Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sean Taylor 1983-2007

Picture courtesy of the Washington Redskins.

By now you should already know the tragic news that Sean Taylor has died as a result of the injuries sustained when he was shot in the leg early Monday morning at his home in Miami, Florida.

Words right now cannot express the loss of what was turning into not only an outstanding athlete, but a fine upstanding gentleman. All of the reports about the incident bring up Taylor's troubled past which included arrests, fines, suspensions, and the possibility of jail time. It would also be very easy to link Taylor's death to the still unsolved murder of Bryan Pata last year and the Miami Hurricanes football program.

However those same reports along with Taylor's coaches and teammates also quickly point out how quickly Taylor matured after the birth of his daughter 18 months ago. It is very easy to forget that he was also somebodies son, brother, father, and fiancee and all of those people are hurting very much right now.

Looking around the Internet, I've seen some University of Maryland fans comment on the similarities of this tragedy with the Len Bias tragedy 21 years ago. Two very gifted young men who had their lives and nothing but great opportunities ahed of them saw their lives cut tragically short and left behind misery, grief, and sorrow. For whatever reason, there are certain people who have all the talent in the world and they make the same stupid mistakes that end up costing them their lives at too young of an age. It almost as if some of these guys never learn.

Bias unfortunately didn't get a chance to learn and turn his life around before his untimely death. Taylor however got the message and was doing what he needed to do to turn his life around. He dedicated himself to becoming not only the best he player could be but the best person he could be as well. He moved himself and his family into a safer neighborhood and ended the fooling around that got him into trouble in the past and began to take care of his family. But it looks now as if his past transgressions wouldn't let him go and cut him down in the prime of his life. If you've been to or watched a Redskins game over the past four years, I'm sure you've seen the gold T-Shirts with the burgundy letters saying "FREE SEAN TAYLOR" on the front. Tragically today, Taylor is finally free of his past troubles.

Sean Taylor was only three years old when Len Bias died. One can only hope that now the lessons finally begin to sink in for these young athletes who have the world at their disposal and feel as if they are invincible. If Adam "Pacman" Jones or Michael Vick haven't served as enough of a lesson for young athletes that their actions can have severe consequences in spite of their ability; Sean Taylor, like Len Bias, should.



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