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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Fred Taylor’s Near Death Experience

I know athletes have special clauses in their contracts which prevent them from doing certain activities. For instance, most players are not allowed to wakeboard, snowboard, hunt, ride a motorcycle, or do anything else that can be considered extreme or dangerous. Not on that list however, is flying on a plane — which is a normal occurrence for most athletes. But maybe it should be, at least in Fred Taylor’s case:

Jaguars running back Fred Taylor boarded the single-propeller, 15-seat plane in Africa, chatting about the safari he had just been on with Samari Rolle, Lito Sheppard and their wives.

A few minutes later, the group shared another unforgettable experience.

The plane door flew open at around 6,000 feet, causing panic and prayer before the pilot landed at a nearby runway.

“I thought that was it,” Taylor said Monday following the final day of Jacksonville’s three-day minicamp. “I put my head down and started praying. The runway was about two miles away, but it seemed like it took 10 or 15 minutes to get there.”

Taylor joked that it was the first time he felt like he was near death “since I was playing for (coach Tom) Coughlin.”

Gotta love that shot in there on Tom Coughlin. I guess players must really hate the man. But dang, what do you do when the freaking door of your plane opens up and you’re at 6,000 freakin feet? I can only refer to one of my favorite movies, Mallrats, at a time like this. It was in that movie that Brodie, being played by Jason Lee, told a hilarious story about his cousin who was on a plane when the hydraulics went out. Not knowing what to do, all the passengers took a cue from Brodie’s cousin and pulled out their pieces, beating off like mad while plummeting to their certain death. But then, the hydraulics kicked back in, leaving for an extremely awkward moment, at which point every one tucked their pieces back in, and swore never to speak of the incident again. Somehow I don’t think that was the case for Fred, but I was at a loss for synapses in my mind. Sorry.

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