ESPN’s Sean Taylor tribute

(Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)


The five-year anniversary of Sean Taylor’s death has prompted another wave of stories and interviews and memories, and some of them feel new to me.

Like Dan Snyder, telling ESPN how strongly Clinton Portis lobbied for the Skins to draft his former college teammate.

“Portis would drop by all the time and say Sean Taylor, Sean Taylor, gotta take Sean Taylor,” Snyder says in the piece.

Or Chris Cooley, expressing thanks that Taylor wouldn’t hit him in practice.

“Sean would beat the crap out of guys in practice, and he never did it to me, and I was always so thankful,” Cooley said in the same piece. “I always thought I’m gonna be nice to this guy, because he’s about the toughest guy I’ve ever met.”

Or, especially, Portis telling 106.7 The Fan about some of the fun times the two friends once had.

“Man, I have so, so many memories of Sean,” Portis said on the Holden and Danny program Tuesday morning. “I remember when the [BMW] 760 first came out, and he was the first one with it. I had just got a Ferrari, and we raced down from Miami to Key West. It was just silly stuff that people didn’t even get the opportunity to see or participate in. It was us, young and having fun.

“We went down to the Keys and had a blast that weekend,” he continued. “Just all the memories, stuff that people would take for granted when you look back. We’re going down a two-lane highway doing 140, 150, and we made it safely. Just how dangerous that was, and we walked away from it.

“One night I stopped by his house and we rode four-wheelers in probably 5 degree weather til my face froze, I had snot on my lips, and all ’cause he wanted to show me a four-wheeler path that he created around his house out in Ashburn. We just had a bunch of memories of us kicking it, having a good time.”

Portis, of course, was asked who won the race to the Keys.

Me,” he said. “But the crazy thing is, my car caught on fire after that. My car caught on fire. We made it to our destination, we got to the resort, and the car was acting funny. And by the time we got back to Miami I called the store up and told ‘em something was wrong with the car, and while we was trying to deliver the car, it caught fire. I don’t know what happened.”

Portis also talked to the station about his lobbying efforts, saying he was “totally against” the Skins drafting Kellen Winslow.

“You won’t find another Sean Taylor,” he remembered arguing. “I remember them changing their draft boards, and talking to Vinny Cerrato and talking to Coach Gibbs and Mr. Snyder, like man, this is who we need to get. And for him to come in and be that special, and to mean that much to the organization as he did, and play the way that he did, that’s like going out on a limb, taking my word and him stepping up and being more than even I could [imagine]. I pumped him up in my talks, but I think he outplayed how highly I spoke of him….

“It wasn’t like I needed to convince them,” Portis later said. “It was man, this is somebody that I would vouch for, I know his caliber, I watch him, I know his pedigree….I just knew he was the right one.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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Sarah Kogod · November 27, 2012

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