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Clinton Portis Discusses The Death Of Chris Henry

Posted by Matt Terl on December 18, 2009 – 12:21 pm

Clinton Portis gets described in a lot of ways: outlandish, irreverant, outspoken, controversial — all the things that make his radio appearances must-listen (and, often, must-transcribe) things. But there’s an introspective side to Portis that’s often overlooked. Redskins Nation saw it after the death of Portis’ teammate and friend Sean Taylor two years ago, but it’s not something that surfaces much in the regular flow of an NFL season.

The death of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry yesterday unavoidably brought back memories of Taylor’s death — a talented young player just coming out of a sometimes-troubled period of his life, not playing for his team due to injury, dying senselessly far too young and during the football season.

Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder even opened yesterday’s otherwise celebratory press conference with thoughts of Henry and the Bengals organization. “I’d like to,” he said, “on behalf of the Redskins organization, send our heartfelt condolences to the Cincinnati Bengals, to Chris Henry’s family, and to my dear friend Marvin Lewis. As an organization that went through a tragedy two years ago, our hearts and our prayers and our wishes go to them. We understand. And our prayers go out to the organization.”

The eerie, unfortunate similarity also occurred to someone at ESPN, so they arranged a phone interview with Portis to discuss that grim November of 2007 and what it would be like for the Bengals to take the field after this kind of event. (You can watch the video above.)

But Portis started by talking about Henry as a person, not about the team’s reaction to his loss.

“You think of how Chris was portrayed,” he said, “and then all of a sudden, after hearing [teammate Chad Johnson] talk, you think of the real Chris Henry. You know, what type of guy he was and how he’s gonna be missed. So being in that situation, you know, I think Chris was a great guy on and off the field.

“You run into situations that you can’t control and you learn from ’em, and I think Chad was saying that he learned. He was trying to do everything right and bettering himself, and the Bengals gave him another opportunity, and now he’s gone.”

Then Portis was asked directly about the similarity to the Sean Taylor situation. Read more »

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A New Sean Taylor Tribute

Posted by Matt Terl on November 27, 2009 – 11:27 am

I didn’t see it in time for the last post, but the folks at Redskins Broadcast Network put together a tribute video for this second anniversary of Sean Taylor’s passing, including some impressive plays that I had forgotten. [UPDATE: I’m now being told it was made for the TV shows for the first anniversary of Taylor’s death, last year.]


Also, Larry Michael invites fans to drop off flowers or memorials at FedExField, after the jump. Read more »

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Friday, November 27: Two Years Since Sean Taylor Passed

Posted by Matt Terl on November 27, 2009 – 10:39 am

It’s been two years now since Redskins Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor passed away, but the team continues to memorialize him, formally and informally.

His lockers remains intact both at the stadium and the training facility; many of the players regularly wear shirts commemorating Taylor under their jerseys; his Defensive Player of the Week parking spot remains reserved; and, yet again, the team has had Taylor’s number 21 painted on the grass outside the main entrance to FedExField, where fans are invited to leave whatever memorials they see fit.

More tributes below. Read more »

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Fan Appreciation: Sean Taylor Jerseys

Posted by Matt Terl on August 8, 2009 – 11:33 am

Based on my informal observations over the course of training camp, the late Sean Taylor’s 21 jersey remains one of the most popular among fans. And they come in all variations: the black shadow 21 jersey, the white, the burgundy, the weird gray one with black and burgundy numbers, the University of Miami jersey, and the Pro Bowl jersey.

But perhaps the most remarkable 21 jersey I saw this week wasn’t t even sporting the number 21.

That’s it in the middle there, the blue number 1. It’s Taylor’s jersey from Gulliver Preparatory School, plus patches representing Taylor’s time with The U and the Redskins, and William Cox made it himself.

Cox operates a company that makes uniforms and similar gear, so to him this was a straightforward project. His friend suggested it, and he delivered. “He was like, ‘Could you make a copy of this jersey’,” Cox told me, ” so I just ordered a royal blue jersey and put everything on it. I do embroidery and stuff, so the only thing that cost money was this [Miami] patch off Ebay, everything else I can do myself.”

Don’t go looking for these in stores, though. “I only made two of them,” Cox says, “and I usually only make one-of-a-kinds. You might’ve seen it because my buddy Scott sent out a facebook picture, which I tell him not to do.”

More of this Taylor jersey — and a few others — after the jump.

Read more »

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The Excellent WKYS Sean Taylor Tribute

Posted by Matt Terl on December 5, 2008 – 4:04 pm

This is the 93.9 WKYS tribute to Sean Taylor. After all the 21 tributes that I saw and linked to last week, I really have no idea how I missed this one (hat tip to Mr. Irrelevant for bringing it to my attention), but better late than never.

From the WKYS description of the tribute:

EZ Street, 93.9 WKYS afternoon drive personality along with Grammy nominated artists Raheem Devaugh, Anwan Glover aka Big G, the HBO’s hit series The Wire and NBC’s Law and Order and founding member of the Backyard Band, Miss Kim, lead female vocalist of Rare Essence, DC rap sensation Wale and Jamil “Face” Johnson have come together to create this lyrical masterpiece of dedication to the late Sean Taylor.

“The idea for doing this song is simple. To honor # 21 Sean and to send a message that to the community that we must never forget that there is still much work to do stop the violence in our community. Sean’s tragic death acts a reminder”, says EZ Street.

And, yes, that is Chris Samuels who appears for a few seconds in the video, and his girlfriend Hazel is one of the performers on the track. “I do a radio show on 93.9 every Tuesday with EZ Street. He’s the one who put everything together, he’s the one who knew all the artists, made sure everything got done,” Samuels told me.

And the finished product? “It’s strong,” he said, nodding. “Not just a strong track, but meaningful as well. It has a lot of heart.”

Read more »

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