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Commanders Unveil Embarrassingly Bad Sean Taylor Memorial

Today is the 15th anniversary of former Washington safety Sean Taylor’s death, so the Commanders have just unveiled a memorial installation for him at their stadium. You can see the unveiling in the video embedded above.

How bizarre is this gesture? Let us count the ways:

  • There were reports earlier in the week that they’d be unveiling a statue. Obviously, this is not a statue; I’m not sure it even rises to the level of a mannequin. For starters, it has no face. And its arms are made of wire:
  • As you can see in those last two photos, the figure is wearing a Nike jersey (something Taylor never wore in real life) and Reebok pants.
  • As you can also see, they didn’t use Taylor’s signature facemask tape stripes. This is a particularly inexplicable omission given that they’re selling a T-shirt featuring the taped-up facemask, so they understand that the tape job was part of Taylor’s personal style. But they didn’t bother to include it on the figure.
  • I’m not a footwear expert, but these Adidas cleats look more like soccer gear (can anyone confirm?):

All in all, a very odd piece of work. Insert all the obvious Dan Snyder jokes here.

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Update: Sure enough, the cleats actually have “World Cup” printed on them!

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Comments (46)

    “ At least they used a Redskins jersey and didn’t try to pretend like he played for the Commanders”

    Agreed. Based on the negative headline I was thinking they might have tried that as well. Glad they aren’t going to pretend they were always the Commanders.

    Sean Taylor means a lot to some WFT fans. I think for fans too young to remember the Super Bowls, he’s the most unifying figure of the Dan Snyder era. Big hits, firey play etc. Then taken in his prime.

    Say, 7 or 8 years ago, it seemed like every time there was a bad loss, there would be a social media post about Taylor a few days later.

    As the problems of Snyder’s ownership has increased, so have the tributes to Taylor. They are all poorly executed and come off as reactionary to some terrible news about Synder’s franchise.

    The man was murdered defending his family from burglars. Every time his former team has trouble, it pulls out a half-assed tribute. I’m shocked Snyder didn’t invoke Taylor in 2020 as justification to keep the name, because it would have fit the pattern. It feels like the franchise is using Taylor as a shield against all the backlash they get for being awful.

    They definitely exploit Sean Taylor as a means to promote their franchise. It’s no different than calling themselves the Commanders to wrap themselves in the flag.

    Yeah those ‘cleats’ are adidas World Cup’s or Copa Mundial’s – so fitting for this time period at least…

    That is an odd-looking memorial. It just seems so generic. The only thing that really makes it appear to be Taylor is the jersey. How much thought went into that? Definitely a bit underwhelming.

    Clearly, ZERO effort went into this…. can you even call it a memorial? No photos, no bust or statue, nothing to identify who Taylor was, or what he meant to the team. I would have thought that even Dan Snyder couldn’t screw up the taped facemask; now, I think he could screw up a two-car funeral.

    I did a search and found photos of Taylor wearing shoes that look like that (taped up of course). I find it odd that they used “Reebok” pants, but they don’t have the sheen that I remember the Washington team having.

    That’s the photo I’d seen too. Apparently, it’s not unheard of for DBs to wear soccer cleats.

    Interestingly enough the photo that provides some defense for the cleat selection brings up another error I hadn’t noticed…no gloves, yet the stuck gloves on the “mannequin”

    He wore several different types of soccer cleats apparently: here he is rocking some Nike total 90s in 2006 link

    What an absolute joke of a franchise. How can you call this a statue when it’s just a mannequin? You’d think that they’d commission someone to, you know, actually make a statue. They even screw up the easy things!
    This yet another reason why Dan Snyder needs to sell the team.

    Correct … as already mentioned, those are futbol cleats, not football.

    Also, Nike jersey … yet Reebok pants. And Adidas cleats. Under Armour feels so left out.

    No white sock tops between the stripes and the bottom of the pants. No tape on the facemask. No face resembling Taylor’s. Wire limbs.

    From Dan Snyder’s franchise … fitting.

    To be fair, it was NBC Sports that claimed it was going to be a statue. The Commanders always said there would be a memorial. However, this is a horribly half-assed “memorial” by an even more half-assed franchise. This looks like something they threw together at the last minute with whatever leftovers they had in storage. The fans and more especially his family deserves better.

    It would be hard to have put less effort into this. Fans have probably brought signs with them that took more effort. They should have just framed his jersey and hung it somewhere if they were going to do so little.

    Could they have put any less effort into this? Par for the course. How embarrassing.

    Snyder can’t sell this team fast enough.

    Taylor actually played in soccer cleats. Preferred them to football cleats. So accurate on that point.

    The Twitter link at the top of the post also has a video of his daughter saying that’s her favorite part.

    The shoes are adidas World cups, which are the soft ground version ( longer metal studs) of the classic firm ground copa mundial model ( shorter, rubber studs)

    This looks like something a 22 year old intern was told to pull together in the 11th hour. What a farce but not surprising for this franchise.

    I bet they had a statue commissioned, it sucked, they didn’t want to display it, and this was their plan B solution.

    Another error – wrong brand helmet. Every photo I can find has him wearing a Schutt helmet – and in the photos where you can see the shape of the padding around the forehead it looks like a Pro Air II model. The team used a Riddell VSR-4 on the mannequin.

    Complete failure. I pity the person who had to put this together. Washington is a mess, has been for many years and will continue to be just that as long as this couple is involved as its owners.

    Am I alone in seeing this as a real-life enactment of the “memorial” Robin costume display that Bruce Wayne keeps in the Batcave as a reminder of the murder of Jason Todd? Uniform suspended without a visible body or mannequin behind glass. I believe it was first introduced in Dark Knight Returns to hint at a reason for Batman’s retirement, and then adopted into monthly Batman continuity after Jason Todd was murdered by the Joker in the “A Death in the Family” miniseries. link

    Not just a Nike jersey – one with that godawful flywire collar. Well, at least they didn’t use the 2012 neckroll version… I guess.

    As a lifelong Redskins/WFT/Commanders fan, I 100% agree that the memorial is underwhelming and that they could have done so much better.

    It is worth noting, however, that the family collaborated with the team on the design… and that they have defended it adamantly on social media. Sean’s wife and daughter were shown visibly emotional at the memorial unveiling. In my view – if his family is happy with it, then I am happy with it.

    Also a quick note on the cleats – Sean was known to wear Adidas soccer cleats throughout his career, including the version on the memorial. So that detail is actually correct. The Nike/Reebok mix-up on the jersey and pants is definitely an unforced error, unfortunately.

    Wish I could post a link to an Instagram story… but the text read “for those who have something to say about the memorial… it was done by our family and the team. F**k your thoughts and feelings. 21 forever.”

    Also a couple of tweets/articles on the family’s thoughts on the memorial:
    link

    link

    link

    This changes my whole perspective. They helped with it so it suits its purpose. Humbling lesson.

    Its. A. Memorial. Installation.

    The Media messed this up as much as the franchise did if no worse.
    Let’s be clear: FedEx field is the worst stadium in the NFL. Building a permanent statue at a stadium they don’t plan in being in 10 years from now didn’t make sense.

    Could they have used a matching jersey and pants? Absolutely.
    The soccer cleats were a great touch for those who know.

    But this outrage is overblown because the most disrespectful thing would have been to build something permanent in that garbage stadium. For once, they made a good decision on that front.

    You….get that statues can and have been moved before, right? Like, you can install them and even sink them into the concrete on the plaza or whatever, but they can be removed and taken somewhere else and re-installed, right?

    Oh I get that… I just don’t think we should disgrace Sean Taylor’s legacy by putting it in FedEx Field. I have very few good memories of that stadium. Granted Taylor is one of them, but the graveyard for many NFL careers that it is doesn’t deserve that.

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