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Jason Taylor loses man who was 'like a father to me'

One year ago, I got a phone call from a California area code. I picked up and agent Gary Wichard, in his unmistakable Brooklyn accent, was on the other end of the line getting ready to go into one of his classic schmooze sessions.

"What kind of trouble are you stirring down there, Armando," he told me with no anger in his voice. "You think if that (bleep) Bill Parcells doesn't want Jason Taylor, I'm going to have any trouble finding him a place to play? (Bleep) Bill Parcells! I can have Jason on three teams within a week if he gives me the go-ahead. The thing is he doesn't want to do that. So stop writing stuff that might make the Dolphins uncomfortable.

"Even if it's true."

That, in a nutshell, is my lasting impression of Gary Wichard. Cool. Collected. Tough. Succinct. Always came with a plan. Always planned a few moves ahead. He loved the truth as long as it suited him. And he didn't care what exactly the truth was when it came to Jason Taylor.

That's because Wichard didn't always see straight when it came to Jason Taylor.

Don't hold that against Gary Wichard. Most fathers find it hard seeing straight when it comes to their sons. And Wichard loved Taylor like a son. The man represented stars such as Dwight Freeney and Terrell Suggs and Antonio Cromartie, but the apple of Wichard's eye was always Jason Taylor.

On Friday, just one year since that conversation I just shared, Wichard passed away -- reportedly of diabetes and pancreatic cancer. He was 60. Only 60.

"Gary was far more than just an agent in my eyes," Taylor said in a statement released to me moments ago. "...he really and truly was like a father to me. He built my career, but it was so much more than that. Gary was by far the most positive person I've ever met and every person he came into contact with was touched in a positive way. I mean, the guy never had a bad day, or if he did, we certainly never knew it.

"I love him, and I miss him already."

I miss him, too. Obviously, I didn't know Wichard like Taylor did. But he was always professional with me. He always took my calls. He was often blunt. I like blunt. I relate to blunt. I understand blunt.

I got Gary Wichard.

No, he didn't like Parcells because he indentified Parcells as the man who ran Taylor out of Miami. He did like Jeff Ireland, Miami's general manager.

As Taylor's Dolphins days were winding down, Wichard got a call from Ireland one morning. The Miami GM had apparently just finished reading Dolphins In Depth and was apparently complaining about a post that included details of phone calls between Wichard and him that Ireland didn't want made public.

Ireland asked Wichard if he had told me those details. "Yeah, I told him," Wichard replied. And then Wichard hung up with Ireland and called me and told me Ireland was upset because he was starting to look bad.

I found that kind of funny, really. I also found it refreshing. Open. And downright gutsy.

I cannot vouch for Gary Wichard's business dealings. At his passing, he was serving an NFLPA suspension of his agent license. There were allegations -- unproven -- about his tactics for recruiting players being shady.

That is not my concern today. Today I feel rocked. I never would have believed if you had told me a year ago that within the year, Gary Wichard would be gone. It was, after all, only a year ago that this wiseguy agent was full of fight, full of nerve, full of life.

And now he's gone.

Rest in peace, Gary.

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Dang, Mando. You can really write your (bleep) off when you want to.

Whichard. RIP.

I'm with him ... Bleep Bill Parcells!


RIP.

Requiescat In Pace

And fuc k Armandouche. Hopefully he's next

Damn "Dishpan", I think Mando is among the worst choices EVER to be the guy who gets to write blogs on my favorite team for the Herald... but that's harsh. Too harsh for me.

Jason Taylor is dead to me.

Thanks for sharing Armando. Sorry to hear of Taylor and the Wichard families loss.

Armando, that's a good write.

Men of great Power always walk in the line that separates Reality from Delusion.

Dishpan is maaaad. I've always wondered what goes on in the mind of a madman. Is it like being really, really, angry x ten?

Wait a second, I've been there before. Often after a six pack on Sunday's and glaring at my smoking tv that just got bricked.

It's a reocurring event, happening for decades.

That sucks. At 60. I hope you ain't pining for JT to return to the Phins. He is done here and should have retired.

Armando,

You remind me of Henne...one great blog of writing followed by 4 duds... Henne one great quarter of playing followed by 4 duds. Good post on whats going on from the inside as you see it... I don't care how many people are more interested in the fight song, this was more substantive, gives us a little personal insight.

Craig M....

I saw your comments to me from the last blog...i'll save my response for the next blog....out of respect for Mr. Wichard.....

Wichard knew Parcells was a POS through dealings with Taylor. I was suspicious when the Dallas castoffs started getting picked.

Then it occurred to me: Parcells never held a position as VP of OPs, Sparano never been HC, Ireland never been GM.

Pretty simple after you figure that out.

Being a beat writer concerned about the Truth is very hard sometimes. Why? Because you hold secrets about very powerful Men and Entities that may or may not be revealed at the moment according to the best interest for All and you have to decide right then and there if to make them known or not. Obviously, not a profession for everybody.

Well now that the union has decertified I wonder what is next. This is truely a sad day for sports especially with the economy the way it is. Once again the millionaires stepping on the litle people and not caring about anybody else. Greed you have to love it from both parties.

I also wonder how this affects the fins draft? Does this mean that Ingram is a lock at the 15 then we draft OL in the 3rd rd? Or try to trade down and go OL. My question is if we cant trade down who do we pick?

Eff them!!!! They make more than enough money, they are entertainment, period! Both owners and players.....and people complain about what cops, teachers and firefighters make? Screw them!!!!

I feel the words..."Truth"... And..."Media." Should never be used in the same sentence. Writers and Journalists are searching for what makes Good Print... Not to set the facts or world straight. Their editors need something that will turn your face to a story. The Boring facts rarely will do that.

I have been pretty much 50/50 on the Players Union and Owners meetings and who I hold responsible. That all changed to day. The Owners offered to drop the 18 game season, leaving it as it was. Create a Rookie salary scale and split the revenue with the Veterans. Develop a year around safety and health policy. START by giving retires player $82 million... and the biggest of all... The owners stepped back from 1/2 of the $1 billion they wanted off the top of revenues... I'm certain there was plenty more....

It is very clear to me now that an agreement was never wanted by the players... They have been after litigation from the very beginning. Litigation was their original and final goal. De-certification is nothing more then the players trying to stop a lock out. In other words, to stop owners from fielding a whole different group of players like they did in 1987. The Players showed their true hand today... and I am very disappointed that it was them holding this process at bay all along.

How does it affect the Dolphins? Same as every 2nd or 3rd tier team, it makes it that much harder.

The teams that were in the playoffs or close don't have as many needs. And won't require as much evaluation and practice.

Derek, the owners are crying poverty yet won't open fully there books. How can they be trusted? Also, it was the owners that basically planned to take advantage of the situation by negotiating a 4 BILLION dollar contract that would get them paid even if there was no season. Doesn't that smell rotten to you? They were looking to screw the players from the get go with no risk. I'm sure both sides have enough blame to go around...I wouldn't be so eager to pin it all on the players. The owners do appear to be rich, greed, scumbags.

Nobody really knows WTH is going on. The only fact is that the Mediator walked away saying that his presence there at this time served no purpose.

There are beat writers, and then there are beat writers.

OK kris....thanks.

Oscar, Mando is a columnist....comentary and opinions not beat writer. Omar at the SS is a beat writer.

Please clarify, cocoajoe.

There are columnists, and then there are columnists.

Oscar, thought it was self explanatory. Beat writers are supposed to report news...just facts or at least what may turnout to be (rumors)facts.

Columnist gives you their opinions and analysis. In reality, Mando does both hard news and opinion but trys to do just OPs.

Armando,

Seems you have a love affair with everything that concerns Jason Taylor. Why doesnt Taylor get a divorce so the two of you can get married already. LOL.......................

BREAKING NEWS:

The couple Miami Heat basketball players reported crying in the locker room after thier loss were'nt really Heat players. Secret sources reveal it was really Armando and Jason Taylor expressing man love after the game.

They both had locker room passes. LOL.........

I was going to post almost word for word what Derek4 posted (8:54). I`ve been following this thing closely from the beginning and always felt that if the owners met the players half way on there demands for an additional 1 billion dollars of the top, along with assuring better salaries for seasoned vets with the implementation of a rookie wage scale, that this would tip the scales and bring labor peace. I now find out the league went a step further and addressed the long standing issue on health care for retired players to the tune of 82 million only to have everything thrown back in there faces. The only thing the owners did not conceed was opening up the books on each team`s individual financial statements and I don`t know of any Company in America that would have conceed such a demand to there work force in any situation even remotly similar to this one, maybe the players made a mistake forming there own Union after decertification back in 87 and should instead have joined the teamsters I hear Jimmy Hoffa jr. is a chip of the old block.

I never thought that I would side with the owners and the League on anything related to a Collective Bargaining Agreement but in truth I don`t think they could have gone any further in there attempts to avoid this disaster. I really wonder what more the players hope to gain and wait with anticipation for there Law suit to be filed so it can become a matter of public record so we can all see what`s really at the core of there demands. I use to look at Roger Goodell as someone the owners kept in there hip pocket not anymore without him mediating this thing the owners never put as much on the table as they did but at the end of the day the players are looking for something grounbreaking the scope and ramifications of which are still unknown,good luck to them and while I now I`ll watch the games whenever there back on I also now I will not care or have pitty for any them again, regardless of the situation or hand there dealt by the League or owners after this is all over.

Mando,

If Outback had a bloomin' idiot you'd be on the menu. Football stops today and you make man love to J.T. You should get a purlitzer!

P.S.- They actually pay you for this crap!!! You should work for TMZ. Maybe you could tell us about Britney's and Paris' crotches while you're at it.

Armando's head is buried so far up JT's a*ss that he uses JT's heart as a pillow to lay his head on at night.

The reporting is no longer all in the reporters hands.

Thankyou, cocoajoe. Very clear.

Hey guys,
Am I crazy or does J.T. not play for the Fins anymore??

GUYS GET OVER IT AND PREPARE YOURSELVES FOR A 9-11 GAME SEASON IN 2011. THE STRIKE SHORTENED SEASON MAY HAVE ACTUALLY LENGTHENED SPARANO/IRELAND'S 2011 FOOTBALL YEAR.

SOME HERE PROPOSED SPARANO/IRELAND WOULNDT LAST PAST MIDSEASON. THANKS TO WHAT'S LIKELY TO BE A SEASON THAT DOESNT START UNTIL MIDSEASON. SPARANO/IRELAND JUST MAY BUCK THOSE ODDS! LOL........................

Breed,
You're on to something. Tony and Jeff conspired with the players to cause the decertification to shorten the season this year in order to save their jobs!

By the way with everything going on with the NFL right now this blogg bt Mando is beyond rediculous, why would Mando be calling JT`s agnt in L.A. anyway ?

COULD HISTORY BE REPEATING ITSELF? LAST TIME THERE WAS A STRIKE SHORTENED NFL SEASON. DAVID WOODLEY LED THE DOLPHINS TO A SUPER BOWL.

COULD CHAD HENNE TURN THE SAME TRICK AND 1YR LATER BE OUT ON HIS CAN WHILE WE'RE BREAKING IN THE NEXT MARINO?

STAY TUNED FOLKS, TO THE SAME BAT TIME AND THE SAME BAT CHANNEL!

It is now obvious that the players wanted to sabotage the CBA from the beginning. The question now is Why?

Because love is in the air. It's spring time. Great time to get the new wedding dress!

DB,

You might be on to something everybody now has to scramble to resign there own vets, the draft now shifts for some teams with holes to fill and no FA turning that process on it`s head. I tell you forget Newton the way this is playing out they may all fall out of the top 10 now with Def. players and O-Linemen coming of those draft boards at a clip early.

DB,

IT hadn`t dawned on me but that`s a great point about the 82 strike year !!!

@ oscar,

The only thing at this point to look foward to is the players filing there law suit cause it will make it a matter of public record and then we can all see what the hell is at the core of there demands.

Wouldn't be nice if someone wrote a blog about the strike?

Mando,

You must have been a history major.

Oscar,

I dont blame the players not one bit. Owners want the players to return 1 billion in tv revenues citing they're struck for operating capital. Yet the owners dont want to give full disclosure to thier books to prove they arent lying.

Players dont mind giving the money back if helps to stabilize things more for everyone. But 1 billion dollars is a helluva lot of money to just hand over on an unsubstantiated whim.

Oscar, to really get a true feeling of the players stance try this. Go to your bank, sit down with the loan officer, and tell him you desperately need to borrow %50,000. Then tell him that your only collateral is your promise to pay the money back.

In essence that's what the owners are doing. Basically wanting the players to give them 1 billion dollars without any collateral(Thier books) to prove what they say about needing the players to give them that money is true.

BTW, Goodell is a skank idiot that waited until the last minute before starting negotiations to save one of the most successful businesses in the world right now during a bad economy ( which now will cost people more jobs ). Yet all the sheep will keep buying NFL products and tickets to pay that rich pigs salary. We need to boycott buying anything that has to do with the NFL including their sponsors. WHEN'S THE LAST TIME YOU GUYS WALKED OUT OF WORK AND GOT 4.9 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!

The owners cant prove they're truthfully losing money if they are unwilling to give full disclosure to thier books.

So either the owners are lying. Or afraid full public disclosure of thier books will follow with huge IRS problems. As it may reveal many of them have been illegally "cooking" thier books.

Those may look like $5,0000 business suits many of them are wearing. But for many of them they may just be heavily overpriced kitchen aprons! LOL.....................

Breed,
Agree, what about the sleazy owners who get the taxpayers to pay for the stadiums and the renovations ( including what a##hole Ross wants). What money are the taxpayers getting back. Oh yeah the same money we got back from bailing out the banks---higher interest rates. Guess that means when the owners finally get what they want it'll be higher ticket prices!!1

Mando, When you leave the herald the title of the article should be, JASON TAYLOR LOSES A MAN WHO WAS LIKE A LOVER TO ME .

Personally I think the owners are equally afraid of both the players and the rigid IRS scrutiny they may come under if giving full disclosure of thiers books.

Im sure thier over-priced lawyers have warned them of IRS scrutiny that could take place too. LOL.............

Fins Armegeddon,

Disclosure of thier books may also disclose that the owners have been lying to everyone about everything that involves finances. Yes that does include getting team cities to finance stadiums while they get to make all of the money off of them.

Disclosing the books could have repercussions against the owners on so many level. I wouldnt be shocked if it went as deep as racketeering with some. LOL................

If I weren't a Football Fan, I wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole. But I am. It is all about $(as mostly everything is). Why did the Players sabotage the negotiations if they were being offered Paradise? Because they were told to, from the beginning, from the Owners, from the NFL, and from themselves. It's a consortium where each partner plays its role for its own best interest but with the approval of all. Is this a Conspiracy? Certainly it is. Is it bad for Us All? Not necessarily. As DB and fin4life pointed above, the NFL looks for parity among Teams and that will of course increase their revenues by making Football more exciting for the Fans. Hopefully, the other two partners will do the same.

But I'm sure in the end the Republicans will find a way to blame all of this on Democrats and bleeding heart liberals. They will call it a conspiracy to overthrow capitalism and march us even closer to socialistic values. LOL...........

The Democratic National Committee was behind getting the players union to decertify today. It was just one small step in a grander democratic plan to lead us all right to the hellful steps of socialism. LOL.............

We've been Obama'd again! Now we have socialistic NFL football. LOL...........

Not everybody will be buying NFL gear you can at least count me out as a disgusted fan. I don`t think at this point it`s about assesing blame, for me it`s more about who put there best foot foward and at the end of the day be it the 11th hour or not that was the owners. DB, the owners handed over the Leagues financial statements as an entity, were they differed was in handing over every teams individual books. I don`t know many Companies that would hand over there statements to the work force, by the way the billion came of the table and was cut in half roughly an additional 120 mil per team, all the while putting back in to set up the Health Care System the players have been crying over since the Upshaw days. The reality is that in the 11th hour the owners caved and conceeded evrything but the books, I for one will wait out the players law suit to be filed and then we can all see what`s at the heart of there demands

fin4life,

$500,000 is still a helluva lotta of money to just hand over to a guy just based on his word that he needs it. Also, no the owners did not give full disclosure of the books over to the players association.

Had they have done that, a new cba would have been signed today. Plus the players union wanted to view financial records for the past 10yrs. Owners were unwilling to do that. If everything's on the up and up then what is it that the owners have to hide?

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