Jason Taylor was always cool. When he played football, and even when he danced, J-T was always the king of composure. His emotional farewell finally revealed the man behind that cool exterior.
Taylor acknowledged the family that raised him through humble beginnings in Pittsburgh, the coaches who helped mold him into a Hall-of-Fame caliber player, and even the Dolphins public relations people who urged him to do countless media interviews.
Who knew that the best Dolphin defensive player of all time had such a dose of humility. Maybe THAT’s what helped propel him to greatness. All week long, Taylor talked about not being owed anything. He didn’t always feel that way. He rightfully thought the Dolphins left him hangin’ a few years ago when Bill Parcells foolishly kicked him to the curb.
Luckily for the Dolphins, Taylor’s loyalty to the aqua and orange got over the snub. He returned not once but twice to guarantee his career would end where it started. Taylor might go down as the Dolphin player with the fewest critics in history. Who can say anything bad about a guy who played to the hilt, and then faced the music whether it was good or bad ?
Sometimes the stars align and sometimes they don’t. Dan Marino retired without a Super Bowl ring because the Dolphins didn’t have a defense. Taylor leaves without one because the Dolphins didn’t have enough offense. Imagine if the two had been team mates during their prime.
As Lebron James said, Marino and Taylor might have had “not one…not two…not three..” but who knows how many. Marino’s legacy is not dimished, and Taylor’s won’t be either.
As it turns out, the Dolphins coolest player…was also a cool guy.