Wednesday, December 3: The Sean Taylor Tribute Auction


I was going to write that last night — a tribute event concluding of the auction of Sean Taylor‘s vehicles — wrapped up the first year of mourning for the late Redskins safety. I was going to reference the tributes from last week and Sunday’s game, talk about closure, and allude to Judaic traditions regarding the first year of mourning and their (coincidental) relevance here.

That was what I figured the story was, until I attended the event itself. And watching the people gathered at The Original Steakhouse & Sports Theatre in Ashburn, Virginia, last night, I realized that this event really was much more about Sean Taylor’s daughter Jackie Taylor than it was about further memorializing Sean.

That’s not to say it wasn’t a tribute to Sean; it was, of course. Eric Espada’s photo montage was running on all the TVs for much of the night, followed by the tribute from the FedExField Jumbotron last year, which literally moved people to tears.

But the purpose of the auction was clearly Jackie M. Taylor. Much of the talk was about her, and about how the players had stepped up to help take care of her in the last year. The proceeds of the auction went to the Sean Taylor Estate Trust for her, and the bidding in the auction reflected that. Players and guests seemed to be bidding more as a way of taking care of Jackie than out of any specific need (or even desire) for the items up for auction.

Carlos Rogers, for example, bid on and won a cruise. “I heard the money’s going to be going to the baby, that it’s for her when she gets older. I know how much Sean loved his daughter, and if he were still here,” Rogers told me, trailing off. He paused, then added, “Anything I can do to support her, I love to do.”

Taylor’s cars and boat were auctioned off, with the help of Eastern Motors founder and CEO Robert Bassam, and it would be reasonable to assume that those were the biggest ticket items of the evening — and, counting purely in terms of gross dollar amount, they were.

But a framed, signed 21 jersey, complete with picture of Taylor signing it, closed at $15,000, sold to the restaurant’s owner, Osama El-Atari. That seemed like a ludicrous sum of money to me, so it came as even more of a shock when the bidding was reopened and went all the way up to $25,000, where it finished with El-Atari still the high bidder. I was frankly staggered by the number — it’s underlined about twelve times in my notebook — and then I saw Jackie running around with her mother, Jackie Garcia, and I remembered what Rogers had said earlier, and it all made a lot more sense.

(El-Atari actually expressed very similar sentiments to Rogers, according to this morning’s Washington Post story on the event, which quotes him as saying “It’s not about the money, it’s for the family. It’s for the family and the estate.”)


10 Responses

  1. Matt, again, you have done a great job of covering the events around the Redskins organization. I was quite moved by the tribute last year, the various fan tributes to be found on YouTube as well as the one they performed on Sunday. While I don’t have many memories of Taylor (I didn’t start following closely until a year or two ago), I knew that he was something special. when I heard he had passed away from too much blood loss, I was so disheartened but also brutally reminded about how quickly/easily life can be snuffed out. From what I read, one of the killers even met Sean at a birthday party at Sean’s house, and that’s how they knew about it… makes it even harder to understand why they would have gone to such measures…

    Again, thanks for your coverage, and keep up the great job.

  2. I’m really glad to hear they raised a lot of money for Jackie. Obviously nothing will take the place of her dad, but it’s great to know she’ll have a lot of “uncles” out there watching her back! Another great team effort by the Skins! What a great bunch of guys!

  3. I’ve asked this before, and I’ll ask it again — WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET A SEAN TAYLOR’S GREATEST HITS HIGHLIGHT DVD/BLU-RAY?????

    Why is this so hard to do? One could even direct some of the proceeds to his family. Do you know how well this would sell in DC??

    Keep up the good work Matt. We all appreciate your work.

  4. It’s the final stretch, you have to believe!! Lets go skins!!! *We all bleed burgundy*

  5. I find it curious that you haven’t put up blog entries about practices this week, Matt….

    Anything on that topic?

    Or is it a way to shield us from the “wonderful” practices they have been doing?

  6. Hey Matt, on a completely unrelated note, did you hear that Derrick Frost got fired from the Packers. Now they are gonna try out Durrant Brooks! I don’t know why I find this so funny, but there it is.

  7. Nothing curious about the lack of practice entries — as usual, there was no practice on Monday (treatments) or Tuesday (players’ day off), and today’s practice won’t end for another 90 minutes or more; I’ll write about it when I’ve actually watched it.

    And I did hear the punter news, and I too found it oddly funny for no real reason.

  8. Baby Jackie is SO BEAUTIFUL!

  9. Well I learned some new stuff today about the schedule. Thanks.

    Alright, looking forward to the blog entry. That is very odd and hilarious about the punter changes.

    Seems like every ex-Redskin goes to teams and we end up hearing about them in a good or bad way.

  10. Gimme a descriptive blog on the practice, I need it to pass time at work tomorrow

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