Some can relate to this, others hopefully can't. From my blog....
Taylor Plea Bargain Brings Sigh of Relief
Chalk it up to being a sports fan in the 21st century. Witness this conversation I had with my wife yesterday morning:
Me: “Honey, I’ve got some GREAT news!”
Wife: (expecting the worst) “Oh yeah?”
Me: “Yep, Sean Taylor has accepted a plea bargain and will not be facing any jail time!”
Wife: “Please tell me you’re kidding?”
I’m not sure whether she was asking about the validity of my statement or was simply in awe of what I considered “good news,” but I have a sneaking suspicion it was the latter.
For those who may not be fully aware of who Sean Taylor is, let me translate my above statement:
Me: “Honey, I am in a wonderful mood this morning because a man I’ve never met will not be going to jail. He was accused of brandishing a gun and instigating a fight over some all-terrain vehicles he believed some men had stolen. Under the strict rules in Florida he was facing up to 45 years in prison. I know this because the minute I heard about the incident, I started doing internet research on legal precedents for this type of case. I was very nervous that this would go to trial and that my beloved Redskins could lose the most vital cog in their dominant defensive machine. To be honest, Taylor could be Charles Manson and I would have STILL been rooting for acquittal. You see, when it comes to Redskins football on Sunday’s in the fall, nothing takes precedence over MY needs. And I need the Redskins to be good. The Redskins need Sean Taylor in order to be good, therefore, it feels as if I have been acquitted. Thus, the good news.”
Such is life as a modern-day sports fan. In addition to rooting for blocks, tackles, fumbles, and touchdowns; we also wave our “#1 Fingers” in the air for trials, bail bonds, and not-guilty verdicts.
While I’d like for the players and coaches on my favorite teams to be nice, upstanding citizens (which contrary to popular belief, most of them are), in the end, I really don’t care. It may not be the politically correct thing to say, but it is 100% true. I just really don’t care. When it comes to my sports addiction, selfishness rules everything. I care much more about what consequences a particular player may face than the actual charges levied against him. And yes, I root for conviction when it deals with players on opposing teams. It’s sort of like the courtroom has extended the on-field drama into the off-season. You hear fans say things like, “the prosecution just dropped the ball,” and “I can’t believe his defense attorney could be so stupid!” The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry was just as heated in May as it was in December, with Cowboy fans rooting for conviction and Redskin fans pulling for acquittal. The actual facts of the case need not interfere with the best interests of the fans.
All I know is that the Redskins had a dominant defense with Sean Taylor on the field last year. The one game he missed due to injury, Tampa Bay burned the Redskins secondary and won on some late heroics by quarterback Chris Simms. When the two teams met again in the playoffs, Taylor was back on the field, and the difference was remarkable. Simms couldn’t get the Bucs’ offense rolling, and Taylor returned a fumble for a touchdown, providing the margin of victory for the Redskins. He did incur a 15 yard penalty for spitting on another player, but why sweat the details?
All I know is that a fog has been lifted. When people ask me about my hopes for the Redskins in 2006, I no longer need to begin my sentence with, “Well, it depends on whether or not Sean Taylor is convicted.” My worries are over. Almost.
By accepting the plea bargain, Taylor does face a one to two game suspension under the NFL’s “conduct policy.” Which means I am going to have to wait out another decision. You see, I can handle a one game suspension. But two games is simply out of line. The Redskins opponent in week 2? You got it, the Cowboys.