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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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500 million

Conspiracies will always exist, but, specially now, it doesn't mean that we don't know about Them.

In general, if it's not your business, don't interfere.

Comrades...to each his own...everyone has their take on things and I much rather hear what someone really thinks. I've often criticized Armandos blogs, but in this case, personally I don't understand the negative feedback. Seemed more like a eulogy, recounting a story he had about an agent he had interactions with that recently died. The fact JT was part of the story was pure coincidence. Am I defending Armando? Miracles happen.

Armando,

Please write a column about Vern Den Herder and Bill Stanfill. They are the two greatest Dolphin defensive ends and they have the SB championship rings to prove. Miami never had a better tandem of DE's in our 45yr team history.

Im already in Jason who mode. LOL..............

I see what your saying and understand that handing over profitability charts were all 32 teams are pulled together under the umbrella that there nothing more than frachises owned and operated under the NFL Corp. is rediculous and worthless on it`s head. I do however understand the owners hesitations though, look let`s be clear you yourself posted it a little while ago half jockingly, all 32 teams are bound under County and State Tax laws (not counting Federal), which differ depending on were they operate and I imagine don`t want scrutinized. I don`t see were conceeding that point and giving back each individual team half of what they originally wanted when the NFLPA is getting it`s means met hurt`s anybody

0x80,

If thats the case, what f*ucking Dolphin fan gives a flying rats a*ss about Jason Taylor's agent dying?

As far as the Ireland part of it, he could have told us about that long ago when the banana peel was still fresh. The whole write up was merely dumper diving news to connect us with a recently deceased player agent who know one cared about before the story nor aftwards.

Thanks for the dumpster diving article that meant nothing to no one except you Armando! LOL..........

fin4life,

All that I can tell you buddy is that had you spearheaded as players union chief negotiator. We definitely would have had a new cba signed today! LOL............

Truth be told this post up by Mando about an agent he new passing away on the other side of the Country is lame, Mando if your busy taking the family out to the movies on a Friday, then just put up "Get started without me and I`ll pick the most relevant topic when I return" For God sakes were in the middle of loosing at best half a Football season and he`s talking about some agent !

DB, I thought the guy died within the last day or to. It was on ESPN, so the guy is known in circles, he is after all an agent. No harm giving a nod to someone passing. Armando has posted for more useless blogs than this one! I really have not one ill feeling towards JT. He gave is all while he was here, not much more you can ask for. I could care less what team he went to, the man had a right to work.

@ DB,

We would have signed yesterday, I would have walked in there and said were all cash filthy (liquid) do we really wanna stop the gravy train, let`s put it to the NFL vets, "would you like to make more money thanks to a rookie wadge scale, how about free health care for life" somebody tell Brees and the rest of the over 10 mil a year club to shut up !!

With the prospects of not having a NFL season until midway into the football calender. I just had a very vivid brain flash of Tony Spatrano doing a humongous fistpump the moment decertifying news became official.

I dont think even Sparano truthfully believed his job will last past midseason. Now there's a very strong possibility it just may will!

BIG FIST PUMPER TONY! YEAHHHHHHH.........

Guys I think you're all being a little hard on Armando. There's not a lot to be talking about in the world of football right now and this was a nice diversion from all the business crap we're being inundated with. If it's not a story you're interested in, nobody is forcing you to read it. The guy opens up about something that was personal to him and everyone blasts him. I don't get it...

I realize we're all a bit frustrated and anxious about where football is heading in 2011 but I don't think Aramando deserves to be the lighting rod of our frustrations.

fin4life,

Had it been me, I would have sold the players union out for a diet coke and year's subscription to PlayBoy magazine. We would have never gotten to the extension phase of negotiations period!!! LOL.............

Why is everything you write Armando about you. Your column, your show, calls to you, statements released to you. Your ego detracts from your ability to deliver good storytelling. You have talent but the continued shameless self-promotion in most of your writing is a real turn-off.

CraigM,

It may have been a nice article had it not been for Armando's already well known and documented man-crush on JT. It's now getting pretty pathetic watching Armando slobber all over his baby bib in the name of JT!

I'm fearing the worst. I now fear JT will leave his wife(Zach's sister) just to become life partners with Armando. With each passing episode this thing is beginning to get strange and stranger. LOL.........

@ DB,

LMFAO !!!! Thanx I needed that even though I would have got you a life time supply of all you can eat Olive Garden as well ! LOL !

fin4life,

I dont know buddy. With a year's subscribtion to PlayBoy I may have forgotten all about eating. But thanks anyway! LOL...........

So the NFLPA decertifies, Owners lock out the players, and we get a blog about what exactly? C'mon dude, this is your job and today was one of the most eventful in the NFL in years. Its Dolphins in depth, not Armando in depth.

Jon,

You got it all wrong my friend. This blog is about Dolphin in Depth. Unfortunately its about Armando sinking ever "deeper" up Jason Taylor's a*ss! LOL.................

BOBBYF........ARMANDO IS A VERY SELF CENTERED PERSON LIKE DYING BREED .

BETTER TO BE SELF-CENTERED THAN NOT CENTERED AT LIKE ALOCO MANY MILLIONS OF PEOPLES! LOL........................................

"AT ALL"

PEOPLE WHO STILL BUY PLAYBOY STILL LIVE THE LONG PAST,THE SAD PAST .

Hey get this Bodog.com has us signing Tiki Barber, look it up it cites a source that says Dolphin Org. intrigued, could you imagine as if it couldn`t get any worse or wierder. We should bring him in along with Curtis Martin who would love to stick it to the Jets for forcing him into retirement, yeah !!!!!!!!!!

WELL ALOCO, SOME OF US LIKE PLAYBOYS. THEN THERE ARE SOME LIKE YOU WHO ONLY LIKE TO PLAY WITH BOYS! LOL.......................

How dare you Aloco disrespect the most popular men`s magazine with all of it`s interesting topics on world events!!!

THE LASTS ISSUE OF PLAYGIRL I HAS ALSO SCRATCHES THE BUTT AND SNIFFS IS ANOTHER HOBBY

CAN ARMANDO LIST FOR US WHAT DID WICHARD DID FOR THE POOR,THE NEEDY AND THE SICK .......I AM SICK OF PEOPLE WHO NEVER DID ANY THING GOOD TO HELP THE NEEDY AND THE SICK AND WE KEEPT ALKING ABOUT THEM AS IF THEY R MOTHER TERAZA .

PHIN4LIFE..............PLAYBOY WILL BE OUT OF PRINT IN FEW MONTH LIKE THE HERALD ,THEY WILL STAY ON LINE AND THAT'S IT .

DYING BREED IS A HERO OF MINE PERSONAL AN SAVIOR KING OF THE BLOG

DyingBreed went to his pharmacy and got a shot in his as s .

I know it`s trivial and dumb but did anyone catch that Bodog.com article about Tiki playing for us, LOL

dying breed is my hero gay .

fin4life,

All that I can find under bodog.com is a gambling site and there isnt the article you stated. Cut and paste the website here.

EVEN IN THE DAY THE MAN DIED ARMANDO IS TELLING US A STORY ABOUT HIMSELF......... SHAMEFUL ,THERE'S NO CLASS IN FLORIDA .

I will do you one better DB it`s up on Greg Cote`s blogg in the Sports section that`s were I read it

Im out. Even the crickets arent chirping for this lame a*ssed blog! LOL..............

Shameless that Mando huh, Aloco we should write the Herald so they can fire him for not talking about starving babies in Rowanda !!!! What balls !!!

Me to even though we better get use to this for a while from what I`m reading !

FIN4LIFE,

IAMNOTSAYING THAT BUT DIGNITY IS EARNED NOT B/C SOME RICH AGENT DIED WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT HIMAS SUCH ,HE NEVER DID ANY THING GOOD IN HIS LIFE .THESE AGENTS ARE SAHDY PEOPLE .

lets face it, the nfl is cutthroat slimy cold cruel business, legalized mafia. the players are all ho's making millions to fight over a stupid ball and the owners are pimps to tv contract...fferck them all, let football die.

Let's not be too hasty bail,it is nice to have a team to root for.It is something I look forward to watch on my one day off, and, I get to vent at the t.v or here rather than take it out on my loved ones because I might have had a bad week.AHH hell lets GO FLYERS!

Armando, slow news day huh.....

Wow, hold on a second, with those salaries even if your career is 3 times shorter you still moan about it? I'm on no one's side just want football, but who's taking the risk here? Why don't the players set up their own teams? And manage them? Rather than just taking profit out of it? Even if small? They certainly look big to me, this is very short of blackmail and it sucks...

when was the last time we took a QB in the 1st rd?

I can hear the purple tape tangent and taut. Screaming wind feather heat and Jackie Gleason vomiting.

Oh, Philadelphia lighter. Oh, seafood platter.

The moon white flashlight against your pale. Night collides on a lake of oil drops.

Bryan Norcross in a silk robe.

Why write about Jet players on the Fins website?

Who is Jason Taylor?

Mando, are u writing again about Jason Taylor, the Dancing Queen, the New York Jet ?? Last I heard Jason TAylor wasnt on the Dolphins team and never will be a Dolphin.
The NFL is dead as of today. Players(employees) not happy with making millions of dollars. The owners, who pay the employees, will not open their books, which is their right. NO NFL, thats cool. Ill fire up the ole bay boat and go fishing. F**k the NFL Ive got better things to do.

What's sad about the whole damn situation is that no matter what, it is going to cost the fans!! First with no football and then when they do get things settled ticket and concession prices will go up to feed the greed machine ( players and owners ).WE NEED TO SEND A MESSAGE BACK, MAKE CALLS TO TEAM OFFICES AND THE LEAGUE OFFICES, BOYCOTT NFL PRODUCTS, BOYCOTT SPONSORS PRODUCTS, ANYTHING THAT GOES ON IN DOLPHINS STADIUM AND START OUR OWN MANLOVE BLOGS LIKE MANDO HAS. ALSO WHY DOES NO ONE CARE ABOUT THE REGULAR PEOPLE WHOSE JOBS WILL BE AFFECTED BY THIS LOCKOUT???

armegeddon, be real...you think anybody is going to think about the hot dog salesman when billions are at stake? business is business, cold and shrewd...its about getting your piece of the pie at all stakes, nobody cares about anyone else, not the nfl, not your employer and not your government.

unfortunately, as soon as the games are on again the fans will come right back like puppy dogs starving for attention, and feed the nfl's wallets once again. i say let the nfl fade away.

I can see Armando still has a man crush on Jason Taylor. This is a Miami Dolphins blog, right? The last time I checked Jason is not a Miami Dolphin and quite frankly never will be again. The blog has gone to hell.

Amazing that a league as successful and loved by all involved (mostly the fans) is controlled by so many scumbags. I realize that all these guys are very successful business men (on both sides) but I honestly think these guys are naive and arrogant enough not to think the league and the game will be damaged by this lockout. It'll be interesting how these guys make out without their Golden Geese. I used to be a VERY big baseball fan but the greed in the game got the better of me and now I'm just a casual fan. I only hope this doesn't afeect my love of football too!

IS FLORIDA HAS ONLY JASON TYLOR AND NO BODY ELSE ?
EVEN TO FIND A REASON TO WRITE A POST ABOUT DEAD MAN IS LAUGHABLE .

Hey fans

I'll be at Miami International Airport tomorrow afternoon selling jerseys ($100) and signing autographs ($20). Please come and bring your friends.

Goodall is now blaming the players. ferk him and the nfl. fans should stay away for good, find something else to do, lets make the rich bastards poorer, made the value of their teams go from 1 billion to 5 dollars.

wow,I have always admired Armandito's work,I even listen to his radio show every morning,but to not respond to any of this feedback is gutless and "shady"

Regardless of any argument the players want to make there actions yesterday speak lowder than words. Think what you want about the owners but they were the ones yesterday scrambling at the 11th hour to avoid this with all the concessions they put on the table: A rookie wage scale in order to insure better compensation to Vets, 82 Million to start a health care system for retired players ( a source of great debate during the Upshaw days), an increase in pension payouts of 60% during the next 4 seasons, keeping the 16 game format ect.. ect.. ect....

The only sticking point for the owners was opening up there individual financial`s for the last 10 years, no biggie that`s all the players wanted, ummm yeah, I have a business bound by County, State and Fed Tax laws which recieves breaks, concessions and tax money for stadium up keep and I want independant outside auditors going over every last detail of them.

The truth is the players wanted litigation all along I for one am waitng for there lawsuit to be filed so that it may become a matter of public record, then and only then will we be able to pull back the curtain and see what`s at the heart of there demands !!!!

By the way this whole thing about , we as the players are equal partners with the owners is B.S. there employees looking for better benefits. The day a group of players pony up the over 1 Billion it takes to buy a team will be the day they can make such outlandish statements. I wonder how many people would feel as strongly about what the players are saying and doing if they were a team owner ?

If the players have an issue with being compensated in the Millions of $ while the rest of us bust our backs looking to make ends meat in an ever increasing sinking economy, then don`t play it`s simple come join the rest of us in reality.

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