Tuesday, November 27, 2007

 

R.I.P. Sean Taylor

If not of a certain age, you probably don't know what it's like.

To swear allegiance to the Burgundy and Gold.

You'll have no idea why my certain eyes go all wide when Clinton Portis strides big like John Riggins.

What it is to, in the 21st century, look over to the sidelines of FedEx Field and see Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs, the man who led The Redskins to greatness in three different Super Bowls.

Three different Super Bowls in which the city of Washington, DC effectively shut down. Schools closed, government closed and the city collectively cheered its conquering heroes.

Before this, DC schools could only be counted on to close due to lack of funding, lack of snow removal or air conditioning, problems which still plague us til this day.

The next day, we returned to our lives. The ones where we saw way too much. Too much in the way of heartache. Too much in the way of apathy.

For one day, we were kings. No one could say that we were sub-par. In a city where the new norm was to be "out for self," to be a part of the Burgundy and Gold was to know what it was to share in an accomplishment.

You will have no idea what it felt like to watch Redskins QB Doug Williams be the first man who shares your heritage, win it all while doing so with dignity and grace.

In those days, to be a Redskins fan was knowing that you could smile in a Dallas Cowboys fan's face (and DC has many,) big and wide, and they couldn't say sh*t.

With the departure of Coach Gibbs, things became bleak. Players such as Deion Sanders (no relation) came in for the money grab and promptly bounced. Draft picks were wasted and for years, we watched a revolving door of wash-outs come and go. I stopped remembering the names that went along with jersey number. For me, the era of "Redskins Football" had come and gone. I learned to live with it. I learned to live with disappointment.

2004, a young man dons the Redskins uniform. He hits like a hammer, recalling Redskins days of yore. He makes one forget about guys like LaVar Arrington, who claim to want to return The 'Skins to their days of glory, all the while, missing tackles left and right.

This young man hits and literally spits. He's quiet, letting his actions do all the talking for him.
Opposing helmets fly when he's on the field.

He has his troubles off the field but over time, those troubles became nonexistent as he grew into his role as a man.

A few months ago it occured to me. He changed his number.

21.

21, the age of "man."

He was fallible. He defended his house(s).

For Redskins fans who remembered a certain type of football , he was our man.

In the end and most importantly, he realized everything he could be. He died a father. He died a man.



Comments:
Steelers Nation sends it's condolences. Too few athletes seems to 'grow up' like he did any more.
 
Thanks for sharing the video. My thoughts and prayers are with Sean Taylor's family and friends and the Redskins organization.

Peace,

James
 
Even a Cowboys fan hurts over this one.

Sean Taylor was maturing into such an interesting man.

He was one of the current three players on the Redskins that I would accidentally find myself whooping and hollaring for when watching them.
 
That's easily the most moving tribute to Taylor I've seen anywhere.

This 49er Faithful - dating back to the dreadful 70s, no less - sends his condolences to Taylor's loved ones and the Redskins' fans and organization.

Well said, Mr. Sanders.
 
As a fellow Redskin fan, well done.

The one thing that I haven't heard in all this, is how classy Daniel Snyder has been. He seems to have done everything first class, from being down in Miami when Taylor was in the hospital to flying the organization down to the funeral.
 
I agree with all you said about growing up a 'Skins fan. Taylor, Cooley, Sellers and Landry are making this team finally feel like the Redskins. While I don't place Sean's life above anyone because he was a pro athlete, it saddens me to see anyone leave this world in the way he did.
 
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