A recent documentary on the life of Lawrence Taylor has turned up the heat on a longstanding feud between Taylor and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason.
Esiason, a New York-based radio host who played for the Bengals, Jets, and Cardinals and works on Sundays for CBS, made an appearance in the Showtime (a CBS affiliate) production on Taylor. Esiason reiterated during his interview the widespread belief that the Giants and coach Bill Parcells coddled the hard-charging and fast-living Taylor.
Taylor, who has railed in the past about criticism from Esiason, didn’t like it.
“What the hell you got Boomer Esiason on something that — a piece you do of me? We can’t stand each other, he don’t know a f–k about me. What the hell’s he doing on it?” Taylor told Sid Rosenberg of 640 WMEN radio.
“First of all, Boomer’s a dickhead,” Taylor added. “Hey, listen. I remember when he was there running the streets, screwing all kind of hoes. Don’t give me that holier than thou sh-t. I don’t wanna hear that sh-t. . . . He gets off on it. He’s still talking about me. I ain’t talking about him.”
(We received the raw copy, without bleeps. Apparently, some or all of the choicest words were dropped from the broadcast.)
As best we can tell, Boomer started talking about Taylor on a big platform nearly 10 years ago, when 60 Minutes was promoting a Lawrence Taylor profile.
“This is not the NFL that I played in,” Esiason said on The NFL Today. “[Taylor] talks about how he circumvented the NFL’s drug testing policy by using other players’ urine. That is an affront. The fact that he shouldn’t even been playing because he would have failed the drug test in the first place . . . I have a 12-year-old at home. He wants to ask me about what is crack cocaine?”
The remarks (which perhaps show that Von Miller has far more in common with Lawrence Taylor than simply playing ability) sparked a reaction from Deion Sanders, which then pulled Dan Marino into the fray.
“We didn’t do anything … [when we played]?” Sanders said. “I did a lot of things that I’m not proud of. And I admit to it. Some people didn’t do anything. I’m so fortunate to sit up here with guys that never done anything wrong.”
We’ve all done something of which we aren’t proud. But L.T. seemed to be living at the extreme end of the spectrum, where doing something other than something wrong was the exception, not the rule.
And is it a shock that he was coddled? That’s the way the NFL works. Along with every other professional or amateur sport.
The better the player, the more leeway he gets. Taylor was one of the best ever, which gave him a fairly broad radius for raising hell.
It’s not a knock on Parcells or the Giants that they gave him plenty of rope. Any other team or coach with a commitment to winning would have done the same thing.