Thursday, May 6, 2010

On L.T.

 For what it's worth, I researched and wrote a few pages about Lawrence Taylor in my new book.* For those who are too young to remember, or were simply unaware, his history of bad behavior is pretty remarkable; in college, he scaled six-story buildings, knocked out car windows, took bites out of glasses and chewed them, and drank cases of beer in a single night. He drove a gold Mercedes and blew through toll booths at full speed. His cocaine paranoia was so bad at one point that he apparently staked out the woods of his New Jersey home, seeking out interlopers who didn't exist. He simply didn't buy into the antiquated notion of athletes as role models; he didn't even pretend. If I may be so indulgent as to quote myself:

Here was a man who could handle anything, an athlete who embodied the id of the decade, who seemingly lived his life by Ronald Reagan's 1980 inaugural declaration that the era of self-doubt had ended.

These days, it can seem surprising and off-putting when a carefully managed professional athlete's bad behavior trickles into public view. But Taylor was a new breed of athlete, a product of the '80's, one whose entire career was based on a lack of self-control, both in public and in private. In fact, he actively spoke of defying the establishment; he never really cared about the consequences. And, if these latest allegations are true, it appears he still doesn't.

*Pre-orders welcome.

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