Miami Defensive End Jason Taylor has shown his versatility off the field by contending for the “Dancing With the Stars” title for this season
(Philadelphia, Pa) — I know that “Taking It to the House” is supposed to be hard hitting news from the tough world of professional football. But when an active NFL player does something that supercedes the game, it must be reported on.
Miami Dolphins superstar defensive end Jason Taylor is attempting to become the latest football player to make the jump to Hollywood in the mold of Dirty Dozen legend and former Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown and former Miami Hurricanes defensive end Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Taylor, who has endured chants of “Pretty Boy” for years from opposing crowds, has put his good looks to work on the hit ABC show “Dancing With the Stars”. The Pittsburgh area native is in the final three couples and he is hoping to duplicate the success of past winner Emmitt Smith.
All of Taylor’s fancy moves have endeared him to millions around the country, especially women. However his new bosses in Miami (VP of Football Operations Bill Parcells, GM Rick Ireland, and head coach Tony Sparano) have not been pleased that the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the year is practicing his foxtrot instead of getting acclimated to the new Dolphins. The news of Taylor doing so well on the small screen should come as no surprise as he has been in acting classes for years.
The 33-year-old Taylor says he’ll put all of his ‘Tinsel town’ dreams on hold to play one more year of football in 2008, but who knows if his strong showing and the non-love that he has received from Parcells will push him out the door earlier. Taylor recently said about his dancing experience, “It has obviously opened a lot of doors for me and allowed me to get in front of the camera without the helmet and shoulder pads on — and outside my comfort zone — to show what I can do and show a little personality.”
Even though offers have been flooding into Taylor’s Los Angeles-based agent, Gary Wichard’s office, I am hoping that he comes back to the NFL. The decision to come back to a Dolphins’ team coming off a 1-15 season will be very hard, especially with stars like Denzel Washington taking an interest in Taylor, but the 6-foot-6, 255-pounder is built to maul quarterbacks (Since being drafted in the 3rd Round of 1997 NFL Draft, Taylor has produced 117 sacks including eleven in ’07). There have been rampant rumors that the Dolphins are trying to move the Akron University product to the Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and other suitors.
Finals Update: In Monday Night’s final dubbed “the cha-cha face-off”, former Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi got the best of Taylor and Cristian de la Fuente. Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska scored a respectable “51”, but that was behind Fuente’s “52” and not even close to Yamaguchi’s perfect score of “60” for her two dances.
Yamaguchi looks like she will take home the coveted mirrorball trophy on Tuesday night, but who knows how close football fans can make it for Taylor by voting. There is still time and here is the link http://abc.go.com/primetime/dancingwiththestars/index?pn=index
Good Luck Jason !!! I know NFL fans and Moms everywhere including mine are pulling for you.
Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer/Analyst for BIGPLAY Football and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)