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Lawrence Taylor

Off The Gridiron

Though he was a phenomenal success on the field, off the field Taylor's troubles would escalate. LT became well known in the New York media for complaining about the city and its pressures. This was not the relationship he wanted with the press when, with the success, money, and pressures of life in the NFL taking its toll, Taylor would sink into substance abuse.

He handled the pressures of success by turning to his old college habits—and then some. Drinking heavily ("Lawrence could put away a case in a night," friend Joseph Cale told the Washington Post), staying out late, and lacking discipline, his performance on the field, though still outstanding, looked, in the mid-eighties, to be slipping. Then word got out that Taylor was abusing cocaine.

Awards and Accomplishments

1981 East-West Shrine All-Star Team
1981 Japan Bowl All-Star Team
1981 Consensus All-American
1981 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year
1982 NFL Player Association NFC Linebacker of the Year
1982 Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
1982 Bell Trophy (the season's top rookie)
1982-83, 1986 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year
1982-84, 1986 Seagram's Seven Crowns of Sports Award
1982-91 NFL Pro Bowl team
1983, 1985-86 NFL All-Pro Team
1983, 1986 United Press International NFC Defensive Player of the Year
1986 Professional Football Writers of America NFL Player of the Year
1989 Associated Press All-Pro Team
1989 United Press International All-NFC Team
1989 Professional Football Writers of America All-Pro Team
1989 All-NFL team
1994 NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
1999 Pro Football Hall of Fame

Where Is He Now?

Inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999, Taylor continues to work at getting his life back on track, and, like most who have battled substance abuse problems, every day is a struggle. He has had parts recently in movies such as The Waterboy (1997), Shaft (2000), and Any Given Sunday, a 1999 film he had a larger part in. The movie starred Jamie Foxx and Al Pacino, and was, as Roger Ebert put it, "A smart sports movie swamped by production overkill." Oliver Stone directed the film, and Taylor has a strong supporting role. Taylor has also done voices for video games, one of the most recent is "Grand Theft Auto."

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsFootballLawrence Taylor Biography - Growing Up, Limited College Opportunities, Chronology, The Next Level, Searching For Greener Pastures - SELECTED WRITINGS BY TAYLOR: