While I was busy Wednesday talking to the greatest Jet of them all about his appearance on HBO, the greatest Giant of them all was busy on Showtime giving a strange, interesting interview.
Highlights of Lawrence Taylor's sitdown here, courtesy of Showtime/CBS p.r., in which he discussed his arrest and subsequent guilty plea for having sexual relations with an underaged girl:
On his 2010 arrest:
TAYLOR: 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: What was I thinking? 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.
TAYLOR: 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: 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.
TAYLOR: It’s just another experience and I’ve been through a lot of different things in my life and it’s a growing experience. There are times where I get really, really depressed but, thank God, there are a lot of people out there who still believe in me. And they show me every day.
TAYLOR: There is always a heart desire to do the right thing. Nobody wants to go out here – especially a proud guy like myself, I’m not looking to go out here and do something against somebody else or hurt somebody else…but stuff happens, things happen. You get in a car accident, or things happen, and I understand life happens. I understand that. And I just wish that I could have an easier road in life. Because as easy as football is to me…is as hard as life is to me. I’m just hopeful that life will come easier.
On what happened the day of the arrest:
TAYLOR: This is an under-age girl but all I could do is ask the question, how old are you? That’s all I could do. That’s all I could do is ask the question. Now, whether or not the girl was under-age, yes, okay, she turned out to be under-age. I’m sitting in the dadgum police station and wondering, ‘Oh wow, what time am I going to be let out of here? If I can play golf, I’ve got a tee time at 7 o’clock.’ I didn’t realize how serious it was until we sat down and had an interview. But regardless… regardless, if I asked her the question, I’m still responsible for that. And I understand that process or the law. I understand that. And all I can do is just say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to learn from your experiences.’ …That’s one thing I’ve done. I’ve taken the long road on a lot of different things. I’ve taken the long road, you know like when I had my drug problem. Yeah, I’ve been clean for almost 13 years now but it took me a while. I had to learn…I took the long road. And this is another thing that I’m just going to have to take my medicine and live with my punishment, whatever that is.
On the state of defense today in the NFL:
TAYLOR: They still play defense? They still play defense in the NFL? I didn’t know that. I thought it was a free-for-all. Everybody just run, run, run. The only people I see playing defense right now is the New York Giants defensive line. Those are the only people playing football… because they bring it.
TAYLOR: How do you instill fear into a player if you can’t make contact – I mean serious contact – with him? Guys, we used to hit where guys would be blowing snot bubbles. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s how you make a player scared to play you. When I was playing back in the days, I always prided myself on being a very clean player but thorough. When I went through you, I went through you. I want to go through because that’s how you make people say, ‘Well, I really don’t want to be hit by him so many times.