Saturday, December 1, 2007

Man and Beast Are Mortal, But Measts Are Forever

Can't stop, won't stop.

The past few days have been unlike anything I've ever experienced. Over the years I have endured the loss of three grandparents as they struggled against the diseases of old age. In high school a favorite teacher of mine was tragically taken from us far too soon. All of the experience were uniquely painful and this is no different, but of course I never knew Sean Taylor.

Sean was my favorite player, mostly not reasons that are difficult to articulate. His insistences to jump routes, go for the knockout instead wrapping up, and lateral any ball that he was unable to advance used to frustrate the shit out of me. Over time I came to not only accept, but embrace these tendencies as I began to realize that they are symptoms of what I loved so much about the player. He would do absolutely anything to make the biggest impact possible. Sean played the game one way, with balls firmly affixed to the proverbial wall.

Yet most people still don't seem to understand the outpouring of emotion for a young man who managed to remain somewhat of an unknown. On his local radio show former Redskin great John Riggins expressed the sadness he felt for Sean as well as his friends and family, but he was genuinely surprised by the visceral reactions amongst his fans. On the surface his reasoning made sense.

Sean was obviously loved by the fans for his abilities on the field, but off of it he was hardly a larger than life personality. It was always hard to get a firm read on Sean, especially because he rarely spoke to the media. Yet that rare quality actually helped to endear the star player to local fans. Washington will never be confused with the happiest places in the country. It is the city of the disenfranchised and the seemingly disenchanted athlete evoked respect amongst its people. That's why his number 21 is the most popular Redskins jersey, surpassing even the league's pre-eminent entertainer in Clinton Portis. Sean Taylor was loved in Washington because he spoke softly and carried a big stick.

For those planning to attend tomorrow's game/memorial service I strongly urge you to wear either Sean's jersey or something black. This is not the time for face paint or even the most somber of pig snouts. Tomorrow is a day to pay our respects to our hero. Although I'd have no objection if the DTC wanted to pour a bottle of Crown Royal onto the asphalt.

After another shitty stadium experience at the beginning of the season I said I was done with FedEx Field...of course this is has to be an exception. I've been hard on Mr. Snyder and Coach Gibbs for most of the season but they have both handled the situation as well or better than could be expected from anyone in their positions. anything that can humble Snyder to the point of genuine humanity and expressive emotion is surely strong enough to bring me back to Raljon. So I'll be there along with 92,000 mourners (although a handful of them are bound to be drunken off-season racists).

Sean is gone but he will most assuredly not be forgotten by a generation of fans. The number 21 will live forever in Redskins lore. It can take the form of jerseys, shirts, stickers, and perhaps the occasional car magnet, but we can do so much more. We must take our memory of Taylor to the streets, give him the Borf treatment if you will. With that in mind, I propose that we convert all of the District's stop signs from boring octagons into beautiful tributes...




...by any means necessary.

34 comments:

Gourmet Spud said...

even the most somber of pig snouts

A great tribute, and still manages to bring the funny.

Tim said...

Well done, UM. This lifelong (but transplanted) 'Skins fan thanks you for the metro area perspective.

#21 finally won my old-school ass over with his play, and memorials like your post and the words of Gibbs, Snyder and others have finally swayed me to the "you just didn't know the real Sean Taylor" side.

From what I've gathered this week, Sean Taylor lived and worked his entire life like a man, and he left this world on those terms, protecting his family. And since the world's not exactly overstuffed with men like that, the hole he left is a large one.

(And since you brought up the Original Diesel, I might just wear a #44 jersey to work Monday. Fuck 'em if they don't like it. I'm there doing my job, just like #21.)

Illegal Immigrant said...

Great post. When people die young, it adds to the tragedy. At least people who die of old age have lived a full life. Taylor's death leaves a void of Lenny Bias proportions. We'll never know how great he could've become on the field, and whether he could fully change his life off the field.

Jim U. said...

Well, it looks like they caught the sons of bitches that did this. May the Meast and his family get justice.

/pours out some Crown Royal

Mike said...

It sucks that the NFL and the fans of the franchise lost the next superstar for the league. Taylor had all the intensity of Ray Lewis and the skills of Ronnie Lott. It's a loss for everyone involved in the league.

Sammy said...

I once saw a youtube clip where Taylor moon-walked on water and turned dandelions into some killer thai stick. Wah fuckin wah. Jesus christ you make it sound like the guy was Apollo Creed.

ben said...

Great work, UM.

I'll be waiting for you in hell, sammy.

Tim said...

@sammy:

Apollo Creed, yeah. That's a good one. Compare a real murder victim to some fictional character. Who was fictionally-killed by a fake Russian boxer.

Too bad we didn't have the internet back then so Sly Stallone could've built Rocky V around a different writers' personal perspective about Creed's death, instead of building it around Tommy Morrison.

smurphette said...

Nice one, Maj. I'm not a Skins fan, but I'm looking forward to watching the game tomorrow just to see the outpouring of fan & team support for Taylor and his family.

peytonloveskenny said...

Sammy, I think you're missing the point (and you're being a douchebag). It doesn't really matter how good the guy was; the point is that this is clearly a tragedy. Even if you think UM was exaggerating, this is not the time or place to express that.

DSams said...

Thanks, UM. I moved to DC 6 months ago and have been teaching at a middle school in northeast, and so by now knowing kids and their families, I really do feel what you sayin about Sean's embodiment of the disinfrancised as what made him the favorite redskin of DC. Personally, i'm not a skins fan, but I have been mourning along my 13 year old football players and their families.

Sammy Winder said...

...wow, may need to consider changing my handle with an insensitive shithead like @sammy up and spouting out his ass.

i'm the furthest thing from a 'skins fan, but must say...well placed and articulated emotions UM.
Meast immortality indeed.

bloodyhandedgod said...

He was a great player. It is a loss for all of us. Those hi-lite reels we'll miss. Sorry UM. And Sammy ... I'll be waiting in Hell for you to.

joe said...

Hey! I have an idea!

Instead of writing stupid fucking threads about gangsters dying at the OK Corral why not write about those who don't actually deserve to die!

Like maybe those urban youths who study and graduate!

Quite the concept, yes?

ben said...

This is a young man whose daughter will never remember his face.

I'll see you there, too, Joe.

Skin Patrol said...

Hey, Joe, how about if you want to read about upstanding urban youths you go masturbate to Chicken Soup For the Soul. The fuck are you doing here? Are you constantly surprised by the content of KSK? You don't earn your right to live because of a college degree you bloody vagina fart.

Great piece UM.

Sammy Winder said...

thanks, ben...
i'm an old man (compared to Sean) with a daughter the same age.

either that part of the tragedy is an angle that some of you (joe? sammy?) can't relate to, or you are so fucked that you can't even empathize with people who this will effect for a lifetime, (you obviously have hatred, and/or no human respect for Sean)

Hey Joe, this didn't happen at the "OK Corral" either...the dude got shot in his bedroom.

dickey simpkins said...

Joe, great idea! I am all for sports blogs turning into a forum of social and political discourse. Oh wait, you're an idiot.

Rusty said...

I'm not a regular reader but I came here to see how you guys would cover this and I'm not disappointed. I grew up in the DC area (in Maryland, but inside the Beltway) and am now attending the University of Miami. Here on campus the loss of this man is deeply felt, especially since it happened only 20 minutes away. I hope his family is taken care of, and I'm glad that for once they managed to arrest someone in the shooting death of a young black man. We're still waiting on that in the murder of Bryan Pata.

Adjar said...

rusty-"I'm glad that for once they managed to arrest someone in the shooting death of a young black man."

from dickey simpkins-"I am all for sports blogs turning into a forum of social and political discourse. Oh wait, you're an idiot."

Jackin'4Beats said...

Well said UM. Sean will be missed by all football fans.

And for those of you who think this blog needs to address greater social problems...stop being morons...and eat a cock with genital warts.

Shoopmonster said...

As opposed to the two centuries that your dumb ass is setting us back?

Sammy said...

I can't argue the fact that I'm a deuchebag or that I'm going to hell. I'm not saying it wasn't a tragedy. I was simply stating people die every day doing things slightly more consequential than defending a flying piece of leather (see cops, firemen, FUCKING SOLDIERS). But because they don't make millions and aren't on tv they don't get days worth of eulogies. Have a little perspective you fucking morons.

Unsilent Majority said...

Sammy- http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/11/30/the-prelude-week-13-death-and-the-nfl/

Jay said...

What the hell is with people coming out of the woodwork to say "o lol shawn tailor he duznt dserve al sdis shit"? You say have some perspective, sammy? How about having some fucking respect yourself, you nasty little cunt, fucking off and creating your own pathetic blog where you can rant to an audience of nobody how this person should be mourned more than that person. In case you can't understand those big words, I suggest getting a dictionary and looking them up, or just reading this: FUCK. OFF.

I like free speech as much as the next person, but Sammy and Joe are the internet's equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church. Can't somebody delete their posts?

HadesGigas said...

When is Joe Gibbs going to die?

Travis said...

What people like Sammy don't understand is that athletes and celebrities get all the attention, whether they like it or not. So even though there are deadbeat parents who don't take care of their kids, its the Britney Spears' we know about. And even though thousands of wonderful men and women have lost their lives defending/fighting for this country (God bless them all) they don't command the spotlight like Sean Taylor or any other athlete.

Just because his death garners the most attention doesn't mean his life was any more (or less) worthwhile than anybody else's. Its just the way it is because he was famous. We should all agree his death was tragic, as are all deaths the occur this way (with families left behind, especially young children).

Tim said...

I was simply stating people die every day doing things slightly more consequential than defending a flying piece of leather (see cops, firemen, FUCKING SOLDIERS). But because they don't make millions and aren't on tv they don't get days worth of eulogies. Have a little perspective you fucking morons.

Sammy-
You're skipping the part where "cops, firemen, FUCKING SOLDIERS" know their lives are at risk doing their JOB. Sean Taylor shouldn't have expected to get shot dead in his own house.

You also glossed over the part where the rest of America can mourn and celebrate the life of anyone we damn well please. You want to attend a few extra policemen's funerals or fly your flag at half mast for fallen soldiers, then blessed are you. But don't presume that your tributes or your grief are any more real or meaningful than anyone else's.

Russell K said...

Great post, UM. I actually learned about Taylor's death from this website. It's shocking to think about how the man wasn't safe in his own home.

I think that if Aaron Kampman or Wes Welker had been murdered in their own homes, Sammy and Joe wouldn't be here acting as if it was all irrelevant.

Europaeus said...

If Kampman and Welker comprimised their lives and families fucking with criminals over a stupid ATV, two years after almost being convicted for threatening the 'hood with a pistol, AND decided it was a smart move to leave the security system off, even though they knew their ATV was shot full of holes as a message, I'd think the same way of them.

But, of course, I'm sure they are both much brighter than that.

Unsilent Majority said...

Europaeus- just about everything you said was factually incorrect. If you're going to be a dick, at least be one who knows what the fuck he's babbling about.

bloodyhandedgod said...

Would all of you people who have a bone to pick with this issue, please make it somewhere else. You are showing the wrong kind of bad taste at the wrong time in the wrong thread.

And in case that was too obtuse, let me phrase it simpler. You cankerous, shallow and mean simpletons. Not able to make a point worth our reading. In this land you are defenceless and almost mountain-people backward. Last night, in between fucking your Mom in an uncomfortable place (meaning of course the shithole you grew up in), she spoke of you. Talked about how the best part of you ran down her leg when you egregiously birthed.

Fuck off. Go away. Before the thread turns into an idjit skullfuck.

lost said...

Before the thread turns into an idjit skullfuck.

Too late.

europaeus, etc.- if your compassion for young black men is based upon conditions of behavior, it might as well be hatred.

while it's lamentable that every young man who dies as a result of greed and violence isn't equally eulogized, I can forgive anyone who celebrates a man who was murdered because of his celebrity.

hopefully somebody will see the tragedy in the end of your own meaningless, hateful little lives.

and Wes Welker probably only seems smart because he's Belichek's puppet. If you look very closely, you can see Belichek's lips move when Welker farts.

Travis said...

Thank God most of you are reasonable people. I hope everyone will take the opportunity to remember Sean today and watch some of the service on ESPNews if possible.