Special Spot in Hell Reserved for Wilbon

wilbon.jpgSean Taylor has become, by all accounts, a much more mature, responsible adult since the birth of his daughter over a year ago. He hasn’t been in trouble with the law in over two years and has become a leader on and off the field for the Skins. Everyone around him seems to genuinely respect the Boom King. In fact, Gregg Williams had to fight tears today after saying that he loves Sean like one of his own.

Of course, Michael Wilbon wouldn’t know any of this. No, he’s been too busy mailing it in from the set of PTI and MNF. And his latest shots at a man who is struggling for his life are cold, offensive and nothing short of completely irresponsible:

I know how I feel about Taylor, and this latest news isn’t surprising in the least, not to me. Whether this incident is or isn’t random, Taylor grew up in a violent world, embraced it, claimed it, loved to run in it and refused to divorce himself from it. He ain’t the first and won’t be the last. We have no idea what happened, or if what we know now will be revised later. It’s sad, yes, but hardly surprising.

This is ridiculous on so many levels, but the worst part is that it sounds an awful lot like Wilbon is suggesting Taylor had this coming. Sure, Taylor’s had some troubles in the past, but that’s like suggesting the slutty girl from high school deserved to be raped. See, the way it works is that crimes are not the fault of the victims.

Wilbon couldn’t help but take a stab at bloggers too:

There’s a ton of speculation about the details of his condition and the details of the incident, but this isn’t a blog and we’re not going to get into wild guessing and speculating here, though we will try and responsibly discuss other points of interest surrounding the latest strange episode relating to Taylor.

Plenty of blogs discussed the incident today. I don’t recall any of them trying to play doctor and speculate about Taylor’s condition. Although I will speculate that Wilbon’s heart is subzero for referring to this tragedy as a “strange episode.”

16 thoughts on “Special Spot in Hell Reserved for Wilbon”

  1. I believe that Wilbon also expressed concern and remorse for the incident, but remember, he is a reporter and is paid to comment on all angles of the story. To do otherwise would suggest that Taylor’s history of brandishing firearms and pistol whipping people is not a part of the story.

    Regardless, R.I.P. Boom King.

  2. listening to the junkies this morning and it appears that Wilbon doesn’t understand that Taylor was actually exonerated for most of the bad “mis-deeds” in his past. Strange that somehow Wilbon can conjure up that Taylor “embraced” a lifestyle. Sure, he did some stupid things on the field, but then many worse players did awful things as well (see Oakland Raiders, Romanowski).

  3. SVP-You say ‘brandishing firearms and pistol whipping people’, I say ‘protecting his personal property’. I don’t mean to attack your opinion but what does an isolated incident that occurred almost 3 years ago have to do with Sean Taylor getting shot & killed in his own bedroom during a home invasion?

  4. This is what offended me the most about Wilbon’s comments: He really has no idea what he’s talking about. Sean was notorious for not talking to the media, its not like he and Wilbon had any kind of contact. Wilbon is judging him without knowing him. Contrast that with the people who did know Sean, Gregg Williams as you mentioned Chris, Coach Gibbs, teammates, media people who actually interacted with him, etc. To a man they have praised Sean and said he had changed with the birth of his daughter. I actually like Wilbon in general but his reaction disgusts me.

  5. I understand him to a point – that those who run with criminals – even if they change their lifestyles – are still vulnerable to being victims of their former lifestyle. Of course this depends on the fact of whether this is a random act of violence or a targetted “hit”. Palmetto Bay is not that far from the Perrine area where he had the incident a few years ago. In fact – probably a 10 minute drive.

    Perhaps Wilbon could have picked better words. Perhaps as a writer he meant to pick THOSE words. Perhaps he IS out of touch. I don’t know or care because except for watching games on mute usually – I’ve gone ESPN free over the past year because they’re so hopelessly out of touch with what I want in sports journalism and coverage.

    One thing’s for sure – now the Dade county police have a murder case on their hands and someone is going to fry. Sad thing is – this makes about the 4th or 5th Hurricane that’s died in his 20’s in the past 10 years.

  6. “By all accounts”? You mean, the accounts of Redskins media relations and NFL columnists constantly trying to maintain some respectability in the league. The guy was on the verge of hacking some guy to death with a machete whether he was a murderer, robber or whatever! The first thing you do when you de-thug your life is get rid of the machetes.

    Sean Taylor didn’t deserve to die, but let’s not get carried away and think he was living the Christian life. Just because a guy dies doesn’t make him a saint.

  7. But Black Hornet–how do you get away from Wilbon? The guy’s on ESPN, ABC, on the radio, in the newspaper, and so on.

    Like Jake, I’m generally pro-Wilbon, but have increasingly thought the guy is to really know what he’s talking about all the time. Sure, he gets paid to be a sports expert…but can Wilbon really know everything about the NBA (his current big gig), NFL, MLB, and all the rest? So when a tragedy strikes with Sean Taylor, it’s not that Wilbon’s up-to-date with the guy, like a Jeffri Chadiha…nor is he going to run around and research how Taylor’s life has changed in recent months.

    No–instead, Wilbon falls back on what he already knows about Taylor–which is the following:

    June 2005: Wilbon writes a 1,000-word column on Taylor called “A Flawed-Character Study,” discussing Taylor’s attitude, background, and so on. Sample line: “But what we do know ought to scare the daylights out of the Washington Redskins because they’ve got as much as $40 million invested in somebody who has no regard for anything other than his own indulgence.”

    January 2006: Wilbon writes a 1,200-word column on Taylor/Marcus Vick called “Getting Away With It,” returning to the issue of attitude and self-indulgence. Sample line: “Since the NFL fined Redskins safety Sean Taylor only $17,000 yesterday for spitting in the face of Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman, the only thing we can conclude is that the league is more offended by mismatched socks than having one of its players ejected during a playoff game for doing something truly vile and detestable.”

    Wilbon’s not so off-base with those columns, as Taylor didn’t come out of the referenced episodes looking too good, and having written thousands of columns/articles is the key reason why Wilbon’s a good talking head–he’s got a lot of columns to draw on to inform his opinions. But the flip side is all too obvious–the less original reporting Wilbon does in favor of spouting opinions and hosting TV shows, the more he’s going to be drawing on conclusions that are hopelessly outdated.

  8. uweblog: When I said “by all accounts,” I meant from every person who actually knew the man. I didn’t know him, so I’ll take their word for it.

    And are you saying he shouldn’t have tried to protect himself from a murderer with the only weapon he had around? Shit, I wish he had hacked that dude up. Actually, I wish Taylor was like many pro athletes and had a gun near by.

  9. I just read this after listening to Wilbon on Redskins radio (as NC is Redskins media free) online, and I’m disgusted. There was a point when he just stopped talking about Taylor and started talking about how the game has changed, and how we have to accept that violence is something that these people have in their pasts; that people entering the game are different than they used to be.

    I’m paraphrasing, as I don’t know where I can find a transcript of what was actually said, but it’s awful.

    Maybe he’s made mistakes in his past, but from all I’ve heard today he had reformed, and not only that, his past misdeeds seemed to be blown out of proportion. Like he was just asking to get shot and killed.

  10. As I just watched PTI out here on the west coast, it appears that Hellbound Wilbon has doubledback on his previous comments. I don’t know if what he said yesterday is how he feels and someone got into his ear and mentioned that he is coming off cold and heartless or if he took a step back and realized that he was being a dumbass and these are his true feelings. Either way it makes me sick that they describe his death they also bring up his wrong doings in the same breath. Society needs to take a step back and realize that people can change and not everyone has a squeeky clean past. This event has totally drained the “football” life out of me. I dont want to watch any games, look at scores or even rock the new Sean Taylor 75th anny Authentic jersey that I just bought. It still has the damn tags on it and is in the closet.

  11. First:

    “To do otherwise would suggest that Taylor’s history of brandishing firearms and pistol whipping people is not a part of the story.”

    There is nothing in public record that Sean Taylor brandished a firearm at anyone or pistol whipped anyone. All we have are a simple battery and simple assault charges that Sean pled no contest to. The defining characteristic of simple battery and simple assault is that they lack aggravating elements, such as (for battery) the presence of a weapon and (for assault) infliction of serious harm. Thus, Sean Taylor pled no contest to the crime of assaulting and battering someone with no weapon and without inflicting serious bodily harm. This is absolutely consistent with Sean Taylor’s account of the ATV incident, in which he has denied the presence of a weapon.

    Second, from another poster:

    “I understand him to a point – that those who run with criminals – even if they change their lifestyles – are still vulnerable to being victims of their former lifestyle.”

    Sean Taylor did not “run with criminals”, did he? Which criminals? He was ROBBED by criminals, who he confronted. However, if a crime were committed against me, I would never consider the perpetrator to be someone I “run with” just as I hardly believe that the people Taylor confronted to brag about how they were “run[ning] with” Sean earlier that week.

    What former lifestyle? Sean Taylor went to prep school in the suburbs to play High School football. He was raised by a police officer. Do you have any evidence outside a DROPPED aggravated assault felony charge and a DROPPED DUI charge and a DROPPED refusal to take a breathalizer charge that Sean Taylor had a “former lifestyle” worth criticizing? If so, please provide that evidence so the rest of us can comment on it.


    “Of course this depends on the fact of whether this is a random act of violence or a targetted “hit”. ”

    No, it doesn’t. Nothing depends on that. Sean Taylor could have been FUCKING ASSASSINATED by the people who tried to rob him and it would not be his fault at all, or he could have been randomly murdered by home-invaders… and it wouldn’t be his fault at all. It would not matter one wit whether the people who murdered him had previous history with Sean or they didn’t; there is nothing currently available anywhere to suggest that Taylor did anything wrong to the people in the ATV incident besides confront them and beat them up a little bit sans a firearm and sans serious bodily harm. If that makes him a bad person, if pleading NO CONTEST to simple battery and simple assault makes him deserving of murder through being bled to death, then you need to own that opinion. Simple assault and simple battery are MISDEMEANORS. They are also the only crimes (as far as I can tell) Sean Taylor has ever seen through to the end of a trial. [But, in any event, I am 99% sure they were wiped from his record after successful completion of his probation anyways, per his attorney on the tele earlier today.]

    Fourth, from yet another:

    “You mean, the accounts of Redskins media relations and NFL columnists constantly trying to maintain some respectability in the league.”

    No, we mean by the accounts of his coaches, his friends, and people who knew him. The real problem here isn’t that we are trying to check the credibility of the people who say he was “turning his life around”, but rather that that story line needs to get told at all. NOTHING from his history so reported at ESPN or elsewhere suggests he even had a troubled or checkered past in need of “turning around”. He was a solid person who impressed friends around him, was raised by a police officer, went to prep school in the suburbs where he played High School ball. There is no evidence available that I’ve found that suggests he was a rough rider in Richmond Heights as a child. The examples of his life in need of turnaround were the ATV incident and the DUI incident. The ATV incident turned out to be a misdemeanor because the original prosecuting District Attorney was effectively dismissed from the case for his own malfeance, and because IN ALL LIKELIHOOD SEAN TAYLOR DID NOT HAVE A GUN. The DUI incident was dropped out right by JUDGES.


    “The guy was on the verge of hacking some guy to death with a machete whether he was a murderer, robber or whatever! The first thing you do when you de-thug your life is get rid of the machetes.”

    That is what a man does when a stranger invades their home and threatens their family. Self defense is a right. Given hindsight there really isn’t any doubt that Sean Taylor was justified in arming himself prior to confronting the person who murdered him.

    I am going to post about his “checkered past” at length tomorrow, which I am not at all convinced is so checkered. I would urge anyone and everyone who is touting the conventional wisdom, that Sean Taylor was a questionable character in need of changing, to go back and closely investigate the charges against him, the circumstances that arose out of that investigation, and the final results. What you will find may very well surprise you.

  12. Hogs Haven, Amen. You would have thought Taylor had been to jail and was robbing someone when he was killed with this type of coverage.

    These are not excuses either but the facts of his legal cases.

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