Chris Spielman has made a living as a tough, hard-nosed linebacker in the National Football League. His intense play and love for the game are well-known by those who follow the sport. But when his wife was diagnosed with cancer before the 1998 season began, Spielman chose to miss an entire year of football to take care of her. He told reporters that his decision was based on his love for his family. He explained, "I told Stephanie that I want to be the one to take her to treatments. I want to be the one to hold her hand. I want to be the one to take care of my kids when she can't."