Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Remembering Sean

On Nov. 27th it will be two years since Sean Taylor's passing. It's still hard to imagine that he's gone. This is a re-post of a blog that I wrote last year and an Animoto that I made as a tribute. The 2nd YouTube is the Redskin's official tribute.

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.

Cheers and Hail

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kenny Mayne Interview

Full disclosure...I'm a huge Kenny Mayne fan and have been since the mid 90's. But, I'm not the only one, you can count Jerry Seinfeld and Justin Timberlake plus many others (Mrs. Pickle) as Kenny Mayne fans. From the dry and witty humor first displayed on the make believe stories that appear on the Mayne Event and Mayne Street, Kenny never fails to entertain and generate a few laughs. You can see new episodes of Mayne Street right HERE every Tuesday and catch up on previous Mayne Events right HERE. Kenny also wrote a book, it didn't do well enough for him to retire...but it's a must read for any sports fan with a heart. You can follow Kenny on Twitter, see him this weekend on ABC/ESPN coverage of The Breeders Cup and see him on next weeks edition of Dancing With the Stars. And if that's not enough Kenny Mayne for you...part two of the interview will be posted over at The Cooley Zone very soon.

FP: Best thing to come out of Seattle…Pearl Jam or Starbucks?

KM: Not a fair fight. Pearl Jam. Love the new album. Saw PJ in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. I do love Starbucks coffee but hate the fact employees are trained to charge the highest price possible. I want three shots in my Americano. I want those three shots in a tall cup. I want to know why I am charged more for that..having saved Starbucks paper and water...than had I just taken the three shots in the Grande cup, in which three Americano shots come. Yes, it is a small rip-off in terms of money stolen, but I like the world to be right. Second, the guy who runs Starbucks sold my Sonics to people from Oklahoma who then moved the team. So, yeah, my answer is Pearl Jam. Three shots of Pearl Jam are cuts 5,6,7 on the new album. But I like it all.

FP: What was your favorite SportsCenter catchphrase?

KM: I like it when Stuart Scott says "You gotta Rise UP-ah." I like it when Neil Everett says "Right Now" at the end of the tease. I like it when Scott VanPelt gets silly. I didn't like it when he said "its business time" because I was going to use that but he said it first. I think it's OK to use another's line if you then quickly attribute. It's business time. Scott VanPelt said that. So did those guys on HBO. As for mine, if it's just one, I'll go with "He's going to get his name in the paper."

FP: Nicknames you’re known by?

KM: My friend Mark still calls me Spoon, after an ex-Sonic. Wheelo is another one. That's a play on my odd middle name, Wheelock, a family name.

FP: Would you ever do a radio show?

KM: I would have a radio show if I were paid to do one and it didn't last a long time and it didn't come on the air that often. I'm not lazy, but I like not having to perform each day. In one way or another, I work seven days a week during football season but I also can create plenty of family time. As long as I get my story done no one cares what the actual hours were. So, I wouldn't right now want to trade what I do to be married to a radio schedule.

FP: Best meal you can cook?

KM: I blend ice with orange juice well. It's an art. But then you have to clean the blender.
I am pretty solid with steak and baked potatoes. My scrambled eggs are restaurant quality.

FP: Favorite TV show and movie?

KM: Ever? Probably Johnny Carson. I love CBS Sunday Morning. The pace of it is nice. It's educational, thoughtful. I'm not naming a PBS show just to name a PBS show but I also love Frontline. Can't go wrong with HBO. Whatever HBO's next thing is, that's usually good. I miss Tim Russert. I like Hardball with Chris Matthews. I want the news shows, even the ones where there's lot of opinion to be handled by someone doing it fairly. I also watch International History Channel. While I was in bed after surgery in June I watched a doc on Pencils. Really.

FP: You could throw a football 70+ yards in college, what’s the over/under on your longest throw at 50?

KM: I just won that bet the other day. It was on TV. I got 50 with one step and a bad ankle. I'm setting the new line at 60 once I can get some run-up.

FP: Largest amount you’ve won on a single bet in horse racing?

KM: I think I brought in something like 5k on one single bet. I've never won a Pick-Six. I like Pick-Fours. I like the Breeders' Cup. It is my favorite event of the year by far. Leaving for that soon.

FP: When winning a bet do you prefer “winner, winner, chicken dinner,” or “straight cash homey?”

KM: I'd quote Randy Moss.

FP: In your book you said you were going to break out the electric tackle football game again…have you done so?

KM: Yes. We played it at work recently. I brought it in as a prop. It's still under my desk. Stuart Scott and I used to play fairly often. Need to get that going again. We keep stats.

A plastic ball, plastic bat...hours of entertainment and a lifetime of memories!

FP: Mark Sansaver hit 843 wiffle ball home runs, how many did you hit?

KM: I lost track of my total. It was nowhere near Mark's number. I still possess an unhittable spit ball when on the hill.

Cheers and Hail

Monday, November 2, 2009

Look, It's Billy Bob Thornton...WS Edition

Chase Utley

Jesse James

A.J. Burnett (with personal catcher/pool advisor)

Dale Jr.



Cliff Lee

Michael Phelps

Joe Girardi

Actor Tony Plana

Charlie Manuel

Bob Knight

Raul Ibanez

Lou Diamond Phillips

Mariano Rivera


Cheers and Hail