The Excellent WKYS Sean Taylor Tribute

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.”

Wednesday, December 3: The Sean Taylor Tribute Auction

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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.

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Redskins v. Giants – A Few More Sean Taylor Tributes

Photo by Ned Dishman

Photo by Ned Dishman

So there was the ceremony. There was the tribute edition of Gameday, the repainted midfield logo, and the locker, of course. And there was one other official tribute — the patches on the players’ jerseys.

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Coach Gibbs returned for the ceremony, and also took a few moments to share his thoughts on Taylor.

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Redskins v. Giants – The Sean Taylor Ring of Fame Ceremony

Prior to today’s game, the Redskins inducted Sean Taylor to the team’s Ring of Fame at FedExField.

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The ceremony was a moving — if unusual — start to gameday. Taylor’s family, including his father Pete, mother Donna and his daughter Jackie, were brought to midfield and presented with plaques commemorating the occasion.

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Redskins v. Giants – Remembering Sean Taylor

The ceremony inducting Sean Taylor into the Ring of Honor won’t start for a bit yet, but that’s far from the only memorial at today’s game. The midfield logo has been replaced with a 21.

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Today’s Gameday program is a “Special Tribute to Sean Taylor” edition, pictured after the jump.

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Two Reminders For Sunday’s Game

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Two things to remember if you’re going to Sunday’s game.

    First, on Sunday the U.S. Marine Corps will be collecting toys for the 2008 Toys For Tots campaign, so bring a new and unwrapped toy with you. Collection starts at 11:00 a.m. at all stadium gates.

    Second, of course, is that the Sean Taylor memorial ceremony is taking place prior to kickoff, and the team is recommending that you try to be in your seats by 12:30 to be sure you don’t miss any of it.

Coach Zorn on Sean Taylor

zorncropped2Many of the players have been asked for their thoughts on the loss of Sean Taylor — Mike Wise has an excellent interview with Clinton Portis about it — but I hadn’t heard much from Coach Zorn on the subject. Last year, Joe Gibbs and Gregg Williams were so much a part of helping the team through that incredibly difficult time, and it seemed like it might put Zorn in an awkward place.

He was asked about Taylor after practice today, and gave what I thought was a remarkably strong answer to a very difficult question.

    “I have learned more and more about Sean and just the impact he had on the program and this franchise, and even to some of the players individually. He had a tremendous amount of respect. I’ve tried to keep that in the forefront as well, because I think that when a person … a death in the family, that should never go away.

    “In Seattle, Trent Dilfer lost his five year old son to a bacterial infection. Five years old, dead. And to just … I think I learned a lot from that experience to make sure that we just didn’t discount it and say, ‘Hey guys, let’s just move on,’ you know? ‘You gotta deal with it and move on.’

    “That’s not it at all in a death, especially a death of someone as dearly loved as — in this case — Sean Taylor was. We should NOT forget about it. He SHOULD be remembered.

    “We do have to get our work done, but there’s no shame in keeping that light kindled, if you will, the fire kindled, and keep his memory alive.”