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Chiefs Play Despite Murder-Suicide; Closer to the Cliff; Professor Fights Attacker Saving Student Lives; No Action on Same-Sex Marriage; CNN Heroes Tribute Preview; Unicorn Lair in North Korea?; John McAfee Denies Involvement in Neighbor's Murder; Two NFL Players Leave Careers to Perform Religious Pilgrimage

Aired December 2, 2012 - 16:00   ET


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone, so glad you could join us here today at the CNN center. I'm Deborah Feyerick, in today for Fredricka Whitfield.

Well, a sad day in football as we speak. Kansas City Chiefs playing their NFL game despite the tragic loss of a team members. Lineblacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend yesterday then drove to the team practice facility and killed himself. Pulling the trigger while his coach and general manager watched in disbelief.. Belcher and his girlfriend recently celebrated the birth of their 3-month-old daughter.

Ed Lavandera is in Kansas City, Missouri, right now.

And, Ed, what are you hearing? What are investigators learning?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they've offered few clues as to what led up to this horrific moment yesterday morning here in Kansas City, but police did say that they had had no previous reports of disturbance calls at the home where Jovan Belcher's girlfriend was shot yesterday morning, but that there were some sort of argument in the moments leading up to it.

So all of that very preliminary, a lot of that work being done today, but the game where the Kansas City Chiefs were playing went on as scheduled. In fact just moments ago, in the stadium behind me, Arrowhead Stadium, here in Kansas City, the Kansas City Chiefs actually won the football game today, 27-24. We've been listening to the team's radio broadcast of the game, you can hear in the announcers' voices talking about just how emotional this day has been, this coming in such short time before this game was scheduled to play.

The decision was made to carry on with the game, and obviously here in the next few moments we will begin to hear, Deborah, from the coaches and the players for the first time at length and as you well know many of the questions will be surrounding Jovan Belcher, what they knew of his situation, what might have led up to horrific moment that transpired here yesterday in Kansas City.

FEYERICK: And you know, clearly with so many fans there, we heard that the mood, even, you know, that the mood was just much more subdued throughout not only just the tailgate parties, but even inside the stadium.

Has anybody trickled out yet? Have you had a chance to speak to anybody there? We know you just got on scene.

LAVANDERA: No, this is literally just seconds before we went on the air here, that you -- you know, you could hear the announcements here just outside the stadium, talk about how the Chiefs, the game had just ended. So we'll begin to get a lot of that emotion.

Absolutely, you know these are the kinds of events that put games like this into perspective. This is a team that had struggled mightily throughout the year, not a very good football team, quite frankly, with a horrible record. But all of that set aside.

There was a moment of silence for victims of domestic abuse before the game started here this afternoon. So, you know, the team trying to put into context what they're dealing with and the importance on where they think the focus should be on today whit this horrible news.

FEYERICK: And clearly, I'm sure, Ed, just being inside that stadium, just a sense of absence, a sense of loss, you know, and people just thinking what could have driven this man to do this.

All right, Ed Lavandera for us there in Kansas City. Thanks so much. We'll check in just a little bit.

Well, also sports related, a 22-year-old man in critical condition after falling about 40 feet from right outside of Bank of America Stadium last night. It happened moments after kickoff of the ACC Championship with Florida State and Georgia Tech. Authorities say they think it's the first such incident at the Charlotte North Carolina venue.

Well, 30 days until the fiscal cliff and if Democrats and Republicans don't start talking to each other, every America's taxes will be going up January 1st.

As Emily Schmidt reports, a lot of the talking is happening, not at the negotiating table. It's happening at the Sunday talk shows.


EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been 16 days since President Obama and congressional leaders met to talk about how to avoid the fiscal cliff, the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that begin to kick in if there's no agreement by January 1st. Sixteen days to get here.

TIMOTHY GEITHNER, U.S. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: I think we're farther apart still, but I think we're moving closer together.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I would say we're nowhere, period. We're nowhere.

SCHMIDT: Thursday Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner proposed Presented Obama's plan, that included $1.6 trillion in tax revenue, coming largely from an expiration of Bush era tax cuts for families who make more than $250,000 a year. Geithner says that's a must.

GEITHNER: There's not going to be an agreement without rates going up.

SCHMIDT: The administration's plan also included $50 billion in new stimulus spending, Boehner says the entire proposal represented three weeks of wasted time.

BOEHNER: I'm just flabbergasted. I looked at him and said you can't be serious.

SCHMIDT: The House speaker says Republicans have put increased revenues including efforts to close tax loopholes and reform the tax code on the table, instead of raising tax rates for anyone.

BOEHNER: The fact is, if there's another way to get revenue from upper income Americans that doesn't hurt our economy, then why wouldn't we consider it?

SCHMIDT: Those are publicly unchanged positions with the deadlines that's set, too. Whether political theater or political reality, there's more mention going over the fiscal cliff could go beyond hypothetical.

BOEHNER: There's clearly a chance.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think we're going over the cliff. It's pretty clear to me they've made a political calculation.

GEITHNER: If they are going to force higher rates on virtually all Americans because they're unwilling to let tax rates go up on 2 percent of Americans, then, you know, that's the choice we're going to have to make.


FEYERICK: Well, Emily joins us live from Washington.

And so, Emily, did anyone on any of the talk shows offer something resembling a bipartisan deal, or was it just this sort of negativity?

SCHMIDT: Well, Deb, when the weekend began, an official who's really familiar with this situation said there were no planned talks between the White House and congressional leaders to try to overcome this impasse and certainly, as we saw on the talk shows today, there is no word that anything has been added to anyone's calendars in the past couple of days.

So is there hope a deal can be reached? Certainly that hope is still alive. But is there a timeline in place as to when it could happen, not yet -- Deb.

FEYERICK: Yes, if I have bet some good money, money which I'm not going to give up in taxes just yet, I would probably say it'll be in the 11th hour.

OK, Emily Schmidt, for us live in Washington. Thanks so much.

Well, a series of suicide car bombings leave five people dead in eastern Afghanistan today. Insurgents disguised as coalition forces attacked a joint U.S.-Afghan base at three different locations. So far no reports of any U.S. casualties. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Well, the Internet blackout is over in Syria. And the Syrian opposition says that the blackout was the government's way of preventing the flow of information and cutting them off from the outside world. Meanwhile a car bomb went off near a mosque in Homs, killing 15 people and wounding 24 others. Another car bomb in a Damascus suburb killed three people. The Syrian Air Force is shelling rebels-held around Damascus.

Well, Mexico has a new president, but not everyone is happy about it. Protesters clashed with police outside the Congress as President Enrique Pena Nieto was being sworn in. Video shows them hurling rocks at metal barriers as the police retaliate with teargas. Pena Nieto is promising to create economic opportunity and reduced violence.

Election day was a month ago, but it looks like some politicians are already starting to campaign anew. It's the never-ending campaign and we'll go on the trail.

And on Friday, the Supreme Court justices had the chance to tell us if they'd weigh in on same-sex marriage, but not a word from the bench. We'll hear in a minute why that doesn't necessarily mean they're done with the issue.


FEYERICK: The 2012 election, yes, that was so last month. That means it is time for prospective candidates to start looking ahead to the next one.

CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser is in Washington now with what's being called the never, ever ending campaign -- Paul.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Hey, Deb. The presidential election may be fading into the rearview mirror but you know what, it sure still feels a lot like campaign season.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm already missing the time that I spent on the campaign visiting towns like this and talking to folks like you.


OBAMA: I love you back.

STEINHAUSER (voice-over): The president speaking at a campaign-style event at a factory in suburban Philadelphia, pushing to avert the fiscal cliff. House Republicans hours before the president's trip pushed back against Mr. Obama's plans in their own campaign-style video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This notion of $250,000 being the top 2 percent or the wealthy people in America ignores the way most small businesses work in America.

STEINHAUSER: This political fight is over policy, but if you weren't paying attention, you'd swear the presidential election was still going on.

While the fiscal cliff battle plays out, campaign politics marches on.

MIKE ROUNDS, FORMER SOUTH DAKOTA GOVERNOR: I want to help create a better United States.

STEINHAUSER: We're less than a month removed from the 2012 election, but former South Dakota governor Mike Rounds is already looking ahead to 2014, announcing a bid for the Senate.

ROUNDS: I'll be out visiting in a lot of communities around South Dakota.

STEINHAUSER: And he was the second Republican to do that this past week. Joining Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

While 2014 is a long way away, 2013 is just over the horizon. That's when New Jersey's Chris Christie is up re-election and the tough talking Republican governors making clear that he wants another term in office to help his state recover from superstorm Sandy.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don't want to leave now. We have a job to do. That job won't be finished by next year.


STEINHAUSER: It may be the holiday season, but it seems there is no holiday from campaign politics -- Deb.

FEYERICK: Thanks, Paul.

Well, the priority for Congress and the White House tomorrow, making headway on the fiscal cliff, and stopping automatic spending cuts and instant tax hikes from hitting every American. Negotiations between the White House and Congress have stalled, John Boehner calling it a stalemate.

There are 30 days to go. Charles Blow is the "New York Times" columnist and he's written lots about this.

Well, Charles, draw me a picture. How does this end?

CHARLES BLOW, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, we hope it ends with a deal, right? That's how most Americans win in this. But everyone is staking out their positions, and really coming and drawing the ring around the area where they think needs protecting or they want to advance. And so the presidents and the Democrats are basically outlining the increased revenue side of the spectrum. And the Republicans are looking at it and saying, yes, but come to the table and tell us what you're going to do in terms of cutting entitlements and spending. And so both of them are now at this -- at this phase where it looks like they're at loggerheads.

I happen to believe, though, we -- that we don't know what's happening behind the scenes. Some of this can just be political posturing. We don't know the discussions that are being had in private and no one wants to be the person who blinks first.

The president and Democrats say we won. Why should we blink first? And Boehner -- he's trying to protect his job. Like he has to convince people in Congress who have either pledged outright or who have said that they will not raise taxes to violate that pledge. And that is going to take some political maneuvering. So I think on the surface, they don't want to be seen as giving.

FEYERICK: Right. So -- OK, very simplistically, what we're really talking about in a way is creating some sort of acceptable national budget. How much do we need to bring in, how much do we need to spend ? How much do we need to cut?

BLOW: Right.

FEYERICK: That's sort of the simple way of deciding. The question is, has anybody reached a consensus on what the ultimate budget needs to be. For example, the president has said, you know, he wants to bring in $1.6 trillion over 10 years, House Speaker John Boehner said no, probably just half that, $800 billion. So do we even know where we need to be basically?

BLOW: Well, I don't think that they have agreed on where they need to be. What we want to do is to see if there's a way that we can bring down the deficit by either bringing in more -- bringing in more taxes in terms of revenue or cutting spending. And the third leg of that is the thing that we don't know.

How fast can we make the economy grow? If the economy grows faster, then we don't need to cut as much and we don't need as many new revenue. But the growth of the economy is in a way the fuzziest of all these things, because you don't know how fast you can get estimates, so you know. What you do have, the bird in the hand is you know you can bring in more revenue if you raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. You know you can save money if you cut entitlements.

So the question becomes, how far do we want to go down the road of solving the problem? Some people may say, we don't have to go all the way as long as we make progress and we show to Americans that you guys are in good hands with us, because at least we're going in the right direction. Right now we can't even say that.

FEYERICK: Right, so really that's what the wild card is, and what's so interesting is, you know, all of these things have a price tag. You know you raise taxes on the top 2 percent. You get X billions or one point trillion something of money. BLOW: Right.

FEYERICK: If you cut you'll get this much. So there really is sort of a laundry list of items and prices that each side is willing to agree on. Do you think they're going to go right down to the wire?

BLOW: I think it probably will go down to the wire, but the question will be whether or not they will put in some measures and not do the whole grand bargain.


BLOW: Or will they let everything expire then start after -- after the fact that we'd gone over the cliff and say now let's pull back and pass things that we think are important to most Americans if we can't pass -- agree on something that's important to all Americans. But I think the most important thing that both people -- both sides are trying to do in terms of positioning, is to look like they are looking out for the middle class.


BLOW: And that becomes the issue where, you know, it becomes a tug of war and a war -- kind of a matter of semantics, where, you know, are you -- if you raise taxes on the upper income people, are they in fact job creators and has there been any demonstration that keeping taxes lower on those people means that they will create jobs or after you raise the taxes will it not create job?


BLOW: If you go where the Republican's point of view and say we'll eliminate deductions, well, many people own homes and they're not very wealthy. And so, you know, maybe you have to cap -- but it becomes an issue of how do we deal with this and also look like you're looking out for the middle class.

FEYERICK: Yes. I think a lot of people, their heads are spinning right now. All they want to know is that it's going to get taken care of and it's going to be taken care of in a way that to all people at least come out --

BLOW: Like me.

FEYERICK: All right, Charles Blow. Yes. Yes. Exactly.

All right, thank you so much. We appreciate your coming on.

BLOW: Thank you.

FEYERICK: Thanks so much.

BLOW: All right.

FEYERICK: All right. And coming up after the break, we'll tell you about a courageous teacher who literally fought to save his students while his life was slipping away.

We'll also introduce you to two brothers who gave up successful careers as pro athletes to pursue a higher calling.


FEYERICK: In Wyoming, a teacher at Casper college may have saved the lives of several of his students. James Crumb, who was a computer science teacher, was teaching Friday when a man burst into his classroom, shooting the instructor in the head with a hunting bow. Crumb tackled the man giving students time to escape.

More shocking, police say the attacker was the teacher's own son and that before the attack, 25-year-old Christopher Crumb had fatally stabbed his dad's girlfriend at the couple's home. The son ultimately stabbed his father to death before fatally stabbing himself.

I'm joined by Nick Valencia who has been following this story.

And, Nick, you know, I understand police are really praising Jack Crumb for his actions and how he responded.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Deb, this is a troubling day and one many of us hope never happens in our community. But this has the potential, Deb, to be much, much worse. There are reports that at least six students were in the classroom at the time of this incident. We do know, as you mentioned, that the suspect has been identified as the son of that victim, the Professor Jim Crumb, who was shot with a crossbow in his classroom.

We know that this student -- I'm sorry, his son, 25-year-old Chris Crumb, who's been identified, entered the classroom and had reportedly concealed the crossbow in a blanket. He also had several knives on him. Surely after entering the classroom police say that's when he shot that mortally wounding shot from the crossbow, injuring his father.

But miraculously, Deb, police say that the -- the professor was able to stay alive long enough to struggle with his son so that six students could escape the classroom.

In a press conference held by local police, the local police chief praised Jim Crumb's actions as courageous.


CHIEF CHRIS WALSH, CASPER, WYOMING POLICE: The suspect stepped into the classroom where Professor Crumb was getting ready to begin the day. Fired one arrow and struck the professor in the head. Professor Crumb got up after being knocked down from the blow from the arrow. And even though mortally wounded, he fought the suspect off. The students in the room were all able to escape during this altercation because of the courage of the professor.

(END VIDEO CLIP) FEYERICK: Pretty remarkable there. And do we know about the motive? Anything about the motive as to why this young man was clearly so angry that he'd killed his dad and his dad's girlfriend?

VALENCIA: Clearly something snapped in this 25-year-old. We know that he drove from Connecticut, which is over 2,000 miles, Deb, to Wyoming, and he was staying reportedly in a hotel locally.

I spoke with a neighbor of the couple of these professors, the neighbor said the couple was very friendly. She met her last summer -- she met them last summer, but they largely kept to themselves. So it's still a mystery about what happened here and what the motive was behind that. We put in a call to Casper Police Department, still waiting on a call back.

FEYERICK: And what's incredible, the people who know most about what happened and why it may have happened, they all are dead.

OK, well, Nick Valencia, thanks so much for bringing us that reporting. Appreciate it.

VALENCIA: Thank you.

FEYERICK: Well, same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court is still considering whether to review one of at least five key cases. Many thought word would come Friday, that's when the justices met behind closed doors, but in the end, well, we heard nothing.

Richard Socarides is Bill Clinton's former adviser on gay civil right issues. He's also a civil rights attorney and Democratic strategist.

Now, Richard, what is fascinating to me is it's your former boss, Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA essentially defining marriage as between a man and a woman only. It's not in the Supreme Court. Does he regret his decision?

RICHARD SOCARIDES, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, he said he has -- he has said before that he regrets it and now he's a strong proponent for marriage equality. Yes.

FEYERICK: And so, the court -- I think everybody have a lot of expectations that the court will at least pick one of these cases. Because this really boils down to equal protection and what it means. Why do you think the court did not come out with a decision on which case to review?

SOCARIDES: Well, I think that they probably decided that these are complicated issues, in fact they're quite complicated and quite historic and they probably need a little bit more time. But we expect -- I think the big news for next week is we expect either tomorrow, Monday morning, where -- but at some point next week, maybe as late as Friday afternoon, but at some point next week, we're going to start to hear from the Supreme Court, which cases they will consider, we feel pretty strongly, those of us who follow this closely that they will accept for consideration a case involving the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. And the big news that may come out of the court next week is on the Proposition 8 case out of California. Because if they decide not to hear the proposition 8 case, then same-sex marriage will once again be legal in California.

FEYERICK: So -- what's so fascinating, I think it was something that many people don't understand is that, you know, there may be folks who do marry in states where it's legal. Maybe entitled to right in that state. But they're not entitled to federal protection which is one of the big issues --

SOCARIDES: Well, that --

FEYERICK: And that's one of the reasons that it's being considered, no?

SOCARIDES: That's exactly right and that is the -- a very important and a key point here relating to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, that is the law which says that even if you're married to your same- sex partner in a state which recognizes such marriages, a state like New York where I am this afternoon, that the federal government will not recognize you for federal purposes so that you can't fil e-- you cannot file a joint income tax return, you can get survivor benefits, you can't get Social Security benefits, you get none of the other benefits that heterosexual couples would get.

Even though you may live in a state where your same-sex marriage is recognized. And that's why most constitutional scholars believe that when the court issues a decision next June, it will declare the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

FEYERICK: Which would be rather fascinating.

All right, Richard Socarides, thank you so much. We really appreciate your insights today on this.

SOCARIDES: Thank you.

FEYERICK: Well, John McAfee is an Internet pioneer. Police want to question his about a killing but he's not talking to them. Instead he's talking to us here at CNN in an exclusive interview.

Plus, would you be willing to give up your career to pursue your faith? These two brothers did just that.


FEYERICK: Welcome back. Here's what's happening right now.

The Kansas City Chiefs played their NFL game and won this afternoon, despite the tragic loss of a team member. Linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend yesterday then killed himself. Belcher and his girlfriend recently celebrated the birth of their 3 month old daughter.

Police say the driver of a double decker bus slammed into an overpass at Miami International Airport yesterday was unfamiliar with the route. Two people died, 30 others were hurt when the driver mistakenly drove the 9-foot-tall tour bus into an area where the clearance is only 8.5 feet. Investigators say signs clearly marked bus restrictions at the airport and the passengers were part of a church congregation.

Well, John McAfee became famous as a pioneer of anti-virus software who was reportedly worth as much as $100 million dollars. But for weeks has been trying to stay out of the spotlight. McAfee is on the run from authorities who want to question him in the murder of a neighbor. Even so the fugitive said late last week with an inclusive interview with CNN's Martin Savidge. If you think that decision seems odd, just wait until you hear what he had to say.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The search of John McAfee began right here in the airport not long after I landed. And it began with three simple words, sorry I'm late. Prearranged co words to who would take me to McAfee. But it wasn't that easy, what followed was a long drive through winding, twisting streets. And when you thought it was coming to an end instead we get into a parking lot, we quickly jump out and get into another vehicle, drive off again, this time with switch backs, u turns and back alleys. It was clearly meant to confuse us as well as anyone following.

And there we were face to face. Observation number one, with John McAfee there's so such thing as a simple answer. You are John McAfee?

JOHN MCAFEE, MILLIONAIRE IN HIDING: I think so, yes, I am John McAfee.

SAVIDGE: He seemed nervous, anxious, fidgety. Are you afraid?

MCAFEE: Wouldn't you be?

SAVIDGE: He used that sir a lot. His hair is jet black, part of his disguise and he asked us to wait for his hair to dry before starting our interview. And that interview ranged from completely convincing like when I asked about his neighbor's murder. Did you kill Gregory Faull?

MCAFFEE: I barely knew the man and why would I kill him? He was a neighbor that lived 200 yards down the beach.

SAVIDGE: To off the wall.

Do you really believe the government is this is a vendetta by the government of Belize to take you down and kill you?

MCAFFEE: Absolutely, sir.

SAVIDGE: He says he's not on drugs and he hasn't touched alcohol in 30 years, but he has started smoking again, which he puts down to current circumstances. And he's not alone, running with his 20-year- old girlfriend, and McAfee, who is 67 openly, speaks of many more. MCAFFEE: It's absolutely sure that I had six, how many?

SAVIDGE: It seemed almost surreal right down to the coffee I drank with him. Before we parted there was one more question. Are you a smart man? I know you're an intelligent man.

MCAFEE: I don't think so, if I were smart, why would I be here? I'm a foolish man, I know that much.

SAVIDGE: And you know what? I believe him. Thank you.

MCAFEE: You are welcome.

SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Belize.


FEYERICK: Stories trending on the web right now, college basketball fans are paying tribute to legendary coach Rick Majerus, he died Saturday night of heart failure in Los Angeles, and he was 64. Majerus had just one losing season in 25 years at Marquette All State Utah and Saint Louis. But he was best known for the strong relationship he formed with the players and coaches alike and his obsession with NCAA hoots.

In suburban Los Angeles protests over a neighborhood home operating illegally as a birthing center. Opponents play pregnant Chinese women fly in to give birth to their babies so they can be U.S. citizens. And then when those babies actually grow up and turn 21, they will sponsor relatives to come to the United States.

And a famous New York deli it is serving its last sandwich today. The State Deli has been in business for 75 years. The rising rents and declining sales have forced it to close its doors. A sad day for a landmark that has served so many.

Well for our recent stories now about how more young people than ever before are rejecting religion. Next we're going to introduce you to two boys who are bucking that trend. They sacrificed promising NFL careers for their faith.


FEYERICK: Religious faith is very important to a lot of pro athletes. But how many of them are willing to give up their careers to preserve their faith? Hamza and Husain Abdullah are brothers and they decided to walk away from successful careers in the NFL to pursue the pillars of their Islamic faith including a pilgrimage to Mecca.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ever since I was young, I had a vision. A vision of becoming someone great. My dream of playing in the NFL, with my childhood dreams fulfilled, I came to realize one thing. We have got a bigger dream to pursue.

FEYERICK: Husain Abdullah was a starter with the Minnisota Vikings and he joins us from Dallas. And Hamza Abdullah plays for the Arizona Cardinals and he joins us from Los Angles. And gentlemen so pleased that you are here with us today. You know I was listening to an interview you had given earlier and Hussein you said there was a tug of war going on inside of you and realized when both of you when you spoke realized the same thing was going on, and you decided to walk away from extremely lucrative football careers. How did the trip to Mecca change your perspective, not only on your life but on the game of football as well? Husain.

HUSAIN ABDULLAH, FMR. MINNISOTA VIKINGS PLAYER: The trip to Mecca, it was, I mean it was beyond a beautiful experience and every time I reflect back on it, there's a new lesson I can learn. Or when someone asks me a question and I tell a story, there's something new that always comes from a previous story that I didn't even realize before. It's really humbled me, it's really centered me, and it's really opened my eyes to a lot of things. And my whole outlook on life is just been completely different now.

And even in respects to turning back to football, you know, football to a lot of football players is everything, that's all we have growing up from a young age because a lot of people are from tougher back grounds, lower income families and football is all you can hold on to. And for me, it's, you know, there's things outside of football, there's life outside of football. There are things that are bigger than football. So, yes, us working out and trying to get back into the NFL I'm going to be a lot more appreciative of being able to play the game that I love, but at the same time know that there is more to life than just football.

FEYERICK: Hamza, a lot of people would say why not wait? Why not simply finish your career in football, they don't last forever and make the pilgrimage to Mecca at another time?

HAMZA ABDULLAH, FMR. ARIZONA CARDINALS PLAYER: Well, Hajj is prescribed on all Muslims if they have the health and the wealth to do it. And football season goes up until January and February and due to the lunar calendar, which the Islamic calendar is on, Hajj actually falls in football season this year as well as for the next ten years, and no we don't know how long we have as far as our football career and we also don't know how long we have to live on this earth and we definitely want to take this opportunity to fulfill an obligation in our faith, in Islam.

FEYERICK: And Hamza, you know your father's a diabetic, your mother has some health concerns, did that factor in to your decision to go now at this moment in your lives when you could afford to go and when they were well enough to go?

HAMZA ABDULLAH: Yes, ma'am. My mother and my father have always dreamed of going to the pilgrimage and going to the Hajj. And as a young kid, that was something that I felt was my ultimate dream, my ultimate goal was to make to it the Hajj and so to be able to do that at the age of 29 and to do it with two of my brothers and also with my parents was an unbelievable experience.

FEYERICK: Husain have you, one of the big questions obviously is do you ever worry that you risked your career, that by walking away from the NFL when you did, that you'll never be able to go back into it certainly at the same level that you were at.

HUSAIN ABDULLAH: I'm very thankful to even have had a chance in the NFL. I was an undrafted free agent and I didn't really have, there wasn't really a lot of guys who were pulling for me in the locker room and in the front office. There were a few coaches, and by the grace of god and by my hard work, I was able to make it on to the field and make it on the team and eventually become a starter. So I came into the NFL knowing that it wouldn't last forever because I wasn't supposed to be there in the first place. So me making the trip to Mecca and getting to go to the Hajj, coming back I'm definitely trying my hardest to get back into the NFL, but if that does not happen I mean I got four years that technically I wasn't supposed to get anyway.

FEYERICK: Listen as you both know yesterday we learned that Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs allegedly shot his girlfriend and then he killed himself. What do you think about the Chiefs going ahead with the game today and more importantly the struggle that maybe was going on with this man? Husain.

HUSAIN ABDULLAH: I couldn't imagine, I really couldn't. My junior year in college, before we played the game versus the Oregon Ducks, I found out that my mother-in-law passed away in a car crash. And it still -- it still rattles me to this day and there was no flight that I could get to be there and I had to play in that game. I really wasn't there, my body was there, but my mind wasn't there at all. And it really was a surreal experience, so today, those players, those coaches, those fans, knowing that that happened, and the guy that they just practiced with yesterday. And the fact that he did it at that facility, I just can't even imagine what they're going through. All of our prayers and all of our hearts go out to them. That is a lot to deal with.

FEYERICK: OK. Hamza and Husain, gentleman a remarkable choice that you made and certainly an inspiration to so many people who want more in their lives that perhaps just their day job. Thank you so much, appreciate your time.

You will see a lot more about the Abdullah brothers and other stories of faith on our "Belief Blog" at

In a few hours we'll find out who our CNN hero of the year is. But in a minute we will meet a pastor and an American bartender who has traveled the globe turning wine into water.


FEYERICK: Well, everybody's talking about it, a unicorn lair, discovered, that is right it has. It is in North Korea. It is the latest in a long line of claims from the countries and it gets people talking all over the world. Our Josh Levs is here to talk us through it and Josh, I love it. Maybe that's where all the unicorns are, they're in their lair.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We all have been wondering where the unicorns are hiding and now thank you North Korea for telling us. Lets just share some quotes from this official government report out of North Korea. Lets go straight to this. I want you to hear, this is what they said.

"Archaeologists of the History Institute of the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences have recently reconfirmed a lair of the unicorn ridden by the King Tongmyong. You can go on to kind of bury a political point in here. The next quote they say, "The discovery of the unicorn lair proves that Pyongyang was a capital city off ancient Korea. Trying to reaffirm the status of Pyongyang and the capital of Korea.

Look we are all use to Korea coming up with things but this one has gone absolutely viral. And they are saying this location that we are zooming into now that general area is where they found this unicorn lair.

FEYERICK: Are we talking about a unicorn cemetery? Or we talking about a place where unicorns hang out?

LEVS: Well I was wondering about that too. Is it where you and I should keep our unicorns are where they're buried. The report from KCNA doesn't make it clear, but we are used to them saying a lot of really wild things. When King Tongmyong when he was alive, he used to say all sorts of amazing things. Like on his birthday there was this giant halo that hung out in the sky for an entire hour. When he died there was this magical light that somehow came to appear across this rock carving of him.

Also the first time he ever golfed, he got 11 holes in one. Things are the things we're used to. All this unicorn thing comes on the heels of what you know about with King Tongmyong, his son was recently in the news, because the Chinese people daily calling him the sexist man alive.

FEYERICK: I think he is actually. OK we're short of time, but Josh, we really want to talk about that vampire village. So we'll come back to you a little bit later.

All right. We're going to take a quick break and going to have a lot more about CNN heroes coming up.


FEYERICK: Coming up in just a few hours, you'll want to be with us for our CNN Heroes, an all-star tribute. That is when we will find out our hero of the year. Nischelle Turner is watching it all for us in Los Angeles. And Nischelle you have had the privilege of talking to a lot of the past honorees. Tell us about it.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know what I am getting my CNN encyclopedia knowledge today, my CNN heros knowledge because all of the former CNN heroes, who by the way are still CNN heros because once a hero always a hero. They have been filling me in on all the good works that they have been doing since they became one of our CNN heros.

With me right now one of those gentlemen Doc Hendley, 2009 CNN top 10 hero. Now Dock we were talking earlier just about you were doing such good work before you became a hero, but since then, your project, wine to water, which brings clean water to third world countries, one of the most basic things that we need to live has really taken off.

DOC HENDLEY, 2009 CNN HERO: Yes before CNN heros program we were in four countries and it took us five years to four countries and reach 25,000 people and now in just the three years since, we have grown, we're in 15 countries now around the world. We have reached 150,000 people for clean water, in war zones, in earthquake stricken areas like Haiti and I just got back last week I was actually in Syria providing water filters for refugees with water.

TURNER: I was going to say your work doesn't stop. Tell me about what you encounter when you got to Syria.

HENDLEY: Obviously a difficult situation. You've got people whose lives have been flipped upside down this last year, year and a half. And one of the most basic needs that we forget about is that when they get to a camp setting, not only do they not have food and clothing and medical supplies or housing but they lack the most basic needs of clean water. If you think about food, someone can survive in a camp for thirty days or more without food, but you can't survive two or three days without water. And if these children are drinking dirty water it is even less then three days.

TURNER: Now you know Doc's story is going to be mirrored many times tonight on this stage with the 2012 top 10 CNN heroes. So what advice would you give to them quickly the people that are going to be honored tonight.

HENDLEY: I would say soak it in, because I remember this night, it was one of the most memorable nights in mine and my family and everybody in my organization's life. Just savor it and when you look up and see some of the people that you honor and respect, just an ordinary person; they're going to remember it for the rest of their lives.

TURNER: I think this is such a great event Deb. Because we do have some of the biggest names in Hollywood that will be coming out here tonight. Folks like Susan Sarandon, Shane Lynch, Neo will be performing. They are coming out to honor these people. Just like Doc was telling me earlier, he was saying I'm just an everyday guy, but these are the people that are making a difference in the world. And we love them and we can take at least one night to say thank you.

FEYERICK: Absolutely Nischelle. No question about that. I mean these are people who are healing the world a little bit at a time and really transforming the lives of so many people. Thanks so much Nischelle, really appreciate it. Hi to Doc over there.


FEYERICK: And be sure to catch "CNN Heros" pre show special sharing the spotlight tonight at 8 P.M. Eastern and at 9:00, "CNN Heros, an All-Star Tribute" it all happens right here on CNN so join us. And coming up next hour, we will sit down with Brad Pitt, that is right, me and Brad Pritt; he is talking all things marriage from his own engagement to Angelina Jolie to gay marriage rights.