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Redskins Fans Reflect On Taylor's Legacy

Editor's note: In the hours after Sean Taylor's passing, fans have sent the Redskins countless emails expressing their condolences. We encourage fans to continue to express their thoughts and memories of Sean in this difficult time for all of us. *Here are some of the emails the team has received:*

Dear Redskins,

I've never felt the death of someone I've never met hit so real before. Some people don't understand how I or some of my fellow Redskins fans could possibly be taking this so hard.

But for a guy who almost never gave any interviews, Sean Taylor seemed to connect to football fans everywhere like few media darlings ever have.

I've told people that after five years of reading about him, and the few interviews he gave, and raving about him constantly year-round, it feels like it was someone I knew was so brutally murdered.

But I think even more than that, Redskins fans, who have watched every game of his career have seen his heart. We've seen that he loved his teammates, his team and his game.

Every time he stepped on the field you could see that he gave every drop of effort he had. Whether it was throwing his body into traffic or laying out to try and make a play, he always left it all out on the field; gave his all and more. That comes across even on television.

Passion moves us as a people, we all yearn for the opportunity to do the things we are passionate about and do them well. Seeing such passion and joy in others inspires us as we watch. It's why we love Brett Favre and enjoy watching him play, because we can all see how much he loves the game.

Sean Taylor shared that love of the game, and never held back. Sometimes he got caught up in the game and did accrue a few fines, and he was a very violent hitter, but he was never a dirty hitter.

He was blessed with intelligence, speed and strength combined in a way the league had rarely if ever seen before.

He had endless potential and was one of the most talented athletes anyone had ever layed eyes on, and he tried his hardest to put that matchless physical talent to its best and most productive use on each and every play. In football that just happens to mean hitting people very, very hard.

Such enthusiasm is not only endearing, it's touching. I don't know what in my life I involve myself in that inspires such vigor and effort from me, but I plan to find out.

In a sports world where loud-mouth glory-hounds like T.O. could care less about their team and simply want to help themselves become more rich and famous, and prima donnas like Randy Moss decline to put in the effort to help their team if they're not in a good mood, a quiet guy who gives his all, regardless of the record or score, is someone to be appreciated.

He's also someone who became one of the heroes nearest to our hearts.

The pain has been made all the worse because of the false hope we were all given Monday afternoon (here on the West Coast). After hearing the news of encouraging hand squeezes and facial expressions most of us thought he was going to survive.

With modern medicine and technology, and after having seen paralysis avoided earlier this year in Buffalo, we began to let our guard down. It had been hours since he had reached the hospital and he was still alive, surely we would simply have to wait for him to recover and rehab and then we would see him again on the field shining in that Burgundy and Gold.

Sadly just as we began to gain confidence he would be ok, we were crushed. It was not to be. It appears he never regained consciousness, and could not survive. He was taken from this life and has left behind family and friends mourning a hero gunned down when he was just beginning to shine the brightest on and off the field.

And far worse he has left behind an 18-month-old daughter who will never know her father, who's life she had so improved since her birth.

After being a die-hard Redskins fan since I was 5 years old, and waking up at 9 a.m. every Sunday to watch their games at 10 a.m. out here in Las Vegas, I don't know if I'll every look at football the same way again.

Something that has so held my heart and passion for my whole life now seems meaningless. I am not a religious person, but I pray for his daughter, her mother, and their family.

And I pray for Sean Taylor, may his soul find peace and rest.

Hunter Terry

Dear Redskins

I have been a Redskin fan since I was old enough to understand football. Good season, bad season, always a Redskins fan.

I justed wanted to say thanks for drafting Sean. He is what every redskin player should be.

He will be missed on our defense and in our life.

Roland Webber

Dear Redskins,

I am writing today to share with the world my memory of Sean Taylor. It was the morning of October 21, 2007. My family and I were on our way to FedExField to see the Redskins take on the Cardinals.

I was in such a hurry because this was the first time my family was going to attend a game together, especially my two younger sons, ages 7 years old and 4 years old.

We lined up at the gate to enter the stadium. The gates opened up at 11 a.m. and we made our way to our seats. The team was warming up and among the first we saw was Jason Campbell.

There were others we saw, including Shawn Springs after facing the difficult week he had faced, but it was the highlight of our day when Sean Taylor came over to greet his fianc� and his baby.

I can identify with the joy on his face that day when he took her in his arms and they embraced as father and daughter. After his visit with his family, he came over to us where we were standing and asked how we were that day.

We replied, 'Very well,' and I told him that my boys just loved him and were huge fans of his, and that my little one referred to him as "Sean T."

He so graciously gave each of them a high five, patted their arms and said, 'I am so glad you all are here to day, thanks for coming!' I am so overcome with emotion when I tell that because I really knew he meant it. Sean signed some autographs for them, patted them again and said, 'You guys cheer loud today.'

Kirt W. Dale

Dear Redskins,

It is with a heavy heart that I send this email to you. As a lifetime Redskins fan, I am deeply saddened by Sean Taylor's passing. I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and was fortunate enough to have had season tickets most of my life. Some of the best memories, of my childhood, are at RFK stadium.

When I heard the news on Monday morning I felt like I was hit with a ton of bricks. The Redskins have been a part of my life since I was born. My children, ages 9, 10, 11, have grown up in the same way and we all came together last night and prayed for Sean.

When I woke my children up for school this morning, the first thing they asked me was "How is Sean Taylor, Mom?" I had to give them the sad news and there were tears in my oldest son's eyes. We stood together, in their room, and said prayers for Sean Taylor, his family, and his Redskin family.

Our deepest condolences go out to Sean Taylor's family and the Redskins for this tragic loss. We will continue to keep them in our prayers.

God Bless,Amy Haarer

Dear Redskins,

The Smith family wishes our best to all the family and friends of Sean Taylor. We wish them the best and that he will not be forgotten!

God bless Sean Taylor and may his soul find peace in the hands of our Lord. May justice prevail!

Hail to the Redskins and to our beloved fallen soldier!"

Best Regards,Andrew Smith and Family

Redskins Personnel,

This morning I woke up to hear the sad news on the passing of Sean Taylor. The loss of his life was very senseless and very upsetting to all fans.

I am 46 years old and have been a longtime Redskins fan in Texas all of my life. I travel to one Redskin game a year to support my team. My son is 17 years old and we have spent the last six years traveling to games in supporting our team.

This morning when my son heard the news that Sean died, I was surprised how much it affected him. Every Sunday for the past four years after church services my son wears his jersey No. 21 for all of the Redskins games.

Last night we prayed for Sean and his family and again this morning after hearing of his passing away. Our family is strong in the Christian faith and will continue to lift up our team during this difficult time.

My son plays football and basketball and his varsity basketball game tonight he told me he will play with No. 21 taped on his shoe in his memory.

I gave him a hug this morning and told him life is very short and to always thank God for everyday he gives us. He left this morning with watery eyes for school and a father who was choked up with this experience.

I am thankful Joe Gibbs is our coach and the strong faith he has in God. Our strength is in the Lord and the next several days will be exceptional tough to get through but we will.

Thank you for letting me write this email and I don't know who reads our comments but I needed to do this.

Guy Overby

Dear Redskins,

My heart and prayers are for Sean's family, girlfriend, his baby girl, all the players on the team, the Redskins organization and all of the fans.

I feel like I have lost a family member, which is the way I have always felt about the Redskins. I am sick about this and just so upset.

The person(s) who did this will be caught and brought to justice. I truly believe that. I just wish there was something I could do. I just needed to express my grief to you.

In this sad time, it is still "Hail to the Redskins" and Hail to Sean, a very fine Redskin!

Linda Burton

To all Redskins and staff,

On behalf of the Nease family from Centreville, Va., we express our sincere condolences on the tragedy of the passing of Sean Taylor.

My name is Dennis, and when I heard the news of the incident yesterday I was hit with a ton of bricks.

Please know, and I am sure my opinion is the same of any REAL Redskin fan whatever the outcome of our season, we will all still be with you guys, bad seasons and situations such as this will only bring us all closer.

I just wish all players in the NFL take a reality check and realize what they have is special.

Please know that even though football is a game, whatever happens with my team--the Redskins--truly affects our lives on a daily basis. All Redskins--this is a time of grieving. We will rise up. We love you guys.


Best Regards,Dennis Nease & Family

Dear Redskins,

My family and I are lifetime Redskins fans. I was born in Washington, D.C. in 1935. My son Bob sold programs for the Redskins at RFK and is the "ultimate" Redskins fans.

He and my grandson Robert were in Tampa on Sunday to see the Redskins and had the time of their lives. We are now living in Central Florida but we will always be rooting for our hometown team.

We are all just devastated at this great loss of not only a team player for our Redskins but a young man who had such hope and could have been such a positive role model--especially for young black men.

Please accept our deepest sympathy, not only for the team and staff but also for Sean's family and friends. Of course he is with Christ forever but he will be greatly missed by those who knew him and loved him.

Blessings to all,Dale Sawyer

To whom it may concern,

Cadets at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., are mourning the loss of the late Sean Taylor. We just want to extend our sympathy to the Taylor family as well as the entire Redskin Organization.

Thank you,Nick Finelli, a lifelong Redskins fan

Dear Redskins,

I want to express my deepest condolences to Sean Taylor's family, his teammates and all of his fans. I never had the chance to meet Sean but I have been a huge fan since he was drafted.

I loved the way he played the game; he sometimes made mistakes but you could always tell that every time he stepped on the field he was going to give it his all and play with passion.

I'm not much older than Sean and as a peer I have been so proud and impressed in his growth on the field and all of the great steps forward he seemed to be taking off the field as well.

I don't get to see many Redskins games live but I did have the privilege to watch Sean play his final game against the Eagles and that is a memory I shall hold dear.

A man of few words in front of the camera, he will always be remembered for the genuine way he approached the game and life.

HAIL!!!Thomas Williams

Dear Redskins,

I just wanted to send my deepest sympathies to the Washington Redskins. I feel like I lost a member of my family. Even though I live in New Jersey (in the shadows of Giants Stadium), I have satellite tTV in order that my sons and I may watch the Redskins games every Sunday.

After having Sean Taylor come into my living room for a number of years, I feel like I knew him personally and he, as well as the whole team, are like family to me.

My sons and I are huge (I mean "huge") fans of the Washington Redskins. We live and breathe Redskins football. I cannot express enough how this tragedy has shocked and touched us. We send you our sincere and heartfelt sympathy.

Please extend my sympathy to Coach Joe Gibbs. I cannot begin to imagine how he must feel. My prayers are with all of you.

Linda DeMarzio

Dear Redskins,

I am a huge fan. I've watched the Redskins play for quite some time now and can always remember watching Sean lay a punishing hit on someone. I could see how much passion this man had for the game.

But that's not the point. It's the fact that he left behind a fiance, a baby girl, a loving family, a wonder football team, and adoring fans.

He will always be remembered as a Redskins great, not only by what he did on the field but as well off the field.

Also my heart and prayers are with the family, players and coaches of Sean. You Will ALWAYS be remembered

Thanks,Jeremy Grant

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