In 2004, then-Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor embarked on a journey of word-swapping with New York Jets fans, starting a bitter feud by calling them ignorant, making fun of their loyalty, and especially trading barbs with Jets superfan Fireman Ed. In 2009, Taylor further expressed his discontent for the Jets when he said that he’d strongly consider retirement before he ever played in green and white. But Taylor won’t let seven seasons of outspoken hatred get in the way of him begging Jets fans to love him now that he’s practicing daily in front of New York faithful.
Taylor inexplicably turned down an offer from the Dolphins, then lied about never receiving an offer from Miami, and eventually signed with his bitter rivals and Rex Ryan, who he has also openly criticized for his arrogance. For now, the Pro Bowl defensive-end-turned-linebacker is trying his best to turn boos into cheers, even staying late after practice sessions to shake hands and sign autographs for as many Jets fans as he can. You know, despite them taking the “CL out of class.”
Forgive me for my previous sins, ESPN.com:
When Taylor emerged from the tunnel for a practice attended by an announced crowd of 12,000, he braced for a negative reaction.
“This is the first time I’ve been around the fans in a big setting,” Taylor said. “The previous practices weren’t attended like this one was. Out of the tunnel, I was walking with [linebacker Bryan Thomas] and told him on the way out ‘Here come the boos. Watch.’ Sure enough, they came.
“But it makes you smile. At least they know who you are and they’re looking for you.”
Taylor’s new teammates have rallied around the veteran, saying they won’t stand for any of their teammates to be booed by their own fans. Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins led a section of fans in cheering Taylor at the team’s most recent practice, after which Jenkins made him go over and acknowledge the fans. Later, Taylor gave a note to Bart Scott to give to the pretty girl in the fourth row. Does she like him? Will she check yes or no? I can’t wait to find out!
Pleased with the reception he’s received, Taylor admits it will be nice to not be booed in New York for once. And just imagine when he plays in Miami in Week 4. It’s going to be a regular Roman orgy.