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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Comments

Since: Apr 22, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:16 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

four cops to take down a 150 pound man on coke. You have been watching way too much tv.



Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:08 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

The heart of the matter is how ineffectual the NFL and NCAA is able to train and educate these young men. Taylor says it himself "tell yourself to be a man, boy." The majority of these star players grow up without money, without guidance, without key influential people in their lives. And yet, we get on here and call them losers and detriments to society but we are all guilty of putting them on a pedestal because they can crush another man and pound him into the dirt. Regardless of when it happens, the best outcome would be to see and so many others learn from the mistakes and be mentors to the young players to reverse this trend in professional sports.



Since: Apr 14, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:00 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

I watched the interview last night and I was a huge LT fan. I am not going to make any excuses for him. It is a shame what happened to him after his football career was over. Just remember that these guys are human and they make mistakes like the rest of us. With that said, I threw away my vintage LT jersey because I could no longer look up to one of my childhood idols.

I hope he makes positive changes in his life so we can remember him more for what he did on the field instead of the drugs and the most recent charges of having sex with an underaged prostitute.





Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 8:58 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

for a lot of players, especially the ones from small towns, as soon as it was established that they could play football at a high level - they could get away with whatever they wanted and someone would cover up their mess. they never really learned to function as a regular member of society, and abide  by the rules that the rest of us follow. I don't know if that is true of Lawrence Taylor - but it sure looks like it



Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 8:35 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Football was easy because you were coke'd up all the time. This registered sex offender is a fraud it takes four cops to take down 150 pound homeless man high on cocaine, imagine a 240 pound man with pads on. He is a embarrassment to the Gaints, the NFL and to the Hall of Fame.



Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 8:06 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Another  BOO HOO!!!! feel sorry for me.  Another shameless promotion for the sinking show on Showtime. 



Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:29 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

I hope LT is getting some help because doing coke and seeking out prostitutes, especially ones that are young girls, is a lot deeper than "making bad decisions." These are very damaging addictions. It's also interesting to see that he actually intimates that all this was going on while he played, but he could get away with it. That only furthered his addictions, so while football gave him fame it also set the table for his disastrous life.



Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 5:10 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

Say what you want, this jerk belongs behind bars, the pampered self-pity of it all just stuns you. This guy will only get worse.



Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:31 am
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

that is a true statement of anybody that is good at their job. when you get to pld to do what you love, like all of a sudden takes turns that a person doesnt understand anf doesnt like..



Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:22 pm
 

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

say what you want about him the man re defined the LB position!


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