Clinton Portis's Extensive Taylor Remarks
A bunch of Redskins were all smiley and laughy today. That's nice. And I just had a long interview with one of the creative minds behind the Gilbert Talking Lobster commercials, which was also nice. I must have asked him at least 400 questions about the lobster. And zero about death.
Anyhow, here's what I'm hoping is my last Taylor item for a bit. This Clinton Portis interview came on Tuesday afternoon on John Thompson's WTEM show, and it was incredible. I'm not sure how much of this has appeared online or in print in The Post, but I haven't seen much of it at all, and it should be on here somewhere. I know some of it appeared in Jon Saraceno's USA Today column yesterday. I'll just pick some of the best portions; you can listen to it here. Of all the literally millions of words that have been publicly written and spoken about Taylor in the past few days, these struck me as easily the most compelling. Also, these aren't in chronological order.
On his relationship with his daughter: "My locker's next to Sean and I always knew he's got a beautiful little girl. I was always telling him, 'Man you got lucky,' and he was always saying, 'Man, she took after her mama, she didn't get that from me.'
"We would always talk about that and he talked about how proud he was and how happy he was to have something to live for. And now all of a sudden he used to always come into the locker room telling me about teaching her the animals, and showing the animals and making the animal noises. I recall he was like 'dog, roof roof,' and she said 'roof roof.' And he said he walked out by the pond and he said, 'duck, quack quack,' and he said she looked at him and shook her head and walked off. And we was in the locker room laughing about that.
"It was a joy for him to have that child. For him not to be around, to have her and see her grow, I know that was a big fear of his and I know it's gonna be tough on them to not have him. But as a teammate, as a brother, as a friend, if there's ever anything, we're always here."
On targeting athletes' houses:"What else people don't realize is, how many professional athletes do you know that's gonna sit in the house with money or sit in the house with a lot of jewels? Even if you find some jewels in somebody's house, what you gonna do with them? You can't wear 'em, because most people got nicknames or some big charm that everybody in the world knows whose it is, because it's a nickname of somebody. If you go to try to trade it in what are you gonna get for it? You're still gonna get caught.
"So you go into a house, and most high-profile people, most athletes got credit cards, most athletes don't have anything in the house. They're smart enough not to have anything in the house because [you're not] supposed to have weapons around and you shouldn't have weapons around. So who's gonna have a million dollars in cash and no weapons, you know? You're going into a house, what you're gonna find is maybe $5,000 in jewels. What you want, some TV's? You know, you come knock on the door, I'll get you a TV, it's not that serious, if you don't have anything to watch. I don't even like TV."
More after jump.
On playing football again: "It's gonna be hard man, it's gonna be real hard, but Sean wouldn't want any of us to give up football or to leave football alone. You feel like football is just a game. He always talked about football being taken away. I think when he got in trouble early on, that was his biggest fear. And after he got that trouble he was so afraid of losing football and not being able to play that he walked a straight line. I'm talking about you couldn't get him to come out. You might get him to stop by the house, but that was rare. You sit down and have a conversation with him, 'Sean, man, come over to the house, we're gonna do this, we're gonna do that.'
'All right, I'm gonna come.'
"And you just felt like, ok as soon as I walk out of here and he get out of my sight, I won't see him again 'till tomorrow, because you knew he wasn't going to leave the house once he got inside. You think back to that and you laugh about it. Because he'll have a conversation with you and he'll tell you that he's coming. I'm telling you, he'll give you his word, man, 'I'm coming over.'
'7 o'clock, I'm gonna be there at 6:45, I'm gonna let you know, I'm gonna call you when I'm on my way.'
"And you're like, 'Sean, man, if you ain't coming just tell me you ain't coming, just tell me you ain't coming bro."
'Nah, man I'm coming, I'll be there at 6:45,' and here it is 8:45 and you call to Sean and he doesn't even answer the phone. Then you get back and see him tomorrow and you're like, 'Man, what happened, I thought you were coming?'
'Aw, CP, man, I got tired, I dozed off.'
'Who goes to sleep at 8:45, Sean?'"
On Taylor's death: "We just ask that people continue to pray and stop this senseless....You know, it's black-on-black, man. It's ridiculous. Whatever it was that they went into the house for, or whatever they could have went into the house and got, it wasn't as important as that man's life. He leaves behind a child and a woman that loves him, and a family, and all for nothing. You go in and take a great person away from the world, and that's a senseless act."
On how he's handling everything: "For myself, man, I talked to 'Tana, and we was both thinking the same thing. It was a conversation we had with Sean on Saturday before we left. He come up to me and he pushing me around in the locker room, like 'You better come back with 200 yards,' and 'Tana you go out and get 150,' and we telling him, 'You need to come back and we won't have to do that.' And he telling us about his progress, he all right, I guess he had just ran that day, ran on Saturday before we left. So what we remember was the joking before he walked out, and me and Santana were just talking about this, we never figured out that would have been our last conversation with Sean. You see him walk out them doors and you're thinking, 'Man, that's the kind of teammate, that's the kind of friend, that's the kind of brother I want.' "
On Taylor's media dealings: "I think the media kind of rubbed him the wrong way early in his career. He felt like the media just jumped to conclusions early on in his career, and I used to talk to him about that, tell him, 'Man, you know, just talk to them one day out of the week.' I talk to the media one day out of the week. The media, it is what it is, people getting paid to do their jobs. And at the same time they twist and turn stories, and I've been burnt numerous times and felt like I was tired of talking to the media. This person's just making an opinion, they've never played a down of football, they don't know what the hell's going on in my life, and they get paid to judge you.
"And I was telling Sean that, and I think for Sean, his trust level was always low with the media. I think he tried to open up to them and somebody else screwed him so he just left the media alone, which took away the opportunity for a lot of people to see the real Sean Taylor. The Sean Taylor that I know is not a violent Sean Taylor. The Sean Taylor that I know is a fun person, is a person that loved football, is a person that would sit and have a conversation with you and you could be cracking jokes on him and he's turning it into a serious conversation. Now all of a sudden at the end of the conversation you're thinking, 'Man, Sean get deep in everything we do.' Every conversation was deep."
On whoever killed Taylor: "I hope they get caught, and I hope someone has the opportunity to sit down with them, and they get to really get to realize what they took away from the world, what they took away from sports, what they took away from people that actually love him or from people who actually looked up to him. It was hard for the outside world to look up to him because they didn't get to know him, the only thing they knew is what they saw on TV, him punishing receivers or punishing offensive players, and they would think he a madman.
"But for the people who really got to know him, people like myself who looked up to him, people like myself who thought that he played football the way the game was supposed to be played.... He wasn't dirty, he went out and played and you come across that middle, he was gonna make sure he let you know you wasn't supposed to come across there. It wasn't gonna be cheap, but you was gonna know not to come across there again. And for this to happen that way, you know, it's tough for everybody man."
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