<
>

JASON TAYLOR: DANCING WITH THE STARS. WRITING FOR US

The Miami Dolphins won't appear on Monday Night Football in 2008—unless they want to count Dancing With the Stars. Jason Taylor, their star defensive end, actually danced to the Monday Night theme song this week—doing the Paso Doble—and none of Hank Williams Jr.'s rowdy friends ever saw it coming. Taylor's partner, Edyta Sliwinska, wore a Dolphins get-up for the routine, but Taylor—who's been mentioned in trade rumors—was quite conspicuous wearing … Houston Texans colors.

Don't read anything into all that. I just didn't want to wear a full aqua outfit. I mean, that color's a little too soft looking sometimes. Aqua pants? Looks kind of weird.

Honestly, here's how it went down. The producers of the show wanted us to do the Monday Night Football theme song, and initially we were kind of skeptical—because we didn't want to come off too cheesy.

But they asked me to be open-minded. We thought about it, and Edyta, for one, was concerned it wasn't really a traditional Paso Doble. But we gave it a shot and it was my idea to end the dance by signaling touchdown. The people liked it, the judges liked it. What can I say?

As for our wardrobe, Edyta said, "Regardless of what happens, we've got to do Dolphin colors.'' So she wore hers. But, like I said, I didn't want to wear the regular aqua—looks kind of soft. So they darkened up my outfit a little bit, and I wore the more masculine version of our colors. It wasn't meant to be the Texans, trust me.

There you have it: It was my only Monday Night Football performance for the year. Unfortuantely.

All in all, though, it was a good night. We danced twice and scored a combined 55 out of 60, highest of the evening. Dancing With The Stars has changed my life, so I hope people will vote for me by calling: 800-868-3402. I just don't want it to end.

It's funny, one of the judges, Len Goodman, mentioned that the other football players who've danced—Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith—have made it to the finals, and he said, "With performances like that, you're in the final, too.''

But both Emmitt and Jerry were retired. They didn't have to go back to a locker room. I'm going to get abuse next year.

But I don't care. Do you realize I just got to meet Elmo the other day? Seriously, I was asked to go on Sesame Street and give the "Celebrity Vocabulary Word Of The Day.'' The word was "toss,'' so I talked to the kids about tossing a football, a salad or horseshoes. Then I actually was supposed to "toss'' the muppet cow across the room. My kids loved it.

And, by the way, Elmo's cool. Great guy to work with. Elmo's got the world by a string, and yet he's not a prima donna at all. I mean, we're talking one of the most popular people on the planet. Very down to earth and cool.

I mean, I wouldn't want to dance against him. Who'd vote against Elmo?