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"Oh, my God," said Wilson, "he's got a gun."
"I was in a state of shock," Mack recalls. "Coretta started running away from him. Valerie was going, 'Run, Coretta, run!'"
Seymour and Myers disappeared down the street. Mack heard gunshots and then silence. A few houses away, the police found Richard Seymour and Coretta Myers dead in the backyard. Seymour had shot Myers several times and then turned the gun on himself.
The event was unfathomable even to the people who knew Seymour best. "Not in a million years did I expect that from him," Mack says. "I knew she asked him to leave, but I never expected that."
"I could not believe it when I got the call," Garner recalls. "I talked to Richard a couple of times a day, just trying to be there for him. I mean, he was planning his wedding."
Richard was devastated by the loss of his father. Gradually, though, the community that had formed during his career, all the people who had laughed with his father at all those games and in all those hotel lobbies, gathered around him. At the funeral, a huge delegation from Lower Richland came, as did Garner. Jonas Jennings, Richard's friend who plays for Buffalo, was there. And not only did Richard's Patriots teammates come down, but so did Belichick, team owner Robert Kraft and most of the front office. "It helped Richard so," says his mother. "As he told me before he left for camp in July, he's not questioning God. He knows everything happens for a reason, but right now he just doesn't understand the reason yet. It's going to take some healing. Won't be today. Won't be tomorrow."
He plays this season with a survivor's pain. It's like a radio signal in the mountains, wavering in its intensity, from an ache to an almost unbearable scream. "It changes you," Seymour says, his voice low and his words excruciatingly precise. "It's day to day. That's progress, because some days are better than others. Game days, though--game days are tough."
The game is put away. The Dolphins are put away. In fact, in the final two minutes, both Miami quarterbacks are put away in quick succession. Patriots safety Rodney Harrison sends Jay Fiedler to the sideline, and then linebacker Roosevelt Colvin smacks A.J. Feeley amidships. Not long after that, with their 19th consecutive win in the bag, Harrison and Seymour, in a decidedly un-Patriotic move, dump a bucket of Gatorade on Belichick's head.
The game was a rock fight from the start. Seymour tackled Fiedler deep in Miami territory for his second sack of the season, and that led eventually to the first New England touchdown. But given all that's happened this year, the most striking moment of the day comes when Seymour helps douse his coach in that silly ritual, and joy bursts upon his face like the sun through the clouds.
"Football is a part of my life, but my life is also part of the lives of the people I know, and their lives are a part of mine," says Seymour. "It's all together, and that's a good thing. That's the way it's supposed to be."