Blog Entry

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:48 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 11:05 am
For as great as Lawrence Taylor was on the field he has been just as troubled off it. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

In January 2011, Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor pled guilty to two charges of sexual misconduct. Two months later, Taylor received six years probation.

On Wednesday, the former Giants great joined James Brown and Cris Collinsworth on Showtime's Inside the NFL for his first extensive sit-down interview since his sentencing last March.

Taylor spoke about his 2010 arrest: "As a football player, I know everything about football, I mean as far as defense and stuff. I know what every player is supposed to do. I know where every player is supposed to be. I can see the play before it happens. I know where I’m supposed to be. I know how to manage a football game. The problem with me is, sometimes, managing my life. Because I make a lot of bad decisions and that’s the process that I’m going through now."

Taylor's life away from football has been a tumultuous existence. He was once asked what he could do that no other linebacker could, and he replied, "drink." But alcohol wasn't his biggest vice. He used drugs during his playing days and it got worse after he retired in 1993, writing in his autobiography that "I saw coke as the only bright spot in my future (after football)."

James Brown and Cris Collinsworth recently sat down with Lawrence Taylor to discuss his sentence for solicitation of a minor, his battles with substance abuse as well as modern day defense in the NFL. 

Taylor told Brown and Collinsworth that "I cannot stress enough that this has not been a great ordeal for me. And I’m quite sure this is not a great ordeal for the girl.  And it’s not a good ordeal for my family – my wife, especially. I hear it every day, every day, every day. ...

"What was I thinking?" Taylor asked. "According to my wife, I wasn’t thinking and she reminds me of that every day for the last year-and-a-half. We, as boys, think that we can do certain things and we’re still going to have that same life we did when we were younger, and sometimes my decision process is not very good. I make mistakes and I make bad decisions. Do I wish this had gone another way and that that day had never happened? Of course I do. The embarrassment I gave my family, the embarrassment of myself.

"Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that, ‘Hey, I’m a chronic bad person. I’m just going out and doing.’  I just get caught up and sometimes you think, you know life is not the same way it was 10 years ago, or 15 years ago. As an athlete, they may overlook a couple things.

"No. Nowadays, you guys are on 24-hours-a-day so everything that happens is actually exploited a little bit more or is blown up a little bit more and more people know about it. So now you have to really discipline yourself. For years, I had no discipline. I could do what I wanted to do as far as playing in New York.  I could do what I wanted to do as long as it was still within the law….Life…sometimes it just throws you some curves and just have to realize that this is a different time and different age and you have to tell yourself to be a man, boy."

Taylor said that "There is always a heart desire to do the right thing" but conceded that "as easy as football is to me…is as hard as life is to me."

He also talked about today's NFL compared to the one he left nearly two decades ago, as well as his thoughts on the Giants' return to the Super Bowl.

This week’s episode of Inside the NFL premieres tonight, January 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.

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Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:32 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

I don't see any remorse.  I just see excuses.  I see LT explaining himself to make it seem like everything is alright.  I make some bad decisions...I walk the way I talk....  Just sad.  I liked LT as a player.    But this dude is messed up!

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:20 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Karma will catch up to your idiotic comments in due time..... Lord have mercy on your soul

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:53 pm

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Why is his wife still with him? Stupid woman.  Pray for him? No place in this, James- Stupid comment.  Overall: Who gives a crap about this guy? Stupid man

Since: Aug 9, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:31 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Some great athletes just are crummy people.  They need to stay off TV and talk radio, and not be sought out for interviews.  Just go lead your lives, try not to screw up too much, try not to hurt too many people along the way, and look at film and video of your playing days.  There is no way they can justify their behavior.  Look at Denny McLain, Art Schlister, and the rest of the chronic jail birds.  They are the extreme, I know.  I know there is a voyeur factor in listening to these guys try to explain their problems.  Hell, we all have problems.  After a while, just leave them alone. 

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2012 3:35 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Did anyone who also has smoked crack and been around it....could see that he was "high" on the TV show?  I thought he was.  Usually when people talk about something so personal and are being open about "it"....they mean it because they are experiencing "it" right then and there.  I looked at him and thought the brother is on it right now!

Since: Nov 24, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2012 12:29 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Very well said a great FB player and everybody makes mistakes. But to keep on making them and show no remorse. Done LT you need to shut up and go crawl out of the spot light Just like Mick vick i have a very hard time of that one also because of the things he personally did to those dogs 

Since: Oct 24, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 6:04 pm

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Cuse, I couldn't agree more.  It's a shame that all that physical talent that earns the big paycheck is blown by the stupid actions of individuals and not just football players.  Too bad it took LT this long to realize it

Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:07 pm

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

The bad decisions he makes just sort of happen. Are these the ramblings of a post-concussion syndrome sufferer?
He needs to get checked!

Since: Jun 7, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:49 pm

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Ok how is he still on TV and not in Jail???  Rapest

Since: Sep 29, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 2:48 pm

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

I think people have a hard time grasping how someone can be so great at his/her profession which they have been doing nearly all their life, and so incompetent when their playing career is over. LT was without a doubt my favorite player growing up, but now that Im old enough to realize how much of a moron he is I can seaprate the player from the person. The amazing thing is that his wife stayed with him.

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