He killed everybody," Stupek says. "Our attendance more than doubled during the time he was here, from an average of about 2,000 to one of 4,000 or 5,000, and every game was standing room only. We were an average team, but that didn't matter. There was a carnival atmosphere. People came from all around—from the hills around where he lived—just to watch Jason play. "
Sehorn signed with Southern Cal after twice being named junior college All-America. The Trojans moved him to safety, then to cornerback, and he came into his own as a senior, with seven interceptions. The Giants took him late in the second round of the 1994 draft, and after Sehorn came to terms with the club, he bought his mother a Mercedes. "I promised you this," he told her.
In a few years Nancy had sold the car and replaced it with a Dodge Ram pickup truck, practically the biggest and noisiest thing on the road. "Cute little lady in this giant snowmobile," Sehorn says. "Got to be the funniest thing you ever saw in your life."
On their first date Sehorn and Harmon went to dinner and a movie. The film was a Harrison Ford vehicle called Random Hearts, and Jason later said he wished he'd liked it more. The best thing about it might have been its title, which pretty much expressed how the actress and the football star regarded themselves at the moment. You give a girl a look, and the next thing you know you want to spend the rest of your life with her.
They dated for two months before they realized that they were in love. "When you've been through enough stuff in life, you start to think, There's nothing special about me and there's nothing wonderful, either," Harmon says. "I grew up in a good Christian family, but before Jason came along, I was starting to wonder if God found me appealing at all. Then all of a sudden God hands me this perfect angel, and says, 'O.K., Angie, here you go. You went through all that so you could be the right person for Jason. Here he is. Take him.' "
She told him she wanted babies, four of them, and he said great. She said she wanted to raise their family in Dallas, where she's from, and he said fine. When the subject of becoming engaged came up, he was both available and elusive, encouraging and vague. More than anything, he wanted the proposal to be a surprise. "I'm not just going to give you a ring over dinner," he told her one night in a restaurant.
Then came a day last March when she was set to appear on The Tonight Show. On the limo ride to NBC Studios in Burbank, Harmon asked herself the same question over and over again: What about my life can possibly be interesting enough for me to be on The Tonight Show? She was alone in the big dumb car; Jason had an appointment in Newport Beach, something to do with the sale of his condo. She arrived at her dressing room two hours before showtime and had her makeup and hair done. When Jason finally turned up, he gave no indication that anything out of the ordinary was about to happen. He simply sat on a couch and talked to the people in the room.
"Before the show Jay Leno comes in, and he totally knows what Jason is planning to do," Harmon says. "He says, 'So I hear you're pretty serious with this guy.' I look at him, because Jay knows I don't talk about my personal life. I finally say, 'I really don't want to talk about him, Jay' He goes, 'Sure, I understand.' But then he says, 'Do you think this is serious? Do you think you guys are going to get married?' "