The Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly opens his defense of the dead football player this way:
"Sean Taylor isn't here to defend himself from those who choose to assassinate his character, connecting the dots from his past to his recent murder."
The Sentinel ran Kelly's rather personal take on the front page. Sentinel columnist David Hyde's own piece on Taylor's death -- which did little more than connect the dots from Taylor's past to his murder -- ran on the front of the Sports page.
I think the Sentinel picked the right story for the front page (though it's reversed on the Sports web page where Hyde's story leads). Hyde's column makes little sense to me. He talks of "lessons" that haven't been learned from the past, but I'm not sure what they are. Shut up and behave? Don't drive fast? Make sure to have a better security system -- or at least a couple of good watchdogs -- in your home?
For it to make any sense at all, Hyde has to make the dangerous assumption that Taylor's killing was basically a hit by an enemy from his past. "Now there's another murder, of Taylor, in his bedroom, in what a dime-store detective would say came from an assailant intent on killing him," Hyde writes.
The dime-store detective in this case, of course, is Hyde. He reiterates his hunch a little farther down the column.
"No one knows why Taylor was killed. But would anyone be surprised if he had an enemy, somewhere in that previous world he lived, who didn't care that he had grown up and changed for the better? Who didn't consider Taylor changed at all?"
Now I've been wondering about whether this was a planned hit or a botched burglary myself. The facts are that Taylor was woken up in the middle of the night by loud noises in his home. He grabbed a machete and left the bedroom to investigate and was shot in the dark.
It could go either way. We don't know that answer anymore than we know what the hell Hyde was writing about. Hell, at the end of the column Hyde admits he has no idea what he means.
"What's the lesson in this? Watch who you run with? Watch your back? That the young, black male is the most dispensable currency in America? I don't know. Maybe all of it. Maybe it's also this: If you ignore warning signs and keep cheering, you might end up crying."
Thanks Dave. We'll take that to heart, since there's absolutely nothing about it that appeals to the brain.