I was watching a Skin's game a couple of weeks ago and I was wearing my Sean Taylor 75th Anniversary Jersey (happens to be my favorite out of my collection). I was enjoying all the stress and excitement of the game when my 4 year old son asked me a question.
"Daddy, who's jersey is this?"
"This is Sean Taylor's jersey," I replied.
My son then walked up to the TV and stood in front of it, his nose only inches from the screen. He stared intently at the TV for a few seconds as I asked him as politely as I can (while watching a Skin's game) to please move out of the way.
"But Daddy, which one of those guys is Sean Taylor?"
After stumbling around for a couple seconds I came up with,
"Sean's not playing today."
Wow, how could I answer that? It's a life and death question that he is not ready for, and quite frankly, maybe I'm not either. But that simple answer is not enough.
I remember so many things about Sean. I remember how excited I was that they picked him over Kellen Winslow. Excited, because I felt Taylor was a once in every ten years type of difference maker. An added bonus to this scenario brought my favorite player to the Redskins in the 3rd round.
I remember how he intercepted a pass and returned it for a TD in his very first pre-season game. It was the Hall of Fame game against the Broncos, and Joe Gibbs's first game back.
I remember how his teammates nicknamed him "Meast", because he was part man-part beast.
I remember how he may have been the best running back at the University of Miami, but he played Safety. Frank Gore, Willis Mcgahee, and Clinton Portis were the teams RB's.
I remember how he scored a TD in the Eagles game in 2005 to clinch a playoff birth, then scored another TD in the Bucs game to seal a playoff victory.
I remember how Receivers feared going across the middle against him. No, they feared him wherever they were on the field.
I remember hearing that he got shot, and that he was clinging to life. It seemed so surreal.
I remember thinking he was so strong, he was going to pull through, but I guess God had a better plan for him.
I remember the media reporting bogus reports, implying that this was somehow Sean's fault, some sort of retaliation for something Sean did.
I remember for a split second thinking what the media reported.
I remember the media not recanting their bogus stories. I myself am sorry for my momentary lapse in thought.
I remember thinking how there was no way the Skins would lose the following week against the Bills. They did, but then rallied as a team to make the playoffs.
I remember learning just who Sean was. The person, the teammate, the friend, companion, and father.
I remember it all, and I will continue to remember.
And some day, when my son and I are ready, I'm going to tell him all about Sean Taylor.