A more positive article from USA Today

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A more positive article from USA Today

Postby CanesSkins26 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:16 pm

By Jon Saraceno, USA TODAY
ASHBURN, Va. — Under a pine tree at Redskins Park rested a bulletin board. On the makeshift "Rest in Paradise" memorial were photos of Sean Taylor, the player and the person. A white teddy bear wearing No. 21 lay on a pile of flower bouquets. Three candles sat near a cross. There was the weeping.

Two boys and their mother approached. One wore a child's version of a Washington helmet and carried a small rubber football under his arm. His brother placed a homemade card on the ground.

"Want to say a prayer?" asked Amanda White.

So, Gavin, 7, and Sebastian, 3 held hands and prayed for a man they had never met.

Do we really know any of our Sunday heroes? We read snippets and hear sound bites — and we know if they run afoul of the law. But, really, do we know anything about their lives, aspirations and dreams to make a better life? Their innermost fears?
We knew this about Taylor: He was one of the best — and most feared — players in the NFL. And it sounded as if he was on his way to becoming a better man and father to his 18-month-old baby girl, Jackie.

"You can't be scared of death," he once said.

The 24-year-old Pro Bowl safety not only talked the talk, he walked the walk — for the final time straight into a bullet, in his home. This time Taylor was no match for another man, one-on-one. He was armed with a machete. The assailant carried a gun.

So, no, we didn't know Sean Taylor. He didn't trust the media or many others. Tuesday, I could better understand why as I perused the Internet reading garbage about him. The nonsensical theme seemed to be this: If Taylor was murdered — even in his own home — he must have had it coming.

He had been involved in a gang-bang-style shootout, right?

He played football at The U, right?

He lived the life, right?

He was black, right?

He must guilty of something. .. right?

"People were very judgmental about this kid," said Eddie Anaya, an acquaintance who visited the memorial. "He was trying to change his life. He was a very humble guy. Always smiling. But a competitor. People judged him because of his past, because they think he's a thug from the ghetto. We all make mistakes. He was a family man. It's a sad day. But not because he was a Redskin. He was a human being."

At one time, Taylor was as reckless off the field as he was on it, a punishing hitter who missed tackles and assignments because of his hyper-aggressiveness. Once he spit on another NFL player. He had been charged with drunken driving.

He was young and immature when he left Miami four years ago, a player of unlimited potential and supreme ego. Coach Joe Gibbs said Tuesday, "He had an athletic arrogance about (him) that said, 'This is where I belong, on the big stage.' "

If you listened to those who knew Taylor, you realized he had made strides. He was becoming a leader in the locker room. He was more serious about his profession.

Not coincidentally, that came when the law was breathing fire down his collar, and after becoming a father. Clinton Portis, who had a close relationship with him enhanced by their shared Hurricanes background, said his friend dreaded two things.

"When he got into trouble, he was so afraid of losing football that he walked the straight line," he said Tuesday on The John Thompson Show.

Taylor also was apprehensive about his daughter's future, or, as Portis said, "for him not to be around to see her grow up."

"I know that was a big fear of his," he said.

He did not say if Taylor explained the whys of his fears, or if they were rational. At moments like this there are too many questions, not enough answers.

Was his death the result of surprising an intruder — or was it retaliation for allegedly beating those he believed had stolen his property?

Why did Taylor, mending from a knee injury, return to his Florida home, one that recently had been burglarized by someone who left a knife on his bed?

Why wasn't his home's alarm system activated?

Why did the Redskins leave him behind?

The last one bugged Taylor, too. According to Portis, Taylor's girlfriend, Jackie, said he complained about not traveling to Tampa last weekend. "I don't think the team wanted him to fly because the (knee) might swell," Portis said. "But she said he kept asking, 'Why didn't they take me?' "

Team chaplain Brett Fuller had an answer, one he shared with grieving teammates and coaches.

God wanted Sean Taylor.


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Postby CanesSkins26 » Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:21 am

Here's an article from the Washington Post that sheds some insight into Sean Taylor the person. It's long so I've only posted the intro....

After Desperate Attempt to Save a Life, A Struggle to Understand Its Violent End

By Les Carpenter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 28, 2007; Page A01

PALMETTO BAY, Fla., Nov. 27 -- At 1:47 a.m. on Monday a call came to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department of a shooting at 18050 Old Cutler Rd. Within seconds, fire department records show, one rescue truck, two fire engines and a fire chief made their way out of the Coral Reef Fire Station on SW 152nd Street and sped southeast toward the sprawling, yellow house not far from the edge of Biscayne Bay.

The race to save Sean Taylor was on.
Nine minutes later, the paramedics were at the house trying to stem the flood of blood that poured from the Washington Redskins safety's leg. He was fading fast. More than 10 minutes had passed since one or more intruders apparently climbed through a bathroom window off a patio in the back of the house, a family member said, and were confronted by Taylor near the rear bedroom where the player, his girlfriend Jackie Garcia and their 18-month old daughter had been sleeping.

The rest of the article can be found here....

Suck and Luck

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Postby SkinMeAlive » Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:25 pm

Voltaire (1694-1778) "This is no time to make new enemies." (When asked on his deathbed to foreswear Satan.)

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