It's hard to become one of the best players in the NFL at any position, and much tougher to do it over an entire career. But if you ask San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis about toughness, and what can really be hard in life, he can tell you a story that makes the NFL's go-round seem like a day at the beach. Born into extreme poverty in rural Tennessee, the five-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-team All-Pro -- he's never missed a Pro Bowl in his career since the 49ers selected him 11th overall in the 2007 NFL draft -- has overcome challenges that would bring most people to their knees. At various instances through his childhood, Willis and his three siblings went without running water and electricity, and Willis' father Ernest was a longtime drug addict who was so abusive, the state of Tennessee had to become involved. But when you ask Willis about his father, all he'll say is that he's grateful for lessons learned. And that's the most remarkable part of Willis' story -- not only has he managed to avoid the bitterness that would hold him back; he's managed to find a positive in nearly everything that has happened through his life. Willis first made his story public in...