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: Aug 6, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 2:41 pm

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Seriously!?!?!  The Giants go to the Super Bowl and they retread this Grade "A" a$$-wipe!!  Yeah, yeah..... HOF player!  Well he is, also, a HOF druggie, HOF child molester (right, she said she was 18), and HOF MORON!!!  Go away, LT!!

Since: Dec 3, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:35 pm

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

As a die hard G-Men fan, LT's heroics will always be great memories.  Greatest Giant ever, in my opinion. But, I have to be fair - the guy's kind of a piece of crap.  No true remorse, no indication he'll ever truly change.  His offenses have not just been those concerning his own demons.  Personal responsibility is a foreign concept to guys like him.  LT, thanks for the countless memories, but I got rid of your jersey and posters long ago - I just can't explain to my own young kids why a guy who's made so many CRIMINAL decisions over the years deserves glorification.  No one's perfect, I wish you well, but I don't want to hear about it any more.  I wear Carl Banks's jersey instead.

Since: Apr 15, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:02 pm

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

"Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that, ‘Hey, I’m a chronic bad person.'"

Fair enough LT...then how about I say it for you?  You are a "chronic bad person." Oh yeah, and on more than your fair share of occassions, you  have also been an acutely bad person.

Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:51 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

The guys made some knuckle head moves, but agreed he does seem kind of lost.  Hope it works out for him because I'd love to hear some more stories from him as he gets older.  I'm sure he's got some good ones!

Could you imagine a team with R.Lewis on the inside and LT on the outside?  QB's would need to wear Depends.   Surprised

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:43 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Hard not to sympatize for LT.  He was the greatest linebacker.   I'm from Tidewater Virginia and he is from our area , went to Carolina to play and then to the NFL and the Giants.  I have followed him since he was in high school.   I hope he gets his life straight and perhaps he could be an inspiration to others that have the same additions he has battled.   Just a shame.   But as they say ... Life is hard, but God is good.  He needs to remember that and try to walk the right path from now on.  Good luck LT.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:15 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Judas Priest! I saw the interview last night & I didn't hear LT blame anyone, if anything he came across as strange, insecure, confused, & not really sorry or not sure of what to actually say when addressing the questions.
Many people have a very tough time trying to say what they actually mean to say. I'd put LT in that category.

I'd say there were two people sitting there last night on Inside the NFL, Lawrence Taylor the man, & LT the NFL HOF Football persona who was bigger than life, on & off the field. A battle of two people in one body.

I don't know LT, but he ain't the only NFL player to live it up off the field, players are still doing it today. Always have, always will.

Like all skilled athletes, people have been looking the other way for LT his whole life. When the game stops, the problems start.

All athletes, ESPECIALLY black athletes should know by now that there's a line of people waiting to cash in on them & don't give two sh*ts in the wind what happens to them as human beings. They're just big, fast meat puppets.
I agree with Jim Brown that all athletes should make sure to take care of themselves first and not just jump at the easy street, but many overlook becoming well rounded individuals in favor of the big money, fast cars & women that come with the lifestyle of being a pro athlete. Sad but true.

There are some coaches along the way who care about the human being inside the player, but many only care about what the player can do for them.
At the end of the day, players should be smart enough to look out for #1, cause it's what everyone else along the way is doing.

Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:59 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Agreed football, probably the best ever to Linebacker.  
Taking ownership with personal problems starts with LT.   He can surpass all the problems in his past and move forward and be a productive person in society.    I recommend Coaching somewhere.

Media reports are 24 / 7 now so stars in the lime light even past but mostly fallen stars.

commending is easy --- forgiveness is harder to attain.


Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:30 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

People can hate on LT because of his personal life all they want, but I try to focus on the football field and what he's done in his personal life doesn't diminish that at all.

He is one of the top 5 players of all time to line up on the defensive side of the ball.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:41 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

In the wide right super bowl watched him take tape off his hand and enter the defensive huddle only to come out of it wiping white stuff from his nose.Right there on the field. Also the only player to get juiced on the bench. Same game. 7 minutes or so in the game. No time to go to the locker room to get the needle.Must have been15 guys around him so the cameras couldn't catch it. Trotted out on the field and made a huge play. i admired the guy more for getting his life together after football than as a player. However he's a piece of shit and that's how he'll be remembered.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:37 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

He should be thanking his lucky stars that he had a football career, otherwise he would have just been another statistic as a young, black male in jail. Football saved him from that fate, for now. Some can say that he should have pity and that we don't provide them education and a means to do well, but I say BS. Yes, I'm white, but I grew up poor in a ghetto around many minorities and was offered the exact same opportunities that they were. I could have chose to run with a gang, knock up some chick and leave her, but I didn't. I went to the crappy schools and worked to educate myself beyond what they offered me. I went to college, got a degree, and moved out of the ghetto. My family and my culture encouraged me to do this. My parents were responsible and encouraged my education, they didn't allow me to go out and gang bang. They didn't glorify violence and ghetto life, they told me to work hard to get out of it. The problem isn't with opportunities for these guys, it's because they choose not to take them unless they are an easy way out, and their families and culture are not responsible. Don't blame anyone but LT, he's at total fault here. Let him be a lesson to all those other poor boys in the ghetto where the lack of self discipline can get you. There is too much shifting of blame among some cultures of the poor. You see other cultures in the same condition and they don't react this way. Take responsibility for yourselves and quit shifting blame people, the only one who is responsible for your actions is you.

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