Friday, December 5, 2008

A Gladiator at Heart

Read this first:
Hardest Hitting Safety in the Land

Sean Taylor was beloved by Washington Redskin fans in a way most people outside the DC area wouldn't understand. We believe he had the physical ability and desire to be a Hall-of-Famer and the best free safety to ever play. We wanted to get to know Sean, and he wouldn't let us as he hid from cameras and the media, so we thought about what kind of person he was, and likened him to ourselves, and were drawn to him. We talked about how he could knock anyone out cold, and how he could jump 40 inches straight up, and how he could outrun any receiver.

We finally got to know Sean when he was murdered last year, which makes it even more sad. We learned about his growth as a teammate, son and father, how his daughter made him want to be a better person, and how much his spirit influenced others around him. We saw that his defensive coach, Gregg Williams, loved him like a son and openly admits Sean was the best and favorite player he ever coached.

We think about what could have been—the records, championships, trophies—and the young man just barely older than me who changed his life and found peace, only to have it stolen. Redskins fans continue to mourn him and cherish his memory.

During the first home game following his death, there was a video tribute to Sean at FedEx Field, which was later posted on the Redskins website. It is only fitting that the background music in the video is from Gladiator. My friend, Vodka/Benadryl, used to cry when he watched it—a grown man, shedding a tear from a video he'd already seen dozens of times.

Sean Taylor, a Redskin forever...


jennrubenstein said...

i still cry. and i cried when the announcer called his name sunday and clinton portis came running out of the tunnel with the 21 flag. and half of the people around me were crying, too. and it wasn't just the rain.
starting at free safety for your washington redskins, #21, sean taylor, hardest hitting safety to ever play the game.

Benjamin Rubenstein said...

Ed Reed may have gotten two interceptions in last night's game, but Sean Taylor would've gotten three...and four fumble recoveries, seven sacks and two touchdowns.