Thursday, April 28, 2011

NFL Draft Preview: Time to Go on the Offensive

by Ben

The smart money says the Skins should draft a defensive player, but when have the Skins ever been used in the sentence as “smart money”?  This makes it an absolute necessity to take a gander at some of the offensive prospects that are on the Redskins’ radar.  We know Shanazorn’s arrogance will not allow him to draft a running back before the 4th round, so we can cross Mark Ingram and other highly touted running backs off the list.  The Skins will be looking intently at Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, and Offensive tackles.   Almost as intently as myself the first time I saw the Erin Andrews video.  

It appears Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert will not be on the board for the Skins at no. 10, which does not make me fret because Jon Gruden proved that although Cam Newton played at a Heisman level, he still learns at a 3rd grade level.  Sorry Cam you may have had a tutor taking your tests and writing your papers at Auburn, but they won't be able to save you in the NFL nor will they be able to  tell you what a “Sam” linebacker is. 

Coming out of High School, Locker was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Are we still expected to call them that? Seriously?)  and was offered $2 million to sign.  He turned that down.  Last year he was the presumptive number one overall pick worth a projected $50 million.  He turned that down to, because he felt he had unfinished business at Washington.  He is not motivated by money which would be refreshing to have around Redskins Park.  Many people hated on his decision to stay in school, but I really respected it.  Yes this guy cost himself large amounts of money, but it is his potential money…not yours.  He enjoyed his four years in college and wanted to finish what he started.  Why can’t we just respect that and leave it alone? His numbers slipped and his accuracy is in question.  But he also rallied his team from 3-6 to 6-6, a Holiday Bowl birth, and an upset win over Nebraska in said Holiday Bowl.  There has been much ado about his accuracy, but I watched a lot of Washington Huskies football games this past season and his receivers dropped a ton of passes.  I mean this receiving corp collectively had hands like deer.  Not to mention he was under center behind a much maligned offensive line that constantly had him on the run.  I personally think Locker is going to be a solid pro quarterback because he is a smart, loyal, driven, and a competitive football player.  He is entering the league with a chip on his shoulder that will serve him well. I think Locker would be a good fit with the Shanazorn offensive system due to his mobility and ability to throw on the run. I would be a big fan of Jake Locker wearing the Burgundy and Gold for years to come. In fact I think we should trade down for him (Tyler's mind is officially lost). 

Can you believe certain NFL coaches are already writing this guy off because he’s a ginger? I have been watching sports all my life and I have never heard anything so ridiculous…well almost.  Look at what this guy accomplished at TCU.  He led his team from Conference USA doormat to BCS Contender.  His numbers his final two years are staggering as he orchestrated a fast paced and quick hitting offense.  He may not be the biggest quarterback in the draft or the most mobile, but he is a winner with a killer work ethic.  He is not the sexy pick, but he is the smart pick.  I would absolutely love it if the Skins snagged him in round two, bheut t previous statement proves why the Skins will not take him. One of the biggest knocks on him right now is the fact that his hair is the same color as this guy’s.  Really NFL? No wonder you are in a lockout!

It was New Year’s  Eve of this past year and I was at a D.C. area bar ringing in 2011.  In the background there was a T.V. playing highlights of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl between South Carolina and Florida State.  While watching these highlights, my buddies and I decided to take shots of Gin in order to pay homage to Christian Ponder’s four year career at Florida State.  You should be raising the question: “Shots of Gin!?! Why on Earth would you rip shots of gin?” This was our rationale:

Gin is a very solid liquor, especially when mixed.  But as far as taking shots of it, well it is just disappointing and dangerously overrated.  This was Christian Ponder’s career at FSU in a shot glass.

It should come as no surprise that Ponder is HIGH on Shanazorn’s draft board…

One word: BEAST.  A 6’3” 220 lb beast.  Jones is a gifted freak, athletic, chiseled, and possesses super soft hands.  He must moisturize.  He is going to be a bon-a-fide stud in the NFL.  He would be an excellent pick for the Skins at number 10, unfortunately for Jones he would be receiving awkwardly ugly spiral from none other than this guy.  Last year as a junior Jones amassed 78 catches for 1,133 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Truth be told this is the dude I want us to snag, even though our holes on the defensive side are more glaring than Albert Haynesworth’s character flaws.  

Smith is flying up draft boards ever since his athletic prowess was on full display at USC’s pro day and the NFL Combine.  He was a right tackle at USC, but many coaches and scouts can envision him protecting a quarterback’s blindside for the next decade or so.  He is as athletically gifted as any lineman in this draft.  The Cowboys (who pick at number 9) are allegedly in love with Smith and are likely to snatch him up.  This would be hurt because well frankly I hate Jerry Jones and everything that he stands for.  The only knock I have on Tyron Smith is that he was coached by Lane Kiffin last year.  Other than that, he seems to be a very valuable prospect.  I am salivating over the idea of Trent Williams at Left Tackle, Smith at Right Tackle and Andy Dalton in the pocket with all day to throw.   Come dream along with me…

So there you have it.  These are a few prospects both offensive and defensive that we think the Redskins should take a look at.   

Dream Scenario: Snag either Julio Jones,  Robert Quinn, or Tyron Smith in the 1st.  And Dalton in the 2nd.

Most likely scenario: Skins trade this year’s 1st, 2nd, and next year’s 1st round picks to some team in the top3-5 and draft Newton or Gabbert.  Thus filling only 1 of our 37 holes and ensconcing our young quarterback of the future in  a “FAIL-ONLY” situation.   That is if the NFL every plays another game.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NFL Draft Preview: Holes

So Tyler just laid it out for you on what he think the Skins should be doing on the defensive side of the ball and before I get to the offense there are a few things we think you all should know.

The Redskins have more holes than a putt-putt course.

The Redskins have more holes than Tiger’s Blackberry Contacts.

The Redskins have more holes than Biggie’s Suburban.

The Redskins have more holes than Denzel’s body in Training Day. 

The Redskins have more holes than the Iraqi Navy.

The Redskins have more holes than O.J.’s side of the story

The Redskins have more holes than the levees in New Orleans.

The Redskins have more holes than the Red Light District in Amsterdam.

The Redskins have more holes than Jose Theodore’s glove side.   
The ghost of the 2010 Caps lives on!

The Redskins have more holes than Henrik Lundqvist’s goaltending circa game 5. 

The Redskins have more holes than Poland’s defensive forces in 1939.

The Redskins have more holes than the French Army…period…The French Army sucks.

The Redskins have more holes than the drywall at the ESU Timberwolves football team’s 
house.  Especially in Lattimer’s room. 

The Redskins have more holes than a Michael Bay plotline.

The Redskins have more holes than Fox’s primetime lineup.

The Redskins have more holes than The Office without Steve Carell.

The Redskins have more holes than Mike Tyson’s savings account.

The Redskins have more holes than Evander Holyfield’s brain.

The Redskins have more holes than the Titanic.

The Redskins have more holes than a Duke Lacrosse party.

And last but not least…

The Redskins have more holes than Jim Tressel’s public image.

And now on to the offensive prospects....

NFL Draft Preview: Do The Skins Get Defensive?

By Tyler

    Let’s start by saying is anybody surprised that the NFL lockout has stayed ugly, and now players score a huge win by showing up to work because they, “just want to play football.”   Not to mention some have quite a few alimony payments to make.  Wish that was made up, but what can you do?

     Having said that!  Let’s look at the draft, the second most anticipated day of the NFL year following only The Super Bowl, however that could change.  Somehow sitting at Number 10 are our beloved Redskins.  I know what you’re thinking, “10 seems pretty low for such a bad team.”  To which I think everyone in the area completely agrees.  The Skins literally have holes everywhere that include but are not limited to: WR, DB, OL, DL, LB, QB, RB.  There are three guys on the team that have earned a spot for the following year, Laron Landry, Brian Orakpo and Trent Williams.  They play Strong Safety, Outside Linebacker and Left Tackle…..oy.

     O.K. so let’s look at the Defense, because honestly, there’s no QB worth taking at 10 in this draft, none of the receivers that are first round talents will be there.  Sorry Mark Ingram, we don’t need a younger, healthier Ryan Torain, offensive line depth is excellent so they can address that later in the draft.  And OH MY GOD if another person mentions trading back to get Jake Locker I may just lose my mind.  I guess people are forgetting two guys in California by the name of Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley.  If you don’t think the Skins will be in a position to draft one of those guys, then I have a great piece of real estate in Ohio you’d be interested in.
     So let’s look at some of the best defensive prospects in this year’s class:
     I’ll start by saying this is a pretty diverse group, and if you’re looking at mock drafts, which you clearly are, you see that this draft is ABSOLUTELY LOADED with talent on the defensive side of the football, what better year to stockpile your picks and stack your D for the next decade.

     Natural pass-rusher with a high motor, well-liked.  If you’re a Redskins fan, do you need to read anything else?  I didn’t think so but here’s more…  33 tackles, 5 sacks, 20 of the tackles were solo.  Projects to about 7-8 sacks in The League as a rookie.  Not bad, not to mention QB hurries, pressures, hits, tackles for loss haven’t been mentioned.  Played at Alabama, so he’s kind of a winner.

     Probably the best cornerback prospect in a decade or more.  People have drawn comparisons to Deion because of his return ability and speed.  Has safety size and runs a 4.3 40.  If you’re a Redskins fan, you know two things, he won’t fall to 10 and you pray to whomever you believe in, that he doesn’t fall to number 9, if he does, the Skins have 10-12 years of no passing game against the Cowboys.  He could go 1, and won’t go past 6.  In 5 years people will write their redrafts and he’ll go #1 overall.  Everybody knows this, but Cam Newton may go to the Panthers this year….baffling.

     Absolute beast, this guy has Brian Orakpo 2.0 written all over him, meaning, if he’s on a better team, he’ll win rookie of the year, don’t forget how close that vote was, or the fact Orakpo has two pro bowls to his credit, but I digress.  Tons of athletic ability, does have natural coverage skills that Orakpo is still fine tuning, if he falls to #10, I will literally go into a happiness coma, history tells us it could happen, Orakpo was pegged as a top 5 pick and he slipped.  Shades of OOOORRRRAAAAKKKKPPPPPOOOOOO!!!

     Ahh yes, it wouldn’t be an NFL draft without a mega-talent with mega-possible character issues.  Nick Fairley is that guy.  Not going to discuss his talent because it is undeniable.  The hope is that he doesn’t fall to 10, and I don’t think he will.  Not a fit as a 3-4 DE and not big enough to be a nose in a 3-4 so he isn’t a scheme fit.  Those character issues will come out in The League, and in a locker room with Haynesworth and D. Hall, the Skins can ill-afford this guy in there as well.

     Here’s the first guy on here that will likely be on the board when the Skins pick.  People were saying top 10 pick for the draft in 2010 last year but he stayed and got caught taking illegal benefits and was suspended for the entire year, (one of a few Tar Heels to be suspended, if children were caught doing something illegal, wouldn’t we blame the parents for negligence, remind me again how Butch Davis comes out clean in all this?  Butch Davis, who most assuredly uses the line, “I want to raise good young men at our program.”)  We’ve heard big time athlete and natural pass rusher, both of which are immediate upgrades over the patchwork second level the Skins have at the moment

     Looking at everything, especially how loaded this draft is defensively.  Why not stack your picks and get 3 defensive players with your first three picks.  Here me out, take Quinn or another high character, productive, scheme flexibile guy, J.J. Watt.  Now you’ve addressed a need on your line.  Cross your fingers, HARD, that Akeem Ayers is available, and now you’ve added two guys that will take considerable pressure off of Brian Orakpo.   And you’ve added a starting DE and a starting LB, believe me they could do worse, see Exhibit A.

     You’re probably asking yourself, self, “How could they do that, they don’t have a third round pick and who could they get in round four?”  To that I say, take advantage of the Vikings desperation and front office ineptitude, (Brad Childress anyone) and do whatever it takes to send McNabb there and get their third round pick.  If that means McNabb and Haynesworth, YOU DO IT!  Haynesworth does pretty well in the 4-3, and McNabb is a big name that has one more good season left in him.  Minnesota makes this trade.  You’re getting 2 pro bowlers for a THIRD ROUND PICK!  The Redskins are not going anywhere with either of those guys, so you may as well jettison them anyway.  If it means McNabb and Cooley, YOU DO IT!  They have a contingency plan in Fred Davis, and McNabb now has Cooley, Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian and….oh yea…Adrian Peterson.  Again, the Vikings make this trade. 

     Here’s the truth, the Skins are far closer to building a competitive defense than they are a competitive offense.  Here’s what we’ve also seen, Mark Sanchez has been to two consecutive AFC Championship games (forgot that didn’t you?) because of his defense.  Trent Dilfer is a Super Bowl champion because of defense.  Eli Manning won a Super Bowl 3 or 4 years ahead of schedule because of his defense.  The Steelers won games with CHARLIE BATCH LAST YEAR, because of their defense. 

      Also, think about the damage teams did with a few weeks of preparation for Andre Carter and Lorenzo Alexander as outside linebackers.  Well, now they’ve had an entire year to prepare for them.  That really should keep people up at night.  Also, the defense has some playmakers already, Orakpo, Landry, Fletcher and God love him Carlos Rogers, who can’t catch but is in the right spot pretty often.

     You shouldn’t need more proof than that, especially in such a deep defensive draft, that the Redskins should bet the house and go all defense, win 5 games next year, and grab their QB of the future next year.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bird Call/BirdHeart

This is a call to all you baseball fans out there in the MD/VA and even DC area.  James Earl Jones said it the best in Field of Dreams:

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”

I remember the day when I was a young boy anxious to go to the Oriole’s game just to watch Cal Ripken Jr.  He was the face of the franchise and will always embody greatness.  But we as fans of one of the greatest franchises to grace this nation have lost our steam.  I am constantly outnumbered by opposing fans, and I know the Detroit Tigers cannot travel that well.  We all know the saying “poop flows down hill”, well that is precisely what happens when the Red Sox and Yankees come to town.   Poop flows directly down the eastern seaboard and piles up in our ball park.  This poop we speak of is the Yankees and Red Sox fans that outnumber the proud black and orange loyalists.  Fellow O’s fans, we can no longer allow this to happen, NOT UP IN HERE!

This is a Bird Call.  Let’s get back to the hard-nosed, blue-collar baseball we are used to.  Cal Ripken Jr. played 2632 games (yes I know that off the top of my head because that is the number of greatness) in a row through the dog days of summer, injuries, sickness and who knows what else because he embodied the Orioles spirit.  Blue collared, hard-nosed, grind it out type of baseball.  And we as fans embodied that culture.  We are no damned Yankees.  Thank goodness we are not the Red Sox “nation”.  We didn’t have to change our name like the Devil Rays. And we live in the United States of America.  This ain’t Canada!  These colors DON’T RUN!  Orange and black!

Let’s get back to putting fannies in the seats and orange on our heads.  I know we have been in a rut and I am just as guilty as the next O’s fan of being so frustrated that you make a vow to stop caring so much next year (which never happens).  Times are tough.  As a country we are struggling.  We are constantly evolving and changing.  But baseball is America’s pastime and baseball will never leave our hearts. 

We have a real chance here, O’s fans.  We have fresh bats and promising new arms.  We have a lot of young talent coming through our farm system and a lot of veterans to show them the way.  This is our time.  It only takes one year to turn a program around.  Let’s take pride in our team, in our city, in our state.  This is our land.  THIS IS BIRDLAND!

And if that wasn’t enough read this snippet from a recent rally held by Buck Showalter with a slew of disgruntled O’s fans.

Buck: “Fans of Birdland. I am Buck Showalter!”

Disgruntled O’s Fan: “Buck is Ten Feet tall!”

Buck: “Yes, I’ve heard.  He wins games 10 runs at a time…and if he were here, he would consume the Blue Jays with suicide squeezes from the dugout and double switches that would make even the best N.L. managers green with envy.

I am Buck Showalter!  And I see a whole stadium of my Birdmen, here, in defiance of the evils of the A.L. East!  You have come to cheer as Orioles fans!  And Orioles fans you are!  Now what will you do with that O’s hat?  Will you cheer?”

Disgruntled O’s Fan: “No, we will run to the Phillies.  And we will thrive.”

Buck: “Aye, Cheer… and you may cry… Run to the Phillies… and you will thrive… at least a while.  And dying in your beds, many years from now…  would you be willing to trade all those players for one chance… JUST ONE CHANCE… for a shot at the playoffs and tell all those Yanks and Sox fans that they may take our Mussina’s… BUT THEY WILL NEVER TAKE OUR RIPKENS!!!”

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Weekly Groove

Sir Billiam is back and this week we will be discussing the musical
genius of a true American icon and inspirational leader of the glitter
community.  If you do not know who I speak of, please read on, and get
ready for your world to get rocked.  If you do know who I speak of,
follow suit and pay tribute to this national treasure.

The American culture relies heavily on the value of the almighty
dollar.  America is the definition of greatness. Thus, it can be seen
that the dollar sign is interchangeable with greatness.  You may be
asking yourself, where are you going with this one, Sir Billiam?

I will spell it out for you.  K - E - $ - H - A.  Yes, that is right
ladies and gentlemen.  Ke$ha.  With the world at her fingertips and a
symbol of currency in her name, she uses her beats to inspire even the
worst dancers at the club to go out and bust a move.  There has been
controversy with some of the lyrics of her songs in which children as
young as 4 have been brushing their teeth with the alcoholic drink
Jack Daniels, some teenagers have been caught at school trying to use
love as an actual drug, and many people have been speaking in double
when trying to get pedicures on their toes, toes, when answering their
phones, phones and when they are trying to pray to their Jesus neck a
lace ace ace.  On a positive note, however, the glitter community has
had a 432% spike in sales in the past 4 months.

All in all, Ke$ha has now inspired our culture to throw aside any type
of class that we once had and realize that life is truly about how
much fun and filth you can involve yourself in.

So this weekend, ladies, put on your glitter, and guys, get ready to
fist pump. Because Ke$ha will be blasting her music for the world to
hear, and to that we can only say... Thank you.

Oh and ladies, don't be afraid to hit on dudes... hard.

I hope to return to you soon.

-Sir Billiam

Friday, April 1, 2011

Top Ten for April 1st

By Ben

Today is April 1st, and I’m sure many of you are running around pranking each other because it is April Fools, but I am going to sit back and reflect.  I am going to reflect because today was supposed to be Sean Taylor’s 28th birthday.  Sean T. was my favorite player and his passing was the darkest day in my life-time Redskins’ fan hood.  I was crushed because I was a huge fan of him as a football player and as a man, but I cannot fathom the pain that was felt by his friends and family.  I was lucky to have been able to watch “Meast” patrol the Skins secondary for 3 ½ seasons, and only wished he could have lived in order to become the Hall of Famer he was meant to be on the field and off the field.  We bring you Top Ten lists every Friday so I thought I would write my top 10 Sean Taylor memories to help remember the very talented, timeless young man, and a fan favorite of a loyal and burgundy-bleeding fan base.

10) I remember watching Sean Taylor play as a Miami Hurricane against the Florida State Seminoles during his junior season.  This was the first I had ever heard of Sean T. and I was totally mesmerized by his hard hits, impeccable speed, and overall vision for the game.  I immediately pictured him in a Redskins uniform and just hoped of all hopes the Skins would get the chance to draft him in the upcoming NFL draft.  

9) I remember sitting in my basement with my good pal, Mish, and watching the 2004 NFL Draft.  Joe Gibbs had been hired as the Redskins Head Coach in an attempt to restore the glory.  The Skins had the 5th overall pick in the first round and pundits were predicting the Skins to draft either Sean Taylor or tight end and Taylor's Miami  teammate, Kellen Winslow.  Mish was hoping for Winslow, and I was desperately pleading for Sean T. And then this happened.  I jumped out of my seat and screamed (wait til the :04 mark).  He immediately became my favorite player, and the guy I was excited to watch for the next 12-15 years.

8) I remember sitting in a small hotel room up in the mountains near Yosemite National Park, with shoddy reception watching the Redskins play the Denver Broncos in the "Hall of Fame Game" during the pre-season.  I remember getting my first glimpse of Sean Taylor in the burgundy and gold, wearing the #36.  He looked like such a beast with the big shoulder pads and the black visor.  This is where we Skins fans really began to understand what the term “ballhawk” meant.  Taylor buzzed all over the field and had two INT’s including one he returned for a touchdown.  His athletic ability was evident, and he was just scratching the surface.

7) I remember the first time I saw Sean Taylor play in person.  It was Week 10 of 2004 during his rookie season.  The Skins had a home game vs. Carson Palmer and the Cincinnati Bengals.   I watched #36 during stretching lines, warm-ups, all the way up to the opening kickoff.  He was so amped up and intense!  There was no question that he had come to play and take care of business that day.  On the very first play of the game, Carson Palmer dropped back and launched a beautiful deep ball down field, and Sean T. came from across the field, and closed in and snatched the ball out of the air!  The Skins ultimately lost that game, but the image that stuck with me was the great game Sean Taylor had played.  8 tackles, 1 INT, and lord knows how many bone rattling hits.

6) I remember the Redskins needing to win 5 games in a row in order to make the playoffs in 2005.  I remember Clinton Portis putting the team on his back, and I remember Sean Taylor (now wearing his iconic #21) scoring the game clinching and Playoff spot securing touchdown in Philadelphia in Week 17.  He came out of nowhere in his ball-hawking style, and scooped up the loose ball, stiff armed the puny Koy Detmer and SOARED into the endzone for six!  ) I remember one week later in the Wild Card Round, the Skins headed to Tampa Bay to play a Buccaneers team.  In the first quarter there was a play that was the epitome of Sean Taylor, playing hard and playing through the play all the way to the whistle.  And then TOUCHDOWN!  
Sean Taylor was ejected from this game for allegedly spitting in the face of a Tampa Bay Buccaneer Running Back Michael Pittman.  The Skins ultimately won, so kiss our burgundy and gold behinds.

Touchdown vs. Philly in Week 17, 2005.

5) I remember Sean Taylor’s off the field issues.  There was a DUI arrest, an armed assault arrest, and an eventual plea agreement.  Sean was young with a lot of money and he may have been a little immature.  And the media (who really did not know much about Sean Taylor) had a field day trying to paint him as a thug and a hot head.   I remember being a part of a fan base that rallied behind our player, and watched him prove us all correct by maturing and really heading down the right road.

4) I remember the dominating start he had to the 2007 season.  He was everywhere in the secondary, going sideline to sideline, laying hard hits and knocking down passes.  It had appeared that Sean Taylor had put it all together and was emerging as one of if not THE best safety in the entire league.  I remember in week 6 when the Skins played Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.  It seemed liked Favre was having a catch with Sean T. because number #21 was getting his hands on every pass!  He ended the game with two interceptions, but dropped 3-4 more.  It was truly an awesome and dominating performance by an elite athlete.  He had racked up 5 picks in 6 games and was showing no signs of slowing down, until he hurt his knee vs. Philadelphia in week 10 and had to leave the game.  This would be the last time anyone saw Sean T. in a Skins uniform.  His absence was obvious as the dormant Philly offense exploded following Taylor’s exit, and won the game.  Taylor missed the next two games against the Cowboys and the Buccaneers in which the Skins lost.  The Tampa Bay game was a tough pill to swallow because the Skins gave it away and the fan base’s anger over the tough loss was soon to turn to epic sadness.

3) I remember everything about the tragedy of Sean Taylor’s death.  It was the Monday (November 26th, 2007) after Thanksgiving Break and I was sitting in my apartment at school.  I had just come back from the gym and was sitting down playing Madden before heading to class, when my roommate and fellow Blogger, Tyler came in the room white as a ghost.  He said “dude turn on ESPN, my mom just told me Sean T. got shot.”  I immediately fumbled for the remote and clicked on ESPN to see scrolling on the bottom line, that Taylor had in fact been shot and was in critical condition.  I said screw this and turned on Comcast Sportsnet to get the most up to date and accurate coverage.  Neither of us left the couch that day, eagerly awaiting updates with either the result we all wanted or our worst nightmare coming true.  Later on in the evening Kelli Johnson came on with “Breaking News” and my heart was in my throat hoping for good news.  Her report was that Sean T. was responsive, his eyes were open, and that was all they had for now.  I then remember her last words of the telecast, “We are by no means out of the woods, but this appears to be the good sign we’ve all been waiting for.”  I went to bed that night still worried, but at ease.  I had an 8:00AM class on Tuesday November, 27th and was up at 7 and checked my email like I did every morning.  For whatever reason, I didn’t sit down and just stood up leaning over my desk, and I saw an email from my dad whose subject line was “What a shame. I’m real sorry buddy”.  My face got flush and my hands again fumbled for the mouse to open the email, in which I found out from my father that one of my champions, and my favorite player was dead at 24 years old.  My legs immediately felt like jelly and I stumbled backwards until the back of my legs found my bed and I plopped down.  I put my head in my hands and lost it.  Tears flowed and sadness crept through me selfishly.  What about Sean’s young widow and now fatherless baby daughter?  What about his mother and father who just lost their son? What about Clinton Portis and Santana Moss who lost their brother, and the other Redskins who lost their teammate? 

2) I remember the response to Sean T.’s death.  I remember the fan base rallying together and showing support for Taylor’s family and for our beloved Redskins.  I remember what seemed like the longest four days until the Redskins game on Sunday vs. the Buffalo Bills.  I remember all of Sean T.’s teammates coming out and saying this guy was not a thug, but a matured family man who had been changed by the birth of his daughter.  I remember the definition of a man’s man, Joe Gibbs, being racked with sadness, yet somehow being the leader he is and rallying this football team together.  I remember the game on Sunday vs. the Bills when the Redskins defense lined up with 10 men for the first snap in tribute to their fallen brother.  I remember Joe Gibbs calling back to back timeouts to ice the Bills’ kicker at the end of the game, only to be hit with a 15 yard penalty thus giving Rian Lindell all he needed to hit the game winning field goal in a game that the Skins and their fan base desperately needed in order to ease the pain they were all going through.  I remember skipping class to watch Sean T.’s funeral which was televised on all of the local stations.  I remember Sean T.’s closest teammates Clinton Portis and Santana Moss playing some of the best football of their careers and leading the Redskins on an improbable 4 game winning streak to finish the season at 9-7 and clinching the final playoff spot.  The Skins won at home in week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys to secure the final spot by the score of 27-6…21 points.  Throughout those games it seemed like there was something special happening with this team and it was clear that from up above #21 had one last great play to make for this team.  The dream ended in the Wild Card round in Seattle, but his memory and the memory of the 2007 was just beginning.

1) Most of all I remember the great joy that watching Sean Taylor play football brought me.  I remember the great sadness his death also brought me.  I remember a fan base and a team rallying together to support each other and a pain-stricken family to go on an improbable playoff run.  I will never see the #21 or hear the name Taylor without thinking of Sean Taylor and the impact he has had on my life. 

Check out Sean Taylor's Foundation:
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