It's interesting the attachment people make to their sports teams and icons. While it would be going too far to say that sports figures are like family, fans all do feel in some way a connection with an athlete. I think in some small way we feel they are an extension of us, represent us, or at least possess qualities we would like ourselves to have - the athleticism, the perseverance, the cunning, the success and the passion.
That's why when our teams and sports heroes win, we're overcome with joy and our day or week becomes a little brighter. When they lose we feel that disappointment even more. And when something as tragic as the passing of a sports hero happens, fans all feel like they've lost a really good friend even when they've never met their hero in person.
I've been a Redskins fan a long time, but it's only recently I've had the financial freedom and willingness to sink money into higher priced fan paraphernalia like jerseys and such. Even then, with today's era of free agency and salary caps it is hard for me to justify buying the jersey of a player who might not be here next year. Interestingly enough though, a Taylor jersey is the first thing I purchased as sign of support for the revitalized Redskins under Coach Gibbs in the 2005 season.
I don't exactly know why I went with Taylor over other players like Portis or Moss. I guess in the end it was because Taylor was a Redskin from the beginning and with the way he played on the field - hard-nosed, scrappy, feared and willing to blow up any and every one on it - I figured he'd be a Redskin for a very long time.
That is why this loss hurts Redskins Nation so much -- beyond the fact that he was a Redskin from the beginning; beyond the fact that we all admired the way he played football; beyond the fact that he was maturing on and off the field. It's always hard to deal with the death of someone who had so much more to give and receive from life. You can look for tickets for phantom of the opera new york here.
Sean's death provokes a multitude of thoughts within me. It makes me reflect on the fragility of life and how we need to take advantage of this precious commodity to love, laugh and share ourselves with others. It makes me think of all the violence out in the streets and communities of America and the world. It makes me question how sometimes perpetrators can justify the logic of such actions.
And it makes me think how we go about our daily lives and usually end up ignoring these reflections, thoughts and questions until it's too late.