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Why Redskins Fans Care


I couldn't begin to tell you anything insightful about Sean Taylor. I think I understood him less than any other player on the roster, even the ones I've never talked to. I had about five encounters with him over the past 12 months, and he was always unfailingly and deliberately bizarre, which I appreciated. (Here's Taylor responding to my question about personal fouls, and asking Vinny Cerrato about his hair, and canceling his regularly scheduled preseason press availability.)



His teammates loved him--loved him--and he signed plenty of autographs and posed for photos and the rest, but as a fan, you couldn't really "know" him. Which was fine. There's no rule about letting people into your life.



Which, of course, made no difference to fans, who loved him anyhow, maybe more than any other active player. There are four dominant jerseys in the parking lots before Redskins game, in no particular order: Portis, Cooley, Moss and Taylor. I was talking about this with a whole bunch of different fans on Sunday, when I was drawn to the masses of burgundy outside Ray Jay. I was supposed to be wandering around trying to find amusing anecdotes, but instead I became obsessed with demonstrating the massive D.C. fan turnout by documenting as many different Skins jerseys as I could find. I almost missed the beginning of the game, so intent was I to find every last number. I'm sure I missed a bunch.



People wrote yesterday, asking me why I hadn't commented on Taylor. I didn't, and don't, really have anything to say, other than death sucks. But when you read the message boards and the blogs and listen to the radio and the like, you see and hear such anguish about a guy people never met, a guy who made himself so hard to understand. He was the baddest of bad asses on the field, and he played with the sort of passion this team has sometimes lacked, which I'm sure contributed to the love. But there's also something going on here about the love of the uniform, the love of those colors, the love of those two digits. When you see those digits on the field every week, and in the parking lot, and in your dang dreams, you get to know and love a guy in a particular way, I guess.

Since this whole thing has the feeling of a community in mourning (plans already underway for a memorial tonight at Redskins Park), and since I'm shelving all my terrific jokes right now, I figured I should post the rest of these pics. You see them all on the road, and even though you're not even a Skins fan, it feels like you're seeing family.






































































































By Dan Steinberg  |  November 27, 2007; 8:49 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: More Taylor Memorials

Comments

Thanks for posting those. This has hit Redskins fans far harder than I could ever imagine. Sunday's game should be something special.

Posted by: Brian in DC | November 27, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Please bring him back to Washington, Dc one more time , So the fan can heal

PLEASE !

Posted by: YVONNE | November 27, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

You done good, Steinz.

Posted by: ScottVanPeltStyle.com | November 27, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

is that Shawn Suisham's dad? who wears the kicker's jersey?

Posted by: northzax | November 27, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm hoping the NFL will allow the Skins to wear the tape on the facemask and the crazy striped socks Sean wore early in his career.

This hurts so bad

Posted by: onside kick | November 27, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan.

Posted by: EdTheRed | November 27, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Steinz hit the nail on the head with this one.

Posted by: SuzyIWantToKissYou | November 27, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

That picture of Sean with his hair let out, is the picture of him I'll always remember.

Hail to Sean Taylor. Hail.

Posted by: Go Skins Go | November 27, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see the Redskins organization retire his jersey No. 21. I feel that this is the right thing and appropriate thing to do as we will never ever be able to replace him. May the good Lord look over and take care of his family and his baby girl. They are all in my prayers.

Posted by: Brian Payne | November 27, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Dan, you are class. Seriously.

Posted by: Riz | November 27, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I believe the only number the Redskins have retired is 33 (Sammy Baugh). Unofficially retired numbers include 7 (Joe Thesimann) 28 (Darrell Green) 42 (Charley Taylor) 44 (John Riggins) 49 (Bobby Mithcell) 81 (Art Monk).

Posted by: WFY | November 27, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

You know I did not even know this guy other than enjoying his play on the fiield. But, there is such a whole in my heart for him and his family. I prayed for his recovery as if he were my own son and was overjoyed when it appeared that he had turned the corner. I was so certain that all of the prayers would pull him through. No matter what the circumstances, good or bad, no one deserves to die in this manner. I wish for him the peace in death that seemed to allude him until the very end in life. I feel for his family and those who really knew him. If I feel the way I do, not knowing him, then I am quite sure that those who knew him well or reeling from this news. May God bless his family, friends and fans. Rest in peace my brother. May your soul Rest In Peace.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 27, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan.

And really was that Suishy's dad?

Posted by: Ted | November 27, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Guys like Sean represented hope. His tenacity on the field and hall of fame potential is something many of us lived vicariously through.

I pray for his family and his baby girl who hopefully can overcome the obstacles that lay ahead.

R.I.P.

Posted by: Ledell Eackles | November 27, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

WE WILL MISS U! #21 S.T. FOREVER.

Posted by: #21 | November 27, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

great work steinz

Posted by: littles | November 27, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Sean Taylor's jersey is the only 'skins jersey i've ever owned, and I am a life-long Redskins fan. Sean Taylor will be missed forever. RIP #21

Posted by: Chimpanzee Rage | November 27, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

sean taylor was a awesome player.When the redskins are always down he is there to make us catch up with the team.sean taylor was my best player in the NFL.I will always have a place for sean taylor in my heart.I know i dont know him in person but i feel like i do.I WILL ALWAYS CARE ABOUT SEAN TAYLOR.i hope that he have a wonderful time in heaven.Rest in peace SEAN TAYLOR.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 27, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I miss ya #21...but i tell you this the Bills better watch out..

Posted by: AirIndia | November 27, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Sonny (9) and Sam (70) are also unofficially retired too.

Posted by: WFY | November 27, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Officially or Unofficially, I would like to see them retire Sean Taylor's jersey. He was the best Redskin's player that I have ever witnessed, and yes, I witnessed the Super Bowls, and no one will ever be able to replace him or what he brought to the franchise. Therefore, I feel his number should not given to any other player. He will always be my favorite Redskin. God bless him, his family, and his little baby girl. I am absolutely devastated.

Posted by: Brian Payne | November 27, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan.

Posted by: smperk | November 27, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm a life long skins fan. The thing about it is, this is hitting everyone, not just skins fans...my neighbor is a die hard cowboys fan, and she told me this morning that she was just lying in bed in tears this morning over the news of Taylor's passing. Taylor has definitely been one of my favorite players...and I am praying for his family...his biological family and his Redskins family.

Posted by: lb | November 27, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Well done. Well done.

Posted by: Jenkins | November 27, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse


Love comes easily:
A Child becomes a Man;
In death, a Hero

Posted by: HaikuMan | November 27, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I moved to away 3 years ago and have remained a die hard fan. This sucks beyond belief, it feels like I lost a family member and I never met him. I loved his aggressiveness and his trademark highlight hits and will certainly miss them. He brought me hope even though I live 500 miles away. But what is the hardest to take is that a little girl will never know her father.

May his death not be in vein; lets hope this cycle of violence can come to an end.

Posted by: Dave | November 27, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

RIP Meast.

Posted by: BiGpimpin | November 27, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

this article was the first to bring a smile to my face today. thanks dan.

Posted by: lala land | November 27, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

sad story indeed. terrible to see a young man to go to his death in such an untimely and horrible way.

Posted by: junkin | November 27, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I can still remember how much I celebrated when the redskins drafted Sean Taylor over Winslow and I have closely followed his career ever since. I will truly miss seeing him on Sunday's and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Posted by: Derek | November 27, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

When I heard the sad news I realized that the importance of the remaining season has been minimized, knowing that #21 is gone!

Posted by: calvie | November 27, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Live by the sword or machete, Die by the gun. May the lifestyle he was living torment him for the rest of his life. May the untapped potential torment him for the rest of his life. Bottom line: people don't break in your on two separate occasions unless you were involved in some unsavory affairs. And they definitely don't shoot. They'd tie you up or hold you at gunpoint instead. Burglars rarely shoot people.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 27, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Sean's name on the Ring of Honor, along with the rest of our Heroes.

Posted by: SMLDave | November 27, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Sean, it seems as though I have lost a good friend. You are truly a Redskin Hall of Famer, I will miss you. I will pray for your beautiful little girl and your family. There is a place for you now in God's secondary and there we be know passes that can get through...I am sure of it. Rest #21 you will not be forgotten

Posted by: Todd Alston | November 27, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

i would surely miss his big hits. I love him as a player the way he bring his tenacity on the field. One of the most feared in NFL. It sad that someone had to end his life so early. As a fan it's hard to see one of your favorite player cut down so young. I'll miss not seing you every sunday on the field. thanks for the good memories.

Posted by: raf | November 27, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

That was beautifully said, Dan. I think you best described how we feel as fans today.

Posted by: Matt | November 27, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Can't the moderators of this blog prevent the d*ckheads from posting? What a joke

Posted by: RIP#21 | November 27, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Sean Taylor was not only a great player but, a great person. At the game when the Redskins played the Jets this year I saw Sean warming up and I yelled out to him and he turned and pointed at me. That shows me what kind of person he was he cared for the fans. When I heard this news my heart sunk. Even though I did not know Sean Taylor personally I still feel the hurt in my heart as if he was in my family. I pray for Sean and his family and the rest of the Redskins. Sean Taylor will be missed greatly.

Posted by: Wojo | November 27, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

May you rest in peace, Sean- you'll forever be a Redskin. Your family is in our prayers.

Posted by: Jon D. | November 27, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Man, am I gonna miss him in the Redskins D. I know the true tragedy lies in the vacancy left for his family, his daughter, his friends and teammates, but I will only see the void on Sundays. Days when guys like TO catch 4 touchdowns, which we know wouldn't have happened had Sean Taylor been in there.

He was a maniac in the secondary and forged his reputation by chasing guys like TO and Randy Moss out of bounds to smack them and take the 15 yards.

He was the only one on the D to hold onto the ball in the Green Bay game. He could jump toe to toe with Randy Moss, strip Julius Jones, break TO's hand, and scare Terry Glenn into curling up, instead of catching the ball. How about the blocked field goal against Dallas when he got face-masked and Novak kicked the game winner?

I did not know him, but I knew #21 of the Redskins: not always in the right position, but always sacrificing his body to intimidate the opposition. You knew he was back there. You knew the other team knew he was back there. I was always glad he was on our side.

The Redskins have lost their best player. The best.

Posted by: ShockednSaddened | November 27, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

This hurts. Sean Taylor was somewhat of an oddball, and an unknown individual as you say, but we saw what he represented on the field, and in some way we can form our own opinions on him through that. Passionate and fiery, maybe even to a fault.

Posted by: Cory | November 27, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

My thoughts and prayers are with Sean's family and friends, especially his little girl, Jackie. Although I did not know him personally, I felt connected to Sean Taylor, because Sean embodied almost all the characteristics a fan wants from its home team players: tough, energetic, and persistent. Remeber the block he threw on the punt return against the Lions earlier this year? He was my favorite member of the Washington Redskins. The Redskins have lost the best player on their team. Let's hope his family can heal after this senseless tragedy.

Posted by: Tim R. | November 27, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

We'll Miss you Reaper.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | November 27, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Rest in Peace Sean.

Condolences for the Taylor family & friends.

We will miss you Sean!!

Posted by: Betsy | November 27, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Everything happens for a reason. Watch, Redskins will be inspired and they will see a superbowl in the near future. Sean Taylor is to the Redskins as Favre's father was to the Packers...a huge positive influence created out of a trajedy.

Posted by: stephen gassaway email me at gassxsl@jmu.edu for comments on my post | November 27, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

It's really sad to hear that Sean Taylor is gone. My heart goes out to his family and friends and especially his daughter. He was one of the best players that the Washington Redskins could ever have. He will be missed by fans.
WILL MISS YOU SEAN TAYLOR
RIP

Posted by: Tamara | November 27, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

give him the ring of honor, he will be missed

Posted by: Kip | November 27, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Kip. I would like to see Sean's name in the Ring of Honor as well. I would also like to see his number retired.

I would also like the idiots posting negative comments removed also. It is interesting that the majority of the ones with negative comments do not even put a name in with their post. It is because they have no class. It is too bad that we have to put up with senseless trash comments. God Bless you Sean, and God Bless your family. Please know that Jackie will know her father. You will always be the hero to her that protected his baby girl from harms way. You will always be a hero to me.

Posted by: Brian | November 27, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins should make the 20-yardline, the 21-yardline for Sunday's game.

Posted by: DA | November 27, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

It would be like retiring the yardline in rememberance.

Posted by: DA | November 27, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

DA: I like your idea of marking the 20 yard line as the 21. Other good ones I've heard: 1) the whole team should wear the striped socks for which Taylor got fined instead of the usual black sticker or patch. Let's celebrate his life. 2) The first defensive snap should be intentionally played with only 10 men on the field. (If not in a real game, the NFL should definitely do this if he is the starting safety at the Pro Bowl).

Separately, regarding the jersey pictures: Archuletta? Really?

Posted by: Bud Omsman | November 27, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I love football, i have been a fan since i was a little kid. I have loved the tradition of the miami hurricanes since i was little to. although i dont even live in miami i loved there team. sean taylor was one of the first defensive backs i shared a common interest in with other around the world. Although he had an attitude as most kids do. he was a football player, a leader, and an inspiration. Since he joined the nfl i have followed his progress. He grew as a player, getting better each year. I loved his game. he is the reason i became a redskins fan. along wtih portis. who also is from the U. He is my fav player in the nfl. he plays hard, hits hard, and knows his game. I know he was a good man because of how he played on the field. No young man . 24 years of age with a daughter and his nfl career ahead of him. deserves to die. ill pray for him and his family. RIP sean taylor. you will never be forgotten. U r still my fav player. Live on in heaven.

Posted by: Sean taylor. RIP | November 27, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan.

Posted by: DB | November 27, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

terrible cercumstance, not a tragedy. when someone cuts the phone line to prevent you from calling 911, its most likely personal, not a random burglary. If it was a burglary, why didn't they steal anything. If it was a random act of violence, why was sean taylor the only person harmed. my condolences to his family and his fans.

Posted by: sean | November 27, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I've created a online petition to retire Sean Taylor's Jersey, #21, out of memory and respect.

http://www.petitiononline.com/RSTJ21/petition.html

Posted by: M. Justin Marohnic | November 28, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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