Taysom and Dexter

Taysom Hill and the Tragic Story of a Wayward Older Brother, Whose Legacy He Now Carries On

By Ken K. Gourdin

While Brigham Young University’s football team, perhaps, is not having the kind of season its coaches and players had hoped for (thus far, at least), its quarterback, the oft-injured Taysom Hill, is playing this season in memory of his elder brother, Dexter, who recently passed away of an apparent drug overdose.  Dexter played at one of my alma maters, Dixie State University (when I attended, Dixie College).

Taysom switched his number from the former number four to the current number seven, Dexter’s number. One of Dexter’s coaches describes him as “a shorter version of” the athletic, mobile, elusive, muscular Taysom. The Salt Lake Tribune’s Kurt Kragthorpe recently chronicled the elder Hill’s struggles and the brothers’ relationship. See here, last accessed September 27, 2016: http://www.sltrib.com/home/3730151-155/kragthorpe-brothers-love-of-football-will.

I responded:

There, but for the grace of God, could go anyone. Well done, Mr. Kragthorpe. I hope the elder Mr. Hill has found some of the peace that eluded him in life. Often, the only difference between someone who’s addicted and someone who’s not is the choice of coping mechanism. Best wishes and condolences to the Hill family (from a “U” [University of Utah, whose former football coach, Urban Meyer, used to refer to BYU as “the team down south”] alum).

To another commenter who wrote, “Drugs are a dead end,” I responded:

True enough, but no one who tries any drug for the first time thinks, “Hey, you know what? It’d be fun to get addicted!” I have a lot more sympathy for that situation since I spent a few years working in a support capacity in recovery, and, while drug addiction isn’t one of them, I’ve been trying to keep my own demons at bay for quite a while now. As I noted above, there, but for the grace of God, could go anyone.


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About kenngo1969

Just as others must breathe to live, I must write. I have been writing creatively almost ever since I learned to write, period! I have written fiction, book- and article-length nonfiction, award-winning poetry, news, sports, features, and op-eds. I hope, one day, to write some motivational nonfiction, a decent-selling novel, a stage play, and a screen play.
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