Sunday, January 6, 2008

I Hope It Is Not Too Soon

by Jason Jones

WARNING: If you are easily offended by religious discussions or generalizing about the effects of the recently deceased, you might want to reconsider reading the following article.

I want to preface this by saying; it is never good when someone dies. I can empathize with what a person goes through when a close friend is lost. Now to imagine that emotion multiplied by 60 or 70 people. Then say the person that is lost is employed by a company that has millions of fans. That is a lot of people claiming to feel loss. I get that, to some degree, but when does it end. If you have not figured it out yet, I’m speaking of Sean Taylor and the Washington Redskins. Most people don’t know what goes through a person’s mind when you lose a friend who is also a teammate. I do. As much as it is difficult to deal with, you pay respects and maybe even dedicate the game or season to him, but it never lasts this long. I can guarantee you of one thing. The Redskins players may have known Sean longer than I knew Jay. However, they were not within 25 feet and 15 minutes prior to their teammate’s murder. I was. So when I say what I say on this issue I can empathize with what they must be feeling and in some ways feel worse. They were some number of states away; thousands of miles. I was within feet and minutes. I get the desire to dedicate the entire season to his memory. The decals on the helmet are more than understandable. And to some degree I can even understand the media’s propensity to want to revisit this great story. Washington loses their starting safety via murder. The very next game on an emotional short week, they lose their starting quarterback to injury. After a record of 5-7 the team had to do something and do it quick to salvage their season-which they consequently dedicated to Sean Taylor. Insert Todd Collins. The quarterback change had to have something to do with the turnaround. Let’s not chalk this one up to God and Sean Taylor just yet. Todd Collins has been waiting to start an NFL football game for 10 years. Chris Cooley had been leading the team in receptions and yards. Clinton Portis was running better. The defense was playing solid for what would become four games. Sure you can give the emotional state of the team some credit for their play, but not all of it. Most of this blame should be placed on the national media as a whole. This is a teammate, not a sibling. We dedicated the season and the home opener to Jay. We won the home opener in cinematic fashion. The season turned out better than we initially thought it would. And yes, often we felt Jay was looking down on us. Even as I have lost track of most of those teammates, I am sure we all remember Jay often. Here’s the rub, we never went into a game insinuating that Jay was responsible for us winning a close or un-winnable game. Behind closed doors the lost teammate can be a personal motivation, but if you were going to listen to the media…They would have you believe that Sean Taylor is in heaven orchestrating each of the events of the following games as if he is some divine puppeteer. The world doesn’t work that way. It’s just like when a football player makes an amazing play and says, “If it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t have been able to do it”. No S@#t ! If one is to believe in some divine ruling body (to cover all religions), then you could not possibly believe that you would physically be alive without your God. To believe that your God sits up there and pinpoints and manifests each and every aspect of your performance is ridiculous. Sure maybe your God gave you the talent that allowed you to make the high school team, then get seen by that college scout, and so on and so on. I am absolutely exhausted with all of this Sean Taylor propaganda. As if I should watch this Redskins vs. Seahawks game because the story of the Redskins be lifted up on high at the hands of Sean Taylor. There is no supreme being who spends each and every second a team spends on the field doing what it needs to to ensure that your team ends up victorious. The whole concept is absurd. The Redskins are a middle of the road football team who went on a run in the last quarter of the regular season; it’s a small factor if not coincidental that it’s the same team who had a player who was murdered. Now that the Wild Card game is over…Are we to believe that Sean Taylor went on a coffee break in heaven when the Skins missed that FG and it was all down hill after that? No. It’s never as good as you think and it’s never as bad as you think. It is what it is. A team on a nice playoff run fell to a better team. There was no divine intervention involved. I’m sorry, but this whole Sean Taylor issue is shades of, “The Saints will win the Super Bowl because they are playing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina”. Give me a break. It still comes down to throwing, catching, running, and stopping the other guy. There is not much more to it.

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