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21 Reasons Sean Taylor’s Retirement Ceremony Sucked

By Mark Solway | October 19th, 2021

On Sunday, Washington retired Sean Taylor‘s number 21 jersey. He became just the third player in the franchise’s 90-year history to be bestowed with the honor. And yet, the team announced the jersey retirement just three days before the event.

The team swears they had been planning the ceremony for months.

Gabe Taylor, Sean’s younger brother, said on 106.7 The Fan, that he was told “like four days ago.” He hedged slightly and said that he didn’t know how long their father Pedro knew. Meaning, it seemed like Gabe found out, when everyone else found out – on Thursday.

The whole ceremony sure looked like they threw it together at the last minute. What a travesty.

Without further ado, here are…

21 Reasons Sean Taylor’s Retirement Ceremony Sucked

1. There was a number tribute set up on the sideline for Taylor, but they allowed the game “VIPs” to stand on it.

2. Jackson Mahomes – younger brother of Patrick – did a dance on that Taylor number tribute for TikTok. Very distasteful.

3. The road that was re-dedicated and named in Sean Taylor’s honor, was right in front of a row of portable toilets. Who plans this stuff?

4. Dan Snyder wore a hoodie to the pre-game meeting with Taylor’s family. It was way too big for him. Like the job of being an NFL owner.

5. There were no half-time speeches from former teammates. Even though many of them were there for their own Alumni homecoming weekend.

6. Every single Sean Taylor fan wanted to hear what his daughter Jackie had to say about her Daddy. Chances are, Jackie wanted to express those feelings just as much.

7. Dan Snyder did not make a speech. He surely knew that he would be booed out of Landover, but still, the owner should speak on such things.

8. The half time “ceremony” was non-existent. In fact, it was “Alumni Weekend” too, so the ceremony was shared with other past players. Taylor’s family stood around a framed 21 jersey while the in-stadium announcer read a short piece about Sean for two minutes. That was the sum total of it.

9. Every fan knew that the retirement was just an attempt to deflect the mountain of negative press heaped on Washington’s doorstep over the past two weeks.

10. The team still lied to the fans, and said that they had been planning the retirement for “weeks”.

11. Team President and mouthpiece Jason Wright’s comments were more insulting than explanatory, “We thought that saving the news for a game week reveal was the best way to focus the message on Sean and his legacy.” Well articulated Jason, but you convinced absolutely nobody. Having the Team President issue a public, bold-faced lie to the fan base, really only hammers home the dysfunction within the organization.

12. Wright also said that he “didn’t realize” fans might want to travel to the stadium to pay their respects. Really? Did he ask? Because Jason is all about fan feedback when it comes to picking a new team name, isn’t he?

13. There were no special markings on the Washington Football Team jerseys or helmets. Surely they could have got approval from the league to wear a ’21’ patch on Sunday against the Chiefs.

14. There was no social network “build up”. There was no week of ST wallpapers, or week of ST hits on Instagram. There was no special montage video put together, and released on YouTube or Facebook.

15. The half-time show may have been the most disorganized looking half-time show ever. There are high school football games with better half-time shows than Sean got.

16. The backing music and in-field announcer never let up for a second. There was no special moment where the fans got to show their appreciation for Sean. No standing ovation where Sean’s family would get to enjoy what Sean meant to the fans one last time.

17. The whole game needed to be dedicated to Sean, not just two minutes at half-time. The team could have played video clips throughout the entire game to add to the pageantry.

18. Chase Young taping his face mask like Sean was perhaps the best tribute paid on Sunday. While great on Chase’s part, that speaks volumes to how little the franchise actually did. Chase’s tribute might have meant a bit more too, if the team had put together a clip of him saying why he was taping his face mask that way. See number 17. That’s a clip that could have been played in-stadium, just before the game.

19. NFL Films couldn’t put something together about Sean? Or they weren’t asked in time? Just asking for a friend.

20. Empty seats. Over 20,000 of them. Perhaps if more than three days planning was put into it, more people could have travelled to the game. You’d think with attendance the way it currently is, they would have worked that one out for multiple reasons.

21. There are no do-overs for things like this. Something as significant as an honor only three people have achieved in team history, needs to be treated as such. Not only does the player deserve the recognition, but the fans deserve the last opportunity to pay homage and show appreciation to their sports heroes too.

 

Better Ways

In NHL hockey, when players jerseys are retired, a banner with their number is hoisted to the rafters of the arena.

It is usually done at a game that has some significance to the occasion or to the player being honored. There is an outpouring of emotion from fans, family, and players. It is that player’s moment, and there is no doubt about it. It is very powerful. There are always tears. There is always a tremendous feeling of pride.

That’s a ceremony befitting the occasion.

What happened Sunday, was not a ceremony befitting the occasion.

It was an insult to all. To Sean. To his family. To his peers. To Sean’s fans.

To the franchise.

Sean deserved better.

More:

To carry on the love for all Washington fans, the WFT made the rally towels that were given out at the game… purchasable.

That’s right, for just $21 you can buy your commemorative Sean Taylor towel and make a donation to “a legacy project in Sean Taylor’s honor.” They don’t even tell you what the project is.

You heard that right. $21 for a rally towel.

No link was supplied. Intentionally.

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