Some athletes get to be in the Mitchell Report; Jason Taylor gets to be in US Weekly. After two stellar performances on Dancing With the Stars, that magazine is about to name Taylor "one of the 10 hottest men on TV.'' Usually, he's one of the hottest people breathing down Chad Pennington's neck, so he's obviously on to bigger and better things now. But that doesn't mean he's lost perspective. After receiving his first serious criticism on the show Monday night, Taylor's still got his football game face on. Here's his latest blog entry.
We danced the Jive tonight, which is sort of a variation of the Jitterbug, and one of the judges, Len Berman, laid into me pretty good. I mean, last week, one judge called me a contender. This week, Len blurts out: "Last week, you were a rooster, and this week, you're a feather duster.''
Does that mean my dancing days are dead? I hope not.
A feather duster? I guess housekeepers use 'em. But that was an interesting comment. I like that, though. I'm going to find out who makes feather dusters, and we're going to get an endorsement deal.
Seriously, the judges are going to beat you up sometime. But we scored a 23 out of 30, which was still pretty high. And I'm fine with getting critiqued. Look, they judged me for a minute and a half, or whatever it was. But I lose a football game, and I'm critiqued for five days. So it's no big deal.
Look, I know nothing about dancing, so I'll take everything they say and try to think about those things next week. Edyta, my partner, takes it harder than I do, because I know I know nothing. She was like, 'Ah, they're full of crap, I thought it was great, we should've got all eights.' She's supportive, but it was a tough week for her. It was tough for me to get the steps right, and that didn't help. It was tough to pick up all the jumps and the kicks and do it on beat and synchronized with her. She was frustrated and wore out. But it all came together tonight, so she was happy no matter what the judges said.
The Jive is a small man's dance. It's easier for small men to move around.
I mean, this show isn't exactly Dancing With Giants. I'm 6-foot-6, about 240, and I'm the largest dude here by far. It's definitely a disadvantage, especially with a dance like the Jive, where there's so much quick jumping and kicking. I mean, it's a dance made for Helio Castroneves or Emmitt Smith, but what can I say? Nothing other than, please dial: 1-800-868-3402. And vote for me.
Obviously, being a little bit bigger also means getting recognized easier. Getting called one of the 10 hottest men on TV? By US Weekly? I guess that's part of taking the helmet off and being exposed to a whole different world. My teammates are going to give me abuse for it, though.
I've been talking to them, and I ask them how the football training's going, and they just say, "We're doing the same ol' stuff.'' The same thing we've been doing the last 11 years I've been in the NFL. So they basically told me I'm not missing a whole lot. Are they jealous of me? Probably every time they turn the TV on and see my partner they are.
Honestly, though, this might help my pass rushing. I'm not talking about the dance moves, but all the footwork. It's the same thing we do in football but in a different way. You don't have the power and explosion here, but you have all the footwork and the agility and the coachability—and the criticism. It's all the same crap, but you're just not hitting anybody. So next year, absolutely, this'll help me with my agility on the field.
Next week's show, by the way, may be interesting, because some of my teammates and even guys I play against want to come out here to LA and be in the audience. I don't know if they'll do it, but we'll get to go have some dinner, hang out a little bit, have a good time. It's a chance for them to be entertained—by laughing at me.