Ryan Clark’s story is a good one. Undrafted out of LSU, he latched on as a special teamer with the Giants and worked his way into their defensive backfield before coming to Washington via free agency. He spent two seasons with the Skins, starting 24 games at safety, 22 of them alongside Sean Taylor. In 2006, Washington failed to make Clark an offer, so he accepted a starting job with the Super Bowl champion Steelers. Despite having his spleen removed last year and losing 30 pounds, he remains the starting safety for them now as they come to D.C., where the Burgundy & Gold faithful remember him well.
And he remembers his time with the Burgundy & Gold, especially his time spent as a friend and mentor to Sean Taylor. As Jason La Canfora reported a year ago, “Ryan Clark was probably Sean Taylor’s closest friend during their two years together on the Washington Redskins.” Clark’s loss must have been profound last November, and likely remains so now. To wit, he wears a 21 jersey in practice and last Sunday wrote a Shockey-esque “21” on his eye black to honor Taylor. And the NFL fined him five stacks for it.
Clark says he’ll continue wearing the 21 eye black, as he should if he damn well pleases. And the NFL may continue fining him for it, as it should if it wants to die of gonorrhea and rot in hell.