I’ve always been pretty skeptical about sports figures—-or any public figures for that matter—-who make a big show out of their religion. And, even though he rarely gets too overt about it these days, I’ve always rolled my eyes when Redskins coach Joe Gibbs starts talking Jesus—-what with the picketing of The Last Temptation of Christ and the campaigning against Abercrombie & Fitch.

But at the press conference at Redskins Park about Sean Taylor earlier this afternoon with Gibbs and Skins owner Dan Snyder, Gibbs’ subdued religiosity I think finally connected with me. I suppose that’s one of the reasons we have religion: for comfort and answers in trying times. But Gibbs got almost poetic in talking about how he’s dealing with Taylor’s death by thinking that “life on earth is a cup of smoke” compared to eternal life in heaven. I’m not much of a believer myself, but his words still struck a poignant, comforting note for me.

And a note to the Skins PR staff: Good call taking down the burgundy-and-gold FedEx/Redskins.com backdrop from the press room. Black backdrop = classy all the way.

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