Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Personal Introduction to Blogging

This one is going to start on a somber note. I've been tossing around the idea of a blog for quite awhile. I realized everyone I know has, jump on board!

As I'm sure everyone knows, the Redskins lost a pretty important person in their community this week with the passing of Sean Taylor. As is the case with most tragedy, everyone is quick to give their input on what happened. Everyone wants to be the first to explain the event the right way. The talking heads jaw back and forth at each other about whether it was a random crime or a targeted professional hit, whether he is just a statistic as a young black male between the ages of 18-24 that has been murdered, whether he was really asking for this because of the life he lived.

As a graduate of Virginia Tech, I watched the news, speechless, for a solid 10 hours on April 16th. I was lucky enough to have graduated before the shooting spree happened. I still have a lot of friends in school there, though, so I drove down to Blacksburg on the 17th to be with them. I wasn't going to make anyone happy and forget all about what happened. I wasn't trying to. I just wanted to show my face and let people know they had people who cared about them. What greeted me when I got down there was a a media frenzy. It was sick. People want to grieve on their own time. Let them.

Sean Taylor may have been raised in the wrong neighborhood, around the wrong people. He may have been a thug, a gangster, a criminal. Growing up, a lot of people do a lot of dumb things. Depending on your environment, your dumb childhood mistakes might be trivial, or they might be serious mistakes. But what Sean had grown in to, as everyone heard by the testimony of his friends, teammates, coaches, and family, was a happy, caring father, a fiancee, a teammate, a friend, and a benevolent human being.

I had to watch him terrorize my Hokies in college. But as soon as he joined the Redskins, he became a part of my team. I enjoyed watching him scare the living shit out of TO on a regular basis. He was a true game-changing player. If you ask me, he was a future hall of famer. Maybe I'm jumping the gun. But he was easily the best athlete on the Redskins entire team. And he was only 24.

Now that he's gone, the Redskins are going to be a different team. Not having him hawking around in the secondary is going to be a sad sight for all of us. No amount of money or tribute ribbons or media reports is going to change any of that. The best we can do is remember him for who he had become. Remember his hits on the field. Remember the few interviews he gave off the field where he really sounded like an adult who had gotten his act together. Remember the effect he had on his teammates and his fans, even his opponents.

He said in September that he felt sorry for people who were taken too soon, who didn't get to live life to its fullest. He followed that by saying he had achieved his dreams, and he felt so lucky to have gotten the opportunity that he had to play in the NFL.

I'll remember him as one of the few people who actually achieved their dreams. He got to work in a profession that he loved with a real passion, he got to see his baby daughter born, and he had the admiration of thousands of people. What better way can a person live their life?

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