Ever see a guy on crack? It’s…scary. Ever have a guy on crack running after you at full speed trying to drag you to the ground? Also…scary.
I watched part of Mark McGuire’s interview with Bob Costas the other night and while I felt a tiny bit bad for his family – the bottom line is, Mark McGuire cheated. He and the other steroid users put a substance into their bodies that enabled them to do things they likely couldn’t have done without it. They cheated.
But after watching for just a few minutes, Bob Costas’ out of control sports knowledge made my mind wander. It wandered until it stumbled upon a question I’ve considered before: did Lawrence Taylor use a performance enhancing drug during his playing days? I think he did. The only real difference between what McGuire did and what Lawrence Taylor did was that they used different performance enhancing drugs. McGuire used steroids and Taylor used cocaine (and eventually crack). Generally, cocaine is not considered a “performance enhancing” drug but for a linebacker in the NFL, I sure think it ought to be.
Lawrence Taylor revolutionized the position of outside linebacker. He was absolutely brutish, reckless, relentless…and he was everywhere. He was incredibly effective. He was easily one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history if not THE greatest. When I was a kid I watched a few Giant games on TV (like the Joe Theisman leg-snap game) - and I remember the cameras would focus in at times on Taylor’s eyes. Now that I’m older, I realize that his weren’t the eyes of a man feeding off of natural adrenaline but instead the eyes of a guy who was likely hopped up on cocaine.
If there is one position in all sports where a guy could benefit from the use of cocaine or crack, it would be linebacker in the NFL. Taylor was busted twice for using cocaine and crack DURING the season. I can’t claim to know for sure if Taylor was high during games, but considering he was busted more than once, he admitted to using the urine of teammates for drug tests and considering that he played the wild style of football he did, I would say it’s quite likely. So why hasn’t more been made of the possibility that the cocaine/crack use enhanced his play? That it helped him maintain his trademark frenzied style of play? Does he deserve an asterisk or two next to some of his amazing stats? Should he even be in the Hall of Fame?
What do you think?