The fallout from the Taylor divorce
But unfortunately for the Taylors, the dynamic of this sad situation is that Katina Taylor happens to be Zach Thomas' sister. And Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor are not only teammates and stalwarts on Miami's defense, but they've been good friends as well.
The friendship is so close that Zach actually introduced Jason to Katina. In fact, he practically pushed these two good people together.
"The most awkward thing is looking at him and knowing they're related," Taylor said told The Herald in 1999. "[Zach] clearly got the short end of the beauty stick in the family. At first, it was strange. You kind of watch yourself if women come up and talk to you when you're around him, wondering what he might think, but we've all gotten used to it.
"We all hang out a lot together now. He introduced her to me after a game last season, you know? I knew she was fine right away, and he was all for it. He was the one who kept calling me and hooking her up with me. I had no intention of having a girlfriend, but when something that cool comes along you don't let it go."
They are apparently letting go now that Katina filed for a dissolution of marriage in Broward County court and requested custody of the three kids, the marital home, and alimony.
But the greater issue for Dolphins fans is how that will affect the lockerroom and onfield relationship between Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas.
Let there be no doubt that Thomas loves his teammate. But his family bond is unquestionable also. That was apparent when Zach, in talking about his sister and future brother-in-law, once told me:
"I want them to be together, I think it's great. The family loves Jason. But I told Jason if he was going to go there, make sure you don't hurt her. Don't mess with her mind, you know? If things don't work out, that happens. But if he does something to hurt her or mess her over, that I told him not to do."
Then Thomas paused and put it all in perspective:
"Because blood is thicker than water, you know?"
The question now is two-fold. Will Zach perceive that Jason messed with his sister's head? And if so, will team chemistry be affected?
I believe, whatever happens, Taylor and Thomas will be professional and not give a public grimmace to their private pain. But will that, in fact, be what is in their hearts?
Can't be as certain of that.