Sean Taylor


I always thought Taylor looked better wearing #36, but he switched to #21 after Fred Smoot left the team. Now Smoot’s back, but Taylor kept the number. So here’s an earlier shot of Taylor in #36.

He was an obviously gifted player, the sort that could change a game all by himself. His off-field troubles seemed to be mostly behind him, and he had stopped it with the stupid late hit penalties (and spitting) on the field. He was poised to become one of best safeties in the history of the Redskins, but it apparently was not meant to be.

It will be some time before we get the whole story about exactly what happened, but in the meantime just keep his daughter, his family, and his teammates in your thoughts.


  1. I have very little sympathy left for these poor little rich boys who get paid an fortune to play a kid’s game. That’s why I think this Alabama coach is an idiot too. Get a real life, then tell me about your problems you arrogant jerks.

  2. I remember hoping he would last long enough in the draft for the Patriots to grab him – he was special. Unfortunately, he brought a knife to a gun-fight.

  3. Michael Wilbon has a pretty decent write-up of the situation, making the case that this was very possibly, almost likely, not a random incident but linked to Taylor’s somewhat shady past. He notes that it isn’t a sport-specific problem but a problem for a lot of blacks in general. I’d say that it isn’t at all limited to blacks, but that a lot of folks everywhere have these same issues. I (sort of) understand some of the issues facing blacks in America, and I can see how many of them might be more likely to get caught up in the wrong crowd, but just like it isn’t an athlete-only problem, it isn’t a black-only or a minority-only problem. If you associate with the wrong people, you’re likely to get yourself into trouble. And, once you’re in, it’s almost impossible to get totally out. All indications are that Taylor was working hard to get himself out and had largely succeeded over the past year and a half, but it takes more than 18 months to cut those sorts of ties. Disclaimer: I haven’t seen anything that actually links this to gangs, Miami violence, any of the other issues that seem to plague many alumni of ‘The U’, or anything like that. But I certainly won’t be surprised if it turns out to be the case.

  4. I could take steroids and do what they do. Funny thing though, steroids wouldn’t help them do what I do for a living. I passed on that then. I’ll pass on it now.

  5. Dfens: I haven’t met you, but my guess is that, like me, there’s more than just a little steroid use separating you from pro football players. I’m not trying to glorify them or put you down. But most of the very best college football players on the very best college football teams can’t make an NFL team.

  6. There was a time when I had to decide which I liked better, engineering or football. I chose engineering and am glad I did. Sure, I liked to play football, but I like engineering more. I had to make the choice when I was in high school. It’s not that engineering pays better, and it’s a crap job compared to what it used to be, but every now and then when the bs parts, damn I love my job. I live to design stuff, and designing rockets and airplanes, who wouldn’t give their left nut to do that? Things are all out of whack when a football player makes 10-100 times what I make at 21. It does nothing good for either the football player or me. I suppose it’s not that poor dead kid’s fault…

  7. Oh, I’m not trying to argue that the ‘work’ these guys put in is actually WORTH all those millions. What I’m getting at is that they do something that virtually no one else is capable of doing and that the money to be made in that ‘industry’ is so huge that they’re going to get a sizable cut of it. Face it, pro athletes are in the entertainment industry. Maybe not quite the same as actors or rock stars, because they compete head-to-head in a game and the outcome of those games goes a long ways to determine the success of an individual, but in most other ways Peyton Manning isn’t all that different from Tom Cruise in terms of the ‘industry’ he’s in. From tickets and TV money and clothing sales, football teams make a gazillion dollars. Now, I’d just as soon that ticket prices were lowered and jerseys were cheaper, but since they can sell plenty at the current prices I’m not going to gripe too much about how much a seat at the game costs. Given all that cash flowing in, I certainly want the players to get a share of it and not just the team owners or TV networks. So I certainly don’t think a quarterback or actor or rock star performs a duty ‘worth’ 10 million dollars, but given that his ‘work’ is going to bring in 100 million dollars a year I don’t begrudge him his 10 mil. And since the competition to get that spot on the team is so tough I can’t really fault them. Doesn’t mean that a lot of them aren’t total jerks, either, though.

  8. Good points, Murdoc. I’ve had an arguement with some of my friends lately about gambling. They say it doesn’t hurt anyone, but I say it hurts society. A capitalist society is built around the concept that the fittest not only survive but thrive. When you gamble, however, the odds, especially in a game such as the lottery, are long enough that the outcome is almost purely random. In fact, much care is taken to ensure a random outcome. This doesn’t reward the best and brightest, it rewards whoever is lucky. That’s why we have laws limiting gambling. It appeals to society’s least common denominator because any idiot can get rich while being an idiot. So that becomes the fundamental difference between capitalism, which by its very nature rewards risk, and gambling. The parallel with the entertainment industry, of which I agree that professional sports is a part, is that we are in many cases rewarding people with millions and even billions of dollars who are nothing more than a drain on society. Look at the popularity of Britany Spears, or some activist idiot like Alec Baldwin. These people become millionaires and roll models while representing the worst of us. Frankly, I think it is well past time we passed laws to put an end to it. I know it sounds anti-capitalistic, but we simply cannot afford to continue to concentrate wealth and the power it buys in the hands of abject morons. It is destroying our society, and often destroying the lives of the very people it makes wealthy.