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By Mark F. Gray

No matter how it plays out in the judicial system there is one thing for certain. Lawrence Taylor is guilty of making bad decisions period. The demons of drug addiction should never be trivialized but his escapade with an underage prostitute is the latest lapse in judgment that has tarnished his reputation and embarrassed the NFL shield again.

The Taylor episode is sad, troubling, and downright bootleg when you contemplate all that has gone wrong here. This is a man that was the closest thing to the King Of New York since Christopher Walken. Taylor was loved by fans and a voracious media in Gotham City that loves to bring celebrities down. He was The Lion King of New York athletes from the mid-80’s through the mid-90’s. His career was the extended run at the Meadowlands that always played to rave reviews every season.

Now those same reviews have been replaced by disgust, cynicism, and shame. Even the most diehard New York Giants fans and L.T. supporters find themselves scratching their heads and looking for answers. How does an all time great who seems to have everything again after almost blowing it all put himself in position to lose it again? In the 1991 NFC title game it was Taylor who forced Roger Craig of the San Francisco 49’ers into a fumble as they were running out the clock to seal that game which ultimately set up their victory over the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl. However, this time Taylor has fumbled away his reputation with a real life turnover.

Anybody with ghetto sensibility training sees that there is more than a 60 percent chance that he was set up by a felonious pimp. Not to condone soliciting especially when one is married, however, if that is your penchant then it stands to reason that you should at least know your pimp. Taylor, never the sharpest knife in the drawer anyhow, must have gone to the clearance rack for his facilitator and now finds himself in the costly position of losing all public credibility.

The story has taken so many twists and turns since it broke from changes in the alleged victim’s age to whether she was a hostage or a runaway. If she had been missing since March and was staying with the felonious pimp and only escapes after performing sex acts with Taylor, the question has to be asked, “What took you so long to escape?”

However, at this stage Taylor should have known better than to put himself into a position where he entertained such a transaction. It was a can’t win situation where he gave into a temptation by falling back into the mindset of invincibility that continues to bring athletes – particularly football players – down. Just because you can avoid blockers and wreak havoc on the gridiron doesn’t mean you can’t be clipped by those with more street game than you.

For as great a player as Lawrence Taylor was his hall of fame legacy is now irrevocably tarnished. His latest transgression has landed him at number two on the all time HOF screw up list – just one spot below O.J. Simpson.

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