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The Legacy of Taylor Jordan
I didn't know what to expect when I would walk through the door into that
place, that's what I call my house, "that place." I can't stand to go
inside sometimes and see all the things inside knowing that my father has
paid for all of it off of his retirement money, courtesy of the National
Football League. Oh yeah, my dad played for the NFL, Quarterback of the San
Francisco 49ers, The Great Marshall Jordan. I guess that's why he is so
hard on me now; he just wants me to "be successful" and to be as good as he
My name is Taylor Jordan; I am the starting Quarterback for
Helix High School in San Diego California. This is my first year starting
on varsity and personally I don't think it's because I'm better than the
other QB's, honestly I wouldn't be surprised if my dad bribed the coach into
letting me start. I do have good size though, so I'm not sure. Coach says
that it's good to have a running quarterback in this league, at six foot one
inch 187 pounds; I am kinda hard to bring down. I'm the fastest player on
the team as well so I have confidence this season that I will do decent. My
dad will hopefully get off my back for once and just let me do what I do.
Just 'cause you hope for something doesn't mean it'll happen.
Five Months earlier.
"TAYLOR STAY IN THE DAMN POCKET!" screamed that guy in the
stands, people call him a lot of different names and say stuff under their
breaths like, "what a dick" or "why is he always so hard on him, he's doing
his best," yeah those people are talking about my loving father Marshall
Jordan, three time NFL all star quarterback whose career was tragically
ended by an ACL tear after his eleventh NFL season.
I strut over to the sidelines after a twenty-yard pass from me
to Jermaine Thompson. Jermaine and I have been friends since youth football
and we started separating after he made varsity as a freshman and I was
starting qb for the JV team. But our friendship is starting to rebuild
since I made varsity even though others hate me now more than ever. I start
over the heroic Keyshawn Best, the seventh best qb in the state of
California. I will probably never understand why I started but all I know
is that Keyshawn transferred over to Victoria High after he heard that I was
starting and who could blame him; Coach chose me- A starter on JV- over a
star like him.
"All right guys," I say to my players in the huddle, trying to
earn their respect for once, "We're down by three and we have thirty seconds
to get in the end zone, let's do this!"I yell, but none of them seem to get
pumped up. I can tell that they still haven't come around to me yet. " All
right Z stack follow on 2 on 2, ready," the team and I yell, "BREAK!" We
take the field at our own forty yard line and I line up under center, I take
the snap and take my three step drop. I see Jermaine break from coverage
and I heave the ball to the left while getting drilled from behind and hope
for the best. I keep watching Jermaine while on the ground and see him dive
and make the catch over the pile line, "Touchdown Jermaine Thompson!" yells
the announcer in the box, I shoot my hands up and sprint to him to
We jump around and go crazy, my first game as the starting
Quarterback and I was enjoying every second of it. "We will see you all at
Jefferson next week," said the announcer although I don't think anyone heard
over all the havoc on the field. After coach's speech, I went home and
walked in happy as ever when all of a sudden, "Taylor!" yelled my dad, "What
was that!" he continued. "What was what?" I reply hoping that he will buy
that I didn't mean to scramble so much. He continued to yell at me, "You
can't run the ball like that, you're a quarterback, not a runningback, a
quarterback!" I reply with, "I didn't see anyone open get off my back, we
won the game didn't we?!" big mistake on my part, my dad comes closer and
slaps me in the face, it's a good thing im used to it otherwise that would
hurt. Mom finally gets home and tells me how good I did, but it doesn't
matter because I will never be good enough for my own father.
Monday was finally here and to my surprise, everyone seemed to
come up to me and tell me how good I was. I appreciated all the support but
there was one person that I wanted to talk to more than anyone else in the
school, and then I see her walking down the hallway heading right toward me.
I act like I'm getting stuff from my locker and I didn't see her, that's
when Jermaine turns to me and says, "Hey man look who's heading your way." I
already know who it was, Tracy Lyn Meyers, my crush since freshman year. I
have had my chances with Tracy but all of them have been blown by me not
being able to even talk to her or tell her how and feeling not good enough.
Now I am more confident and I won't be so shy around her anymore. She
walks up to me and tells me how good I did last night, I reply with,
"ThAAnks," I got so nervous my voice cracked and lost all that confidence I
just built up. I clear my throat and tried again, "Th-thanks Tracy."
Embarrassed and struggling to talk, Jermaine steps in with his black humor
that everyone loved, "'Ey girl, what's a brother gotta do to get some love,
I mean I caught the pass that this stud threw." Classic Jermaine, "Oh shut
up Jermaine I was coming over to congratulate both of you, so
congratulations." She said and turned to me with a smile, "Jermaine can I
talk to Taylor alone real quick." Jermaine replies with a grin on his face
and walks only two lockers down, "So you had a real good game Friday and we
didn't celebrate over the weekend so I was wandering if you maybe wanted to
celebrate and hang out sometime this week?" Shell shocked and not believing
what just happened I reply, "Ya sure, I would love that." Tracy replies,
"Great do you maybe want to pick me up at my house after the game on Friday
and we could go see a movie?" Still amazed I say, "That would be great, even
better if we win." We both laugh and head to class.
On our way to Jefferson, I'm thinking about my date with Tracy.
I think about what I will say to her, what I will wear, what kind of food
does she like, how much money should I bring and all this stuff I haven't
thought about before in my life. I have never been on a date so I don't know
how to act around girls. Next thing I know I'm on the field and with five
minutes to go and up by twenty one points this will be a cake walk. I look
up into the stands before I go out on the field I see Tracy with her friends
and she sees me looking at her and waves. I smile, turn and run onto the
I take the snap and look for Jermaine, not open; I take off with
the ball and run down the sidelines. I see a defender closing in and I dive
into the end zone, touchdown Helix! All muddy and wet I turn to my players
and we celebrate. I separate from my players in the end zone and point up
to the student section. The final seconds tick away and we win week two. I
go home, walk in and get a good smack from my father. "DON'T EVER DO THAT
AGAIN!" he screams in my face. In his mind I deserved that and I knew that
was coming right when I walked in and saw him.
Tracy and I made going to a movie after my games a tradition
after week two. This is the fifth week we have been dating since week two
and since we haven't lost a game yet, my dad doesn't harp on me for going
out with Tracy. "The movie was great," said Tracy as soon as we left the
theater. I wanted to make this date special so I took her to my special
little hideout I found when I was a little kid. It is a white sand beach
that is surrounded by tree's that drape over and create shade. The coast is
covered with rocks that keep water from getting onto the beach and making it
smell bad. It was the perfect place to go at sunset.
"Touchdown Helix!" yelled the announcer; I run off the field and
give a coach a great big bear hug after our seventh straight win! I go to
the locker room and sit down for coaches after game speech. Coach comes in
with a smile on his face and announces that we have set the new single
season school record for total offense in a season with 7,432 yards, and
averaging around 1,500 yards total offense per game. This has been the best
year Helix football has ever had and I was part of it.
I head home and no one is there -thank god- to greet me and
congratulate me. "Dad?" I shout out, nothing. I go upstairs to my room and
look for a towel so I can take a shower. I get in the shower and it feels
amazing, my skin was freezing from the chilling rain at the game. I finish
up in the shower and get dressed and start heading downstairs when all of a
sudden, I hear my dad come in with a serious look on his face. Like always,
I ask him how I did and what he thought of the game. He replies with, "What
difference does it make if I say you did good or bad, you're not going to
listen to what I say, you're just gonna keep running the ball." Of course he
would go there.
After another week of practice and school, it's finally Friday.
It's Homecoming and I couldn't be more excited to play the third worst team
in our conference. We were playing against a religious private high school, Chandler’s Christian Academy. The final seconds on the clock tick
away, cueing the end of the school day. Coach sent out a mass text to the
rest of the team telling us to go to the grade schools and look for the fire
trucks that we ride in the parade. I was about to get on the fire truck, but
Tracy pulled me aside and told me that I was voted to represent the football
team and she was my escort. She told me that we will be with the other
representatives, oh yeah and we get to ride in a Lamborghini generously
provided from some of the boosters.
After the parade, it was game time. I strut down to the field
and look around in the stands, I see all of the people in the stands and I
see that there are kids hanging over the rails on the bleachers with
footballs and pens. I hear them yelling my name, they all want my autograph
and pictures and I just reply with, "When we WIN!" They all cheer and I know
what I must do now. This is the success I have always wanted and now I'm not
going to blow it.
First play of the game I take off running and score off a
fifty-yard scramble. Next time out I see Jermaine running wide open down the
sidelines, I chuck the ball down the field and he catches it in stride and
makes a cut right, spins past another defender and scores. I come back out
after another defensive stop and meet my team in the huddle, "ALRIGHT BOYS,
LETS SHOVE THE BALL RIGHT DOWN THEIR THROATS!" They cheer and I know I
finally have done it, I have gotten the respect from my team.
I take the snap and turn up field and cut left into the middle of the field,
I see the safety up ahead. He closes in and I leave my feet and hurdle him
and right when my feet are about to touch the ground, I get SMACKED and the
first thing to hit is my head. Lying on my back, I'm looking up at the sky
and can't feel my body; my eyes are heavy and start closing.
I wake up and the light is blinding and unbearable to look at, I
turn my head and my head won't move. I try looking the other way, nothing.
I start panicking and start to scream, that's when my mom wakes up from her
chair next to this strange bed. "Shush, shush, shush, Taylor it's me you're
alright, you're alright," she says with a calm voice. "Where the hell am I?"
I reply in a state of panic, "You're in the hospital Taylor..
you're...you're paralyzed." I can't believe it, I'm done.
I ask my mom where dad was and she told me that if I couldn't play
football then he didn't want anything to do with me, and that's when
everything started going black again and I heard the faint echoing noise of
an announcer, I heard cheering, I heard my teammates saying, "HEY GIVE HIM
SOME ROOM!" That's when the hospital ceiling disappeared and a dark, cloudy
sky replaced it. Then I saw the trainers and my mom standing over me, I turn
my head and move my legs around a little bit. The hospital was all a dream,
I was knocked out when my head the ground. It was still second quarter, and
we were still up by forty points, I start getting up and want to go to the
huddle but trainers make me go to the sidelines for an evaluation to see if
I had a concussion.
As I walk off the field, I hear the crowd going crazy, cheering and chanting
my name more than ever before. The dream was so real and vivid that I had to
walk around a little bit just to make sure it was a dream. "Man is you
'aright?" classic Jermaine talk. "You look like you just seen a ghost," said
Jermaine in his normal jokey tone. I reply with confusion, "What exactly
happened?" Jermaine laughing hysterically, replies, "MAN YOU GOT LIT THE
F*** UP!" Leave it to Jermaine to describe what happened.
It turns out that I might of had a concussion and I had to take an impact
test the next day. So after school Tracy drove me to the sports doctor
-since I might have a concussion, I'm not allowed to drive- and explained
what happened since I didn't see what my body actually did. I took the
impact test and passed. Now Tracy and I took off to the homecoming dance.
"Why don't you want to be the homecoming king?" asked Tracy in a cute
whining voice trying to persuade me to change my mind. "It's just not me," I
say to Tracy, "I'll still do it if I get any votes."
The Homecoming King and Queen are going to be announced in a little while
now and I am sweating from all the dancing and jumping around. The principle
goes up to the center of our huge gym and introduces the representatives of
all the sports and the other extra activities. To my surprise, me and Tracy
actually won king and queen, we had our dance and everyone else rushed in to
join. "'EY MAN CONGRATS MAN!" said Jermaine in a very slurry and weird
voice. "Hey man are you ok?" I ask to Jermaine, he totally blows me off and
I try to ask Tracy if she could tell if he was drunk or not, "I don't know-"
and right in the middle of her sentence Jermaine grabs Tracy and kisses her
as if he was trying to suck her teeth out. Tracy pulls away and slaps him
across the face. Yup, he is super drunk. I wind up and punch him in the gut;
he doubles over in pain and pukes up whatever he was drinking.
Me and Tracy leave and head to my house to watch a movie, my dad
was out of town and mom loves Tracy so it all works out good. Tracy and I
decide not to get to upset about the incident because Jermaine is stupid
when he's drunk and couldn't help it.
We went undefeated through the regular season and through the
playoffs. Now we are going to the State Championship Game!
The Final Day
ESPN wanted to do a story on the game and me. Saying that this
is the game of the century is a big deal for all of us, but even more
important for me though. Only for one reason though, Keyshawn Best,
Remember him? The guy I replaced this year and ended up transferring to
Victoria High, he wants to prove that he is the better quarterback between
the two of us. I want to prove that my starting here wasn't a fluke. I want
to prove everyone that doubted me wrong; I want to destroy this football
team. Game time and there are camera crews and reporters just waiting for me
to do something unprofessional or embarrassing. "Taylor! Taylor! Are you
ready to go up against what your biggest rival is possibly?" asked one
reporter. "We're not rivals." I respond in a clear and professional tone and
continue to the locker room. My dad calls me over to him, running over and
asking, "What?" He responds with, "Taylor just pass the ball this game
don't be an idiot like you always are in these big games and start running,
your too valuable to go-" I interrupt him, "DAD JUST LET ME PLAY! I know
what I'm doing and I'm never going to listen to you so just get off my back
and stop controlling me!" and storm away. He responds in the distance, "YOU
KNOW KEYSHAWN ALWAYS WAS BETTER THAN YOU! YOU WILL NEVER BE AS GOOD AS HIM
YOU SPOILED LITTLE BRAT!"
I head to the locker room and since this is the championship, this is USC's
game day field so that means we get super nice locker rooms that college
players use. This has been my dream since youth football when I was just a
kid. Everyone doubted me and now was my time to shine now, Game time! I
head into the huddle and give the play to the rest of the team,
"Alright listen up, 46 jump dive motion, on one on one READY?!" The team
responds with a loud, "BREAK!" We rush to the line; I'm in the shotgun and
take the snap. I hand if off to Jermaine on a reverse and I sneak over to the other side
of the field, Jermaine winds up to throw and gets hit immediately. Here
comes Keyshawn strutting down to the field with some swagger, his shoulder
pads are lightly covered by his dyed blonde dreadlocks and his arms were
covered with sweatbands, if that doesn't say ghetto, I don't know what does.
He scores on the first play and it's not looking good for Helix. I
come out to the field and score on our eighth play of the drive making the
score seven to seven. Before you knew it, both teams scored hard and fast
Fourth Quarter and this was it for the win, we were down by six and
on our own forty eight yard line with a minute to go. I knew that I would
have to make a miracle happen to win this game. We come out with a pass from
me to Jermaine, sixteen yards. Next, a quarterback run up the middle for ten
yards, only twenty two yards to go now and we still got a time out. Only
thirty seconds to go and it would take a miracle, a pass over to Jermaine
again, incomplete... Another pass, only this time to my tight end but five yards
short of the first.
This was it, forth and five with five seconds left and only
seventeen yards to go. We are going for it on forth and five, I take the
snap and drop back for a pass. A defender breaks free and almost sacks me,
that's when I take off. I start running and the clock is at zero so I got
to score. I break a tackle and sprint past the safety, spinning around one
corner and juking the other safety. I was in the open and all that was in
front of me was the last corner. At the five-yard line, I dive for the end
zone and that's when it all slowed down, I was six feet off the ground and
the corner was about to clip my legs out from under me. I stick the ball
out while flying upside down through the air, and of course, the first thing
to hit is my head.
I wake up in the hospital, this time it was real though. I look
around and see my mom and dad sitting on one side, both asleep. I look to
the left and I see Tracy bent over on my bed sleeping as well with all her
books from school. Without realizing she was holding my hand I move it to
wipe my face and she wakes up which makes my parents wake up and nurses come
in and I notice that my dad has a beard growing in. "How long have I been
out for?" I ask my mom. "A few hours?" I asked again, " You have been in a
coma Taylor, you've been out for over a week." My mother replied.
My dad asks if he could be alone with me for a little bit, my mom
and Tracy leave the room. My dad sits next to me with a serious look and
says, "I don't know if you are aware Taylor, but I have always been proud of
you, I pushed you too much over the last few..actually, I've pushed you to
hard your entire life." I have never heard him talk like this before, "I
just want you to know that I love you and I am proud of you, no matter what
you do in life, I will support you and help you along the way." We both
start crying and we give each other a hug, I haven't had my dad give me a
hug since I could remember. It was the best moment of my life and I will
cherish it forever.
The 2011 Helix High School team did go on to win the State
Championship of California. Taylor shattered almost every record at Helix
and in honor of his name, they retired his number. Taylor made a full
recovery from his second concussion and played his college football at San
Jose State University. He decided to turn down an offer from USC and went to
San Jose State with a full scholarship along with Tracy.
After college, Taylor was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, that
very same night he was drafted, he proposed to Tracy Lyn Meyers and of
course she said yes.
Jermaine ended up playing football with Taylor at San Francisco for
seven years before Jermaine retired to pursue his life's long dream to live
in Florida in a beach house with his wife and kid.
Taylor went on to have a fantastic NFL career while Tracy became a
sports related doctor and physical therapist. They both did this while
raising three children, two girls and a boy. They decided to name them,
Rachel, Erica, and the boy's name, was Marshall Jordan II.
Marshall now plays quarterback at Helix. The coach is none other
than his grandfather.
This is the Legacy of Taylor Jordan