Seymour was held out of the first quarter because he had arrived late at the stadium after attending his grandfather's funeral the night before. When he came in in the second, he was loaded for bear. And yet as a thumping hip-hop beat blared over the loudspeakers, Richard bobbed his head, smiled, and mumbled the words to himself, a relaxed and focused man in the insular world of his helmet. Later, he caught sight of the cameras on him and smiled out of the giant screen as the crowd drove itself into paroxysms of noise.
As the din swelled, Seymour flapped his arms in the internationally recognized sign for "Yell louder". The yell went off the charts and Seymour stood back and bathed in it, hands in a GQ-pose by his head, nodding and smiling. The crowd kicked it up yet another notch.
At the absolute crescendo, Seymour looked into our collective eyes and brought his right fist to his chest, once, twice, right between the 9 and the 3 on his jersey. Who knows if he was thinking of his grandfather, or the fans, or some combination of both, but it was an incredible lovefest just then between a superstar defenseman and tens of thousands of his closest friends.
Shortly after that, the flakes began blowing in. The Jacksonville Jaguars looked dazed, as if they were just waiting to wake up from the nightmare. The score piled up on them even as the drifts stacked up on the field and in the stands. The snow began flying in time to the stadium music, just as it had in the shutout the previous week against Miami. It was clear that the Jaguars were dead in the water by halfway through the fourth quarter. But the vast majority of the fans stayed, hollering, until the clock on the scoreboard read 00:00.
This morning, it was announced that Richard Seymour has been traded to the Oakland Raiders for a 2011 first-round draft pick. We know we're supposed to root for the laundry, and yet these days, when they come, still feel like a punch in the gut.