Friday, November 30, 2007

See What Happens When you Research talk to people who know the person and get evidence of what he was actually like.

Then you can write excellent articles like this one. And this is all anyone who was a fan of Sean Taylor's is saying and asking:
"He was an extremely clean-cut, well-mannered kid. And that's what I remember. If there's another truth, fine. But I'd like to hear it from somebody who was really there."
Instead we just hear from Wilbon and Shrutebag and Shapiro and others absolute nonsense that isn't true, isn't based on facts or eye witness accounts or anything. But I guess everyone out there who ever knew Sean is just part of the Redskins' PR Department, right Wilbon?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why Can't Anyone Else in the Media Read This? (it's in your own paper Wilbon and Shapiro)

Exactly one month before Sean Taylor's death, the Washington Post ran this article. 35 players and not one bad thing to say, only love and respect. Coaches love him. Everyone saying he has matured. And most telling:
"You [the media] don't want to see the good in a person like Sean," Clinton Portis tells you.
That's all it is, plain and simple.

Ten Seconds of Research is Way Too Much

Does anyone in the media actually research anything before shooting their mouths and/or fingers off? Because again and again national voices are wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong on Sean Taylor which doesn't help a damn bit.

I normally like Jason Whitlock. I read him regularly and have followed his from ESPN to AOL to Fox Sports along with the occasional KC Star column. But he's dead wrong just like Wilbon, Cowherd, Mike and Mad Dog, and just about every other national media voice out there:
No disrespect to Taylor, but he controlled the way he would be remembered by the way he lived. His immature, undisciplined behavior with his employer, his run-ins with law enforcement, which included allegedly threatening a man with a loaded gun, and the fact a vehicle he owned was once sprayed with bullets are all pertinent details when you've been murdered.
You know what, Whitlock? He did what he could to control how people saw him, especially the past 2 seasons. And you and everyone else just want to ignore it. You don't care what coaches and teammates have said about Sean. You don't care what Sean actually did the past 2 seasons. You don't care that the guy who accused Taylor of threatening him with a gun was a convicted criminal who had stolen Taylor's ATVs (and later caught again with another stolen ATV) and was the one who sprayed Taylor's vehicle with bullets. You don't care the case was thrown out, that Taylor's other brush with the law was a DUI charge that was thrown out by the judge because there was video evidence of Taylor passing his field sobriety test and there was no cause for the arrest. You don't care that Taylor's behavior with his employer was from his first full year in the league and that in the 2 and a half years after that he had matured greatly and was glowingly praised by his coaches. You don't care that Taylor went to every chapel service, that he and the team chaplain were incredibly close. None of you care that Taylor turned his life around and was doing everything RIGHT. Again, I'm beating this into the ground: Taylor's actions, choices, and decisions over the past 18 months should be lauded and praised. He should be trumpeted by the media for maturing, changing his life, doing what is right. But no, no one cares about that, no one cares to look at what Taylor did to "control how he was remembered" because that's the true tragedy in the story. Sean Taylor turned his life around, matured as a person and a football player. He cleaned up his act, did and said all the right things, and became a model teammate and citizen. He didn't have a gun in his house (would have violated his probation) and defended his fiancee and 18 month old daughter at night from an unknown attacker(s). What has he actually done wrong that anyone knows about? If it turns out later he had some shady dealings that somehow led to this then fine, discuss it all then. But as it stands right now and with everything the police are saying, Sean Taylor is 100% victim and everything he did is honorable and frankly heroic.

Taylor controlled how he would be remembered with his actions. And all anyone who knew him, which doesn't include Whitlock, Wilbon, Shapiro, Shrutebag, Mike & Mad Dog, or anyone else who has been drumming up the "This isn't shocking/he's a thug/he had it coming" story lines, all anyone who knew him has to say about him is he was a great person, a changed person, someone making all the right choices. That's an uplifting, admirable story that needs telling. But as Tony K said, "We sports writers are cynical and have to be." Says who?


This is all that Sean Taylor was "guilty" of doing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ok now this is just all kinds of fucked up

Ok, AOL Fanhouse has this video up on their website.

Here's my reaction:

Fuck you Kornheiser

Fuck you Wilbon

Do you know what you two have in common with everyone else out there? You don't know shit that happened in Sean Taylor's house, the circumstances surrounding it, or anything. You don't know that this is something from Sean Taylor's past reaching out. You said it yourself Wilbon, you don't KNOW that anything Sean Taylor ever did had any impact on it at all other than he made enough money to buy a really nice house that might be targeted by thieves. So guess what? WAIT BEFORE YOU SPECULATE! Jesus, the guy wasn't dead yet before you blamed him and his past. He wasn't gone 24 hours before you reiterated that you weren't shocked and that Taylor basically got what he deserved. And he hasn't been gone 48 hours and you still are saying a) you don't know shit, and b) he's a thug. Only one of those is true.

Kornheiser's busy saying, "We're sports writers, it turns you cynical." Ok, fine, be cynical. But for fuck's sake be human about this for at least a couple days. Can't they at least bury the guy before you trash him (with incorrect "facts" and bullshit speculations). Here's how Kornheiser and Wilbon would have handled other tragedies (and I am in no way saying Taylor's death compares with these things but especially with some it's not that different).

Nov 22, 1963 5:30 PM EST

John F. Kennedy was assassinated today. He was pronounced dead at 1:00 PM CST. Now Tony, can we really be shocked by this? JFK had disastrously tried to overthrow Castro with the Bay of Pigs invasion, nearly brought the world to the brink of nuclear war with the Cuban Missile Crisis, and had numerous affairs with women including Marilyn Monroe. What do you think Tony?

Well c'mon Wilbon, what'd you expect? Castro hated this guy, Kruschev hated this guy, Joe DiMaggio hated this guy. I wouldn't be surprised if Joe D payed off this Lee Harvey guy especially since John's brother, Robert, may have had a hand in Marilyn's death.

Do you think you're being a little harsh Tony?

Look, I'm an old white guy who was once a somewhat younger old white guy, so don't tell me about what a white guy does or doesn't do. We had to expect this. JFK was living on borrowed time, heck he probably should have died when his destroyer went down so he should be thankful he made it this far...

Dec 7, 1941 5:30 PM EST

Big news today Tony, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor just before noon local time.

I saw that, big news out West. I think we all knew this was coming. The only real question was if the Japanese would go after Hawaii or Alaska.

Well it had to be Hawaii, look Tony, when you're the US and you cut off your trade of oil to a warring nation like Japan because they decided to invade and rape a bunch of countries, you have to expect them to want to come attack, invade, and rape you. Why is everyone so shocked and saddened by this?

I think it's because we're all Americans so deep down we root for America. That said, what else was going to happen? Japan was just going to ignore us and leave us alone? President Roosevelt HAD to know this was coming.

And you know what else Tony? I saw a picture, the caption said it was Cuba Gooding something or another, anyway, he was firing an AA gun at the Japanese. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN IF YOU HAVE AN AA GUN? Ships with anti-aircraft guns are eventually going to be attacked by aircraft and the fact that this young man had that AA gun just shows you what is wrong with black America.

But Wilbon, how do you know that was his AA gun? Suppose he just ran to the only defense he had?

No Tony, sorry, but I'm not in the habit of having countriess with their own press secretaries tell me about black men and what they feel or don't feel. Pardon me if I'm not that easy.

April 14, 1865 5:30 PM EST

Wilbon, our fifth item today is news that President Lincoln was shot around noon today and is currently in critical condition.

Tony that's what happens when you force people to stay in a union. Lincoln gambled his presidency on keeping the South in the union and now his presidency is in jeopardy.

It is kind of shocking to see this happened in Ford's Theater, I've seen many fine plays there and there's never been a shooting there when I've been there.

Yeah but Tony where was Lincoln's bodyguard? In the bar next door drinking. I wouldn't be surprised if Lincoln had been there before the show and angered some of the patrons. When will Presidents learn you can't go out drinking with the masses and expect to be ok?

Well we don't know what all has happened but yes, if the President was out drinking beforehand then really, what did he expect?

I tell you what he expected, he expected to go in there, get some crunk juice, make it rain, then join his wife for a play as if nothing happened and he left his bodyguard there to take care of anyone he pissed off. Lincoln is just another Pacman Jones and no one should be shocked this is happened...

April 15, 1865 5:30 PM EST

A sad day today as Lincoln has died. Apparently, he was shot by a disgruntled actor, John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer. Wilbon, it appears that only his bodyguard went to the bar now, does that change your stance at all?

No, why should it, the bodyguard was still there and apparently even saw John Wilkes Booth there. What did he say to him? Did he flash his gun at Booth? Why did Lincoln hire a bodyguard who would go to a bar?

And why was Lincoln at the theater? He was shot by an actor, a theater really isn't the place to be if an actor is after you.

What a waste Tony. When will the nation wake up and realize you can't elect Presidents who will put themselves in harm's way so foolishly.

And this is just my last note on all of this. When Nixon died, papers, the nightly news, morning shows, etc. avoided mentioning Watergate. They talked about his accomplishments like his visit to China and foreign policy accomplishments. Why should sports writers be so cynical on the day of and day after a death? Plenty of time for that after some of the shock and mourning has passed.

Going forward

One of the big things on the Extreme Skins message board has been the rest of the Skins season. And I have to be in agreement with just about everyone I've read on there, I don't care. Skins fans don't care if we lose out and don't recover or win out and bring home a trophy. I think that's why this is so tough now as opposed to Joe Kennedy's death or Darrent Williams death. It's the middle of the season and the players and coaches can't avoid it. They were expecting to see Sean this week, next week, and so on and so forth for at least 5 more weeks. This isn't something where they can just go home or on vacation and avoid the press. They're expected to go out and play and the fans are expected to come out and watch. And all that is going to do is be a big in-your-face reminder that #21 is really gone. It sucks. I want to watch the game but at the same time I'm going to hate it and I doubt I'll watch it all. I just don't care about it. Jack Buck gave an emotional speech following 9/11 about getting back out to sports and how it helps and it did and does (and I am in no way comparing Taylor's death to the death of 3000 in a terrorist attack). There sports were the escape. Piazza's walk off gave New Yorkers something to cheer. The Yanks had some November magic at home that, despite them being the Yankees, was really special and cool to see. But in this the tragedy is in the sport and going out there then just reminds you something's wrong. And I think it needs to be acknowledged. That's why I love this idea. Personally, I think the season's over. While it's only been 2 days, I know how I feel about it and I didn't even know Taylor. Portis may have a couple monster games, especially this Sunday, or he might have a couple bad runs, lose a fumble, and just not be in it. I wouldn't blame him at all and it wouldn't bother me a bit. So I like putting just 10 guys out there as a tribute. And quite frankly, I'd love for them to do it the whole game (and wouldn't care if they did the rest of the season). I don't know, maybe I sound overly dramatic or silly or whatever but that's just how I feel. And if the other fans aren't that concerned with the outcome of the game either, why not? You think Snyder cares if the NFL fines the team over something like this? All he cares about, all Gibbs cares about, all the players and fans care about, is that they/we've all lost a great person and teammate way too soon. I didn't even think about this until I saw someone's signature on an old post but now, there's no Area 51 for the Skins. And it sucks thinking about what might have been but it sucks way way way more thinking that #21 is gone and not coming back. It still hasn't sunk in all the way. I spent all Tuesday morning thinking maybe the media jumped to conclusion or made a mistake or something anything and Sean was ok. I kept thinking there's no way he's really gone. I still can't believe it even though I know it. Fuck...

Perfect timing

I publish the post below, check KSK before leaving for home, and find this gold mine.

Venting frustrations

These have been touched on elsewhere but I guess I just feel it needs to be beaten into the ground, dug up, and beaten in again.

This has been a tough week that's only been getting tougher. I'm a huge Redskins fan and Sean Taylor's death hurts. No I didn't know him, never met him. As a Virginia Tech fan, and because of UM's incredible teams when he was there, I'd seen him play quite a bit in college. He was part of all the excitement of Gibbs' return to coaching. He was an incredible athlete who could run and hit with the best of them. He was fun to watch and he gave it his all on the field. As With Leather put it, "I don't think Taylor understood not trying, and that's why NFL fans -- not to mention the Taylor family -- have lost something special. " That's why this all sucks. Sean Taylor was special. He was having a break out season that showed what an athletic freak he was and disciplined football player he'd become. He didn't understand not trying which is all fans want from athletes. Everyone on the team loved him. Just go read quote after quote from players and coaches. Gregg Williams could barely hold it together, Pierson Prioleau couldn't speak to reporters, Reed Doughty broke down mid-question, Snyder was so subdued in the press conference and looked absolutely devastated, it keeps going. This guy was a great football player, a great teammate, and a great person. I've gotten choked up quite a few times the past couple days, especially when someone at Extreme Skins directed people to the Cowboys' message board. Fans, coaches, and players around the league have all been supportive and it's one of the things that I think makes sports so special because we can put our "hatred" for the other team aside when something real happens.

But, as with everything, some people are fucks and there's no other way to say it.

The worst, and he's been lambasted all around DC, has been the Washington Post's own Michael Wilbon. He's been in DC longer than Sean Taylor so he has no excuse for being so wrong and out of touch here. He and Kornheiser are the two highest profile sports writers in the DC area but you'd think he was some morning sports radio talk show host with his ignorant comments (that he stands behind). Monday, before Taylor had passed away, Wilbon said in a WP chat:
I know how I feel about Taylor, and this latest news isn’t surprising in the least, not to me. Whether this incident is or isn’t random, Taylor grew up in a violent world, embraced it, claimed it, loved to run in it and refused to divorce himself from it. He ain’t the first and won’t be the last. We have no idea what happened, or if what we know now will be revised later. It’s sad, yes, but hardly surprising.
As Chris Mottram at Mr. Irrelevant said, Wilbon sounds like he's saying Taylor had this coming. What it also shows is absolutely no shred of truth. The only violence Taylor embraced in any way was on the football field. Everything, EVERYTHING, about him has been that, between his daughter's birth and his no contest plea to misdemeanor assault 18 months ago, Taylor was a changed man. He moved his fiancee and daughter to a nice, safe neighborhood where, as his next door neighbor said in the Miami paper, they never had any problems there. As another blog noted, he had a machete for protection instead of a gun in following his probation (unlike say Tank Johnson). "Refused to divorce himself from it"? Bullshit. Then, Tuesday night on Sportscenter, that exact quote was brought up to Wilbon and he again said he believed and backed what he said 100%. Again, bullshit. That is out and out bullshit and you are a DC sports writer who should know better. Later, Wilbon had this exchange:

Columbia, Md.: What makes you think that Taylor was still embracing his old ways? Everything we have heard from the Redskins and Portis is that this is a new Sean. Apparently the birth of his child really helped to straighten him out. Is this contrary to what you know?

Michael Wilbon: Sorry, but I'm not in the habit of having companies with their own public relations agenda tell me about black men and what they feel or don't feel. Pardon me if I'm not that easy.

So Wilbon's not in the habit of having others tell you how Taylor felt? So then he must have talked to Taylor right? Wilbon knows exactly who Taylor was through interviews with him and family members, obviously no one from the Redskins like Clinton Portis (a black man) who said this:
"Ever since Sean had his little girl, it was like a new Sean. He was always smiling, always happy, always talking about his child. It was good to see Sean walk by smiling."
Portis obviously got that line and others from the Skins' PR Dept. How does Wilbon know better than Taylor's best friend, his teammates, his coaches? He doesn't and he's full of shit. Still later he adds:
Again, I'm not the least bit surprised about the Taylor episode ... why would I be considering his history, even since he joined the Redskins?
But you didn't consider his history since joining the Redskins. You looked at accusations which were dismissed from 2 or more years ago. You saw a DUI which a judge tossed out because he had passed the field sobriety test and assault charges that had no evidence, were dropped and led to a no contest plea to a misdemeanor and probation. What about his recent history? What about what EVERYONE WHO KNOWS HIM (unlike you) is saying? Mr. Irrelevant is right, there's a special place in Hell waiting for you if that's how you treat this and other situations.

You know what else has nothing to do with anything that happened in Miami? The 7 late hits Taylor has been fined for in 3 and a half seasons. But ESPN keeps including that stat with everything else (which is the only reason I know it) as if that had a role in Taylor's slaying. Maybe this is kind of nitpicky but if something happened to Roy Williams, John Lynch, Brian Dawkins, or Brian Urlacher or even say Kimo von Oelhoffen for his hit on Carson Palmer would late hits be an issue? Why can't the media show Taylor's turn around and how he was getting everything right in his life? This growth and maturing is part of why Redskins fans are taking it so hard.

David Steele's excellent read from Tuesday morning highlighted more concerns. Shrutebag and some other (different show) talk radio host were busy saying he was gunned down because he wasn't a good guy like Tiki or Tom Brady and that he's no different from Pacman Jones or Tank Johnson (to be fair to Tank my opinion of him has softened following the ESPN the Mag article). Apparently Tiki and Tom don't have to worry about home invasion and Sean Taylor was signed up for the next Wrestlemania while he rehabbed his knee. Why can't they focus on the good, at least when he's only been gone for a couple hours? And why all the focus on the negatives which you then wish to misrepresent? Everyone's pulling a Peter King here and saying, "We don't know what happened...buuuuut can we be surprised/he had this coming/he's a thug."

How about we start with the good, and if later it turns out he bears some responsibility for what happened we talk about it then, you know, more than 12 hours after he died? Is that too much to ask? There's plenty of positives to talk about between his play on the field, his work for charities, his work with fans and kids, the money he's donated to charities and places like his high school (where again, he went and talked with the kids there). Did he make some mistakes when he first got into the league? Yes. Did he learn from them? YES! He needs to be trumpeted as the model for what Pacman and Vick needed to do. Move away from rough neighborhoods and get rid of friends who will get you mixed up in trouble. Here's the poster boy of what you need to do and all the media wants to say is, "No you can't change, you're that way forever, you're a thug, a lowlife, a trouble-maker, and if you get shot? You're own damn fault." That's fucked up.

There's a reason DC and Miami are so torn up about all of this. And a lot of the fans around the league see it and know why. Sean Taylor was a man who was good at his job, that his co-workers respected and loved, and that anyone would be proud to call a friend. Why can't the media talk about that?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanks Adam...

...for making me look like a real dumbass, as if I needed any help in that department, after your 1-3 performance.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

................He's joking right?

I don't know what to say about this. Can we stop pretending that Adam Vinatieri is a kicker? Are you shitting me ShruteSack??? Adam Vinatieri isn't good? Good, meaning satisfactory in quality, he's not good, he's not satisfactory. What the fuck did you wake up and smoke? Adam Vinatieri, who is a career 82.5% kicker, holds the record for most playoff FGs, points, and FGs in the Super Bowl while tied for most FGs in a playoff game (5) which he's done twice, is not even good. He's crap. Take him out back and shoot him. Never mind that he's a major reason the Patriots have two of their three rings and that Peyton finally got his, just last year even, he's garbage. He missed two kicks in crappy weather conditions. Should he have made them? Yes. Am I surprised he missed? Hell yes. And that's the thing. If he's a lot of other kickers you're not nearly as surprised because they're NOT AS GOOD AS VINATIERI. I would still consider Vinatieri one of the elite kickers in the league. But if you think he's gotten old and lost a bit in the leg I'd understand, but that's not enough to consider him less than good. He's still a very good kicker. Here are the only kickers I would seriously consider better than Vinatieri and would possibly, possibly, trust more to make a game-winning kick: Shayne Graham and Rod Bironas. That's it.

Best part of the article? Calling for Mike Vanderjagt. If you're saying someone is no longer good you go to Vanderjagt before Vinatieri. Vanderjagt is the one who missed by about half a football field against Pittsburgh in the playoffs the year before the Colts won the Super Bowl. Vanderjagt is the one who rubbed his fingers because he was so moneeeeeey before shanking a shot against New England in the season opener the year before that. If teams are going to bring back Morton Anderson and Martin Gramatica before trusting Vanderjagt, that should tell you something.

Adam Vinatieri...not "good." Fuckin' moron.