Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor has gone from All-Pro to All-Dancing-With-The-Stars. In Monday night's live show, he had the highest male score—a 27 out of 30—and was told by judge Carrie Ann Inaba he can win it all. As he files this, just 30 minutes following the show, he's even got an idea for a new uniform number next season. Here's his second blog entry.
Somebody just told me the whole country's buzzing over me now. But now I've got to keep 'em buzzing.
Doing this show is actually more nerve-wracking than a game day in the NFL. And the jitters are from not knowing what the heck I'm doing. I mean, in a football game, I'm amped up but the butterflies are gone after the first play. It's a healthy nervousness. Here, the jitters last all the way until we hear our scores.
Tonight, I was even worried about a possible uniform glitch. In my last blog entry, I wrote about the onesies—baby onesies!—the dancers are supposed to wear under their outfits so their shirts don't come untucked. I'm sorry, but one of my rules in life is: no onesies. Me, my partner Edyta and the wardrobe people figured it out, though. We put rubber on my waistband, and everything stayed in place. Including my mind.
Honestly, I was concerned about the mambo tonight, because my hips don't move. I'm not a very hippy person. But Edyta pulled it out of me. She told me to act like I was in a hot, steamy Latin club in Havana, and even though Roger Goodell doesn't want me going to Cuba, I think we pulled it off.
Compared to last week's foxtrot, it was easier to get loose with the mambo. Easier to kind of be sexy and into my partner, and kind of have that chemistry going between us. Plus, Edyta put that red dress on, and it's easy to get into character when you see that. If you want to call that a dress. It was actually just portions of a dress.
That was our strategy: let her wear as little as she can to take the focus away from what was really going on.
Honestly, the glamour of this is a whole new world for me. I mean, in my sport, we wear a helmet. This is totally different. That's part of the motivation behind doing it. You get a chance to take your helmet off and be somebody totally different than Jason Taylor, the football player. You get a chance to show a different side, and, I think, more and more athletes need to do stuff like that, to show that there's more to us than just being jocks.
And full disclosure: I had to be talked into doing this. My agent and my wife and my friends talked me into doing it, because my first reaction was, "Hell no!" No way in the world. I don't dance. I don't like to dance, I don't dance in clubs, bar mitzvahs, weddings, none of that. It's not me. But now it's becoming me, I guess.
I have a great coach, Edyta. She choreographs it all. Just like football, you work on something all week, you get it down and you go perform. You just go try to make a play.
It ain't easy, though. A dance is a minute and 15 seconds or whatever, and when it's over, you're so out of breath and you're thinking, 'How in the heck are we going to talk to the judges?' Before I came to LA to do the show, I started working out with a trainer in Miami, and one of the things we were doing was boxing training. Footwork and hands. Man, I'd go a two-minute round and after a minute, I was laying on the ropes and my trainer would be telling me to get up. But it's all paying off now.
I've gained muscle weight and lost a lot of fat. You can't ask for more than that. I'm ripped. And like I've been saying, people keep questioning whether I should miss offseason workouts or whether I'll be ready next season. But I will be ready.
And when I do show up, I might even come out with a new jersey number. Everybody knows I'm usually 99, but my new number is 1-800-868-3402. That's the number you use to vote, to keep me on the show. Unless you're texting, then my number is 3402. Maybe if I reach the Pro Bowl next year, I'll wear 3402 on my jersey.
One more thing: For whatever reason, a lot of NFL guys don't want to admit they're watching the show, but I know some of them are.
Maybe I'll hear some trash talk from an O-lineman next year; maybe I'll hear something from a left tackle trying to block me. Then again, maybe not. Not during a game. They got bigger things to worry about than whether or not I dance the mambo well.