Like a lot of folks, I love the Redskins. I love them in an unconditional way. If they’re good or bad, it doesn’t matter. When I see hear ”Hail to the Redskins,” it strikes a chord that reaches back to my childhood, watching games with my father on a black-and-white TV set.
As an adult and season ticket holder, I try to articulate my love for the team. There are so many faces of the D.C. metro area. Can anyone pull together a region that includes Stafford County and Montgomery County, Georgetown Pike and Alabama Avenue?
The Redskins unite us. We love them because they represent traits (courage, persistence, teamwork) that make sense to us. We want them to win because it validates us.
Sean Taylor was a hell of a football player. He was not afraid. He hit people hard. He also had the skills to make plays in coverage. We all knew that he was the best safety in the NFL. And he was ours.
My favorite play was last year against the ‘boys. Yes, the Skins had a terrible season. But we beat Dallas! On a blocked field goal, Sean made a broken-field run to put us in position for the game-winning kick. He was not an offensive player; he just happened to be in the right spot. But great players make plays.
My cousin and I were at the game. After it was over, we ran down the ramp from Section 451 shouting “Hail to the Redskins!” Grown men and licensed attorneys. Happy as 10-year old kids.
Nobody knows yet why Sean Taylor was shot and killed on Monday by armed intruders at his home in Miami. We can all speculate. Does it make a difference? Is there ever a justification for such an act?
There is grief at the passing of a young man, a father. There is a desire to see this crime solved. His role as a professional athlete magnifies this emotion. It does not create or solve it.
On Sunday afternoon, I’ll be there in Section 451 with my jersey on (#56 in my case). It won’t be to celebrate a win but to memorialize the life of a true Redskin.
Godspeed Sean Taylor.