Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor told the New York Post on Wednesday that he would not hesitate to “lay out” his close friend, Jets receiver Santonio Holmes, in Sunday’s AFC title game. Taylor and Holmes, the former Steeler, are offseason workout partners and as tight as brothers, but Taylor said that friendship will be put on hold for three hours this weekend at Heinz Field. “I love him and that’s my boy, but when we get between those white lines, it’s a whole different deal,” Taylor said in an interview with The Post after practice.
Obviously, Ike Taylor was not paying attention to the Ray Anderson memo from the league last week which warned players of idle threats and carrying out said threats. It is surprising that Anderson has not commented on the Ike Taylor trash talk. But why would we be disappointed the Jets were only going to play America’s golden team the Patriots.
Taylor further said that he was going to try to be as disrespectful as possible once he and Holmes got between those white lines, the veteran Pittsburgh starter said. “Friendship doesn’t enter into it then.” What must put Holmes and the Jets on notice is that the Steelers’ hard-hitting defense is known to back up hints of bodily harm.
Taylor, who was fined $10,000 by the NFL during the preseason for striking Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks in the head, is just one of several Pittsburgh defenders familiar with the league’s disciplinary department in recent years. Linebacker James Harrison, in fact, is such a noted headhunter that the NFL has fined him four separate times this season alone for a total of $100,000, putting him on the verge of a suspension. Taylor’s comments also probably will not go over well with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of his recent efforts to cut down on unnecessarily violent hits. But Taylor, who is among the team leaders in tackles and defies the usual cornerback reputation by being physical against the run, defiantly said he plans to offer his buddy no quarter.
“I’m not going to hesitate to lay him out,” Taylor said. “No question at all. You know why? Because he ain’t going to hesitate to crack on me if he gets a chance.” Taylor, who became tight with Holmes during the wideout’s four seasons in Pittsburgh, will have to be careful carrying out that vow because hits on “defenseless receivers” are the league’s biggest point of emphasis this year.
Holmes was MVP of Super Bowl XLIII after his acrobatic, toe-tapping touchdown catch with 35 seconds left gave the Steelers a 27-23 victory over the Cardinals. But the 26-year-old was traded to the Jets for a fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, just before the NFL announced he would be suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Come Ray Anderson, please show the same love for the Jets and Holmes…shaking my head.
Over the last weeks, I have been brainstorming, about a blog I would write to reflect on the year in sports and entertainment – the highs, lows and the most memorable. I thought about the death of legends, the making of legends and legendary performances. I thought to myself, how would I write a blog post capturing all that happened, and then it came to mind, that I should just let the thoughts flow from my fingers tips. You know me, I tend to shoot from my Caribbean hips, so with a little flavor and lots of drum and bass, here we go 2009.
We all rang in the new year with a new vision, as individuals and then as citizens of the free world, who elected our first African-American president – Barack Obama. It was a heavily contested democratic race, having almost elected the Senator from New York and Former First Lady Hilary Clinton. The female sorority of traveling pantsuits rallied behind Senator Clinton, but she finally succumbed to the change candidate Obama. The rookie Senator from Chicago, Illinois routed senior Senator John McCain to win the presidency. And then, there was the rise and fall of icon Sarah Palin with a fashion scandal too.
So after Mr. Obama became President Obama in the historic inauguration, The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals in the Superbowl with a clutch grab from wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Although, Larry Fitzgerald was my choice for MVP, Holmes was truly deserving of it. One low-light of that game was when Defensive End James Harrison punched Aaron Francisco, in what will forever be one of the dirtiest play, I have ever seen. Harrison made the news a few months later, saying he would not visit the White House with his team, as was tradition for the winning Superbowl team – Bonehead Award nominee.
The death of Michael Jackson stunned the nation, and fans from near and far came out to pay tribute to the king of pop. It was later determined that Jackson died of a drug overdose – a combination of prescription drugs, dispensed by his so-called doctor. But as big as Michael’s death was, there were other shocking moments. The sudden death of Titans’/Ravens’ retired quarterback Steve McNair, as a result of a murder suicide. As rumors swirl around the cause of his death, it was later discovered that his untimely death was as a result of an extramarital affair.
The Minnesota Vikings held the sports world and the media under seige, as they attempted to stay in the spotlight after a sub par 2008 season, by courting Brett Favre to come out of retirement. SportsCenter and every media outlet spent days and night covering Brett in his backyard mowing the lawn, playing pickup football with high school players in Mississippi, until they missed the secret private jet that took him to the Vikings headquarters. The Favre saga was out of control and I even stepped in to offer my two cents. Favre’s on again off again romance with the Vikings ended in a date to the prom after training camp, which was my bet – he is too old to be hit in two-a-days.
The Denver Broncos had their fair share of quarterback saga as Jay Cutler and his new coach had a falling out, after trade rumors surfaced, with talks of Matt Cassel coming to town. Stud wide receiver Brandon Marshall turned up his divatude refusing to show up to camp and demanded a trade in a contract dispute.
Bengals’ Chad Johnson deed-polled his name to Chad OchoCinco – need I say more? Terrell Owen was released by Dallas, did a TV Reality Show with his publicists, who were more like galpals – not one press release was written and one galpal booked a room for two with T.O. Then Mr. Owens went to Buffalo, his press conference was like an announcement for presidential candidacy.
The benching of Vince Young and then the return of Mr. Young who took his team on a playoff hunt. Young shared the spotlight with my candidate for MVP – running back Chris Johnson. Coach Mangini struggles in Cleveland, Coach Caldwell chasing the Dolphins 17-0 record – with my favorite horse Peyton.
Kobe and Lebron ads hinted of a NBA Finals matchup, but the Magic routed Lebron and the Cavaliers – breaking my heart as a Cavaliers’ fan. My fondest memory from the Magic-Cavs series was that 3-pointer by Lebron with seconds to go in the Orlando series. Lowlight was that unsportsmanlike infraction committed by Lebron at the end of the series – the “no hand shake”, come on Lebron. Steven Jackson was traded after that Don Nelson tirade. Ron Artest to Lakers and Vince to the Magic.
There was Chris and Rihanna, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and that annoying Kanye West moment. JayZ had that stupid D.O.A song, Usher got a divorce and wrote a song called “Papers”. Maxwell new album was a hit, Y.E. Yang beat Tiger Woods, talking about Tiger Woods – oh boy! As to Mr. Woods, he had a fall from grace after that Thanksgiving accident-incident turned extramarital affair turned media standoff, turn public relations nightmare turned transgressions. Oh well, I am just saying – agent/publicist for hire here – resume updated.
Delonte West and Gilbert Arenas had weapons issues, T.I. went to jail on weapons charges and his girlfriend had a reality show. Rodney Harrison retired, Junior Seau wanted to come back, Derrick Brooks had tryouts, Mr. Haynesworth went to Washington, Shaq to Cleveland and Dwayne Wade refused to resign – oh boy. Twitter became a bigger hit with athletes, artists and actors. Chad OchoCinco coined the phrase “child please” and Deion Saunders shouts “pay the man” when Joshua Cribbs runs one back. Chalmers of the Heat, started all 82 games off the bench, while Michael Beasley puts himself on blast on twitter result ing in a 30 day stay in rehab – too much disclosure there.
Hollywood lost Farah Fawcett and Britney Murphy,the Twilight Saga New Moon, Avatar and Transformers were all box office hits. Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry gone too soon and Brett Favre needs to know its too soon to show up his coach in national TV. Jamarcus Russell still overrated, Dolphins still struggles on December.
How I could I forget the Mike Vick story and the fact that he ended up on my favorite team the Eagles. The unselfishness of Donavan McNabb, the leadership of Andy Reid, the over-bearing Jerry Jones. The Tony Romo’s excuses, the heart of Darren Sproles.
Michael Jordan to the Hall Of Fame and Charles Barkley to golf rehab for that god-awful swing. So as I sip the last bit of eggnog and brings this blog to a close. Here are my final shouts outs: Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Lebron James, Chad OchoCinco, Akron Ohio High School wrestler amputee Leroy Sutton and his best friend Dartanyon Crockett – for their display of courage and friendship. John Daly for his courageous attempt coming back to the PGA Tour, Stewart Cink for his British Open win, Ray Allen and his son, Shaq for his kind gesture helping that North Carolina family, Senator Ted Kennedy for his contribution to mankind and politics. The Female US Golf team for winning the Solheim Cup and the boys for the Ryder Cup. Get a grip to Tiger Woods, James Harrison, Gilbert Arenas, Tom Brady (for snobbing Susie Kolber), Flozell Adams, Adalius Thomas, Brett Favre, JayZ, Kanye West, Sarah Palin (you are not a rogue), Charlie Weiss, Roger Goodell of the No Fun League. Tom Cable gets a thumbs down and shame on you Brett Favre for refusing to sit down, causing shame to your coach and yes Tiger Woods earns my god-awful swing for being a swinger… I am out.
After a nail-biting finis to the 2009 SuperBowl. There are a few conversations that are being carried out at office water coolers. Henceforth my quick post on what people are saying.
People are talking about …
1. The prolific catch made by Pittsburgh Steeler Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes to seal the fate of the Steelers as SuperBowl Champs.
2. The Bruce Springsteen Half Time Show
3. The Larry Fitzgerald interview where he revealed his estranged relationship with his mother who now deceased. Fitzgerald reveal how a feud between him and his mother ended, but he never got the chance to say goodbye to her before he death. Mrs. Fitzgerald died as a result of her battle with breat cancer. Fitzgerald’s dad was brought to tears during the interview.
4. The Roger Federer meltdown during the fifth set of Australian Open and how Rafael Nadal dominated. Much will be discussed about the impact Nadal has made on Tennis and how Roger does not seem to have an answer for him.
5. Serena Williams’ win to clinch another Aussie Open Title.
6. Phil Mickelson missing the cut FBR Open, he shot a round of 73 to finish seven over in Arizona.
7. Jennifer Hudson rendition of the National Anthem At The SuperBowl – one way “Spectacular”.
8. The big win for Pittsburgh Steelers sophmore head coach Mike Tomlin.