The Giant is a Midget

One of the strangest and most poignant moments of my career came in the mid-90s. 

Joanne Nesti, Brad Field, Beasley Reece and I were doing a 10pm newscast on the old Channel 20 (a proud affiliate of the United Paramount Network).

Our friend Beasley Reece choked up on the air and couldn’t continue his sportscast.  He had to report on a friend in trouble, and he just couldn’t do it.

That friend was Lawrence Taylor.  The arrest, at that time, was for drugs.

Beasley cared deeply about his friend.  He had tried his best to steer him away from trouble and temptation, but there was only so much he could do. 

So I was thinking of Beasley when I saw Lawrence Taylor on the FOX News Channel Tuesday, fresh off being sentenced to six years probation for having sex with a prostitute.  A 16-year-old prostitute.

Taylor was trying to put the usual celebrity spin on his predicament, and couldn’t have done a worse job of it.  The look on Shep Smith’s face said it all.  It’s all here if you’re so inclined

I don’t know what kind of relationship Beasley and Taylor have these days.  But I found myself hoping he wasn’t watching.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in News, Noticed, People, Sports and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Giant is a Midget

  1. Beckie says:

    Sounds like LT & Charlie Sheen should get together and go bowling. So sad.
    I can’t imagine what the families are going through. It’s difficult enough to live with an addict, but to do so in the spotlight has to be horrible.

  2. Li'l Em-Kel says:

    What we have here is a failure to communicate. Why Shepard Smith interviewed Lawrence Taylor re his conviction is a mystery to me.

    Taylor made his living, and a lot of other people’s livings, butting heads, knocking people down, and getting knocked down. This was his world and it probably reflected to a great degree the kind of upbringing he experienced. Prostitutes and drugs were probably part of his environment for most of his life, especially his professional life. He likely saw nothing particularly wrong about any of it. As a result he is astonished and nonplussed by Smith’s naive questions.

    Smith, on the other hand, does not share Taylor’s background (I don’t think). He asks questions a high school kid might ask and is mortified at Taylor’s lack of contrition or even concern. He cannot understand why Taylor’s moral code doesn’t match his own.

    Neither one of these guys had any idea what the other was talking about. I don’t think Taylor was lying or trying to conceal anything, but Smith was a bit disingenuous in trying to tease out some prurient details from a guy who just didn’t think anything prurient happened.

    Taylor admitted what he did, acknowledged that there was a law against it (though he may not see the reason for the law), and is willing to accept his punishment. What do you want from the guy?

    • Gerry says:

      I don’t want anything from him, Li’l Em, though I do think he should shut the f**k up.

      This was just another case of a celebrity and the media using each other.

      Taylor’s “people” apparently decided he had to get out there and win back the hearts of his devoted fans. And apparently they decided FOX and Smith were the best venue. Wrong. And wrong.

      • Li'l Em-Kel says:

        My question was, of course, rhetorical. And I agree wholeheartedly with your third paragraph.

        I’m saying that neither Smith nor Taylor seems to realize that reality also exists outside of their own personal cocoons. This makes for a pointless and unsatisfying interview.

        Smith: You did a bad thing.

        Taylor: Not really. It happens all the time.

        Smith: You should be ashamed.

        Taylor: I’m not.

        Smith: What kind of low-life are you?

        Taylor: You tell me.

        Smith: In other news . . .

      • Gerry says:

        I’m saying that neither Smith nor Taylor seems to realize that reality also exists outside of their own personal cocoons. This makes for a pointless and unsatisfying interview.

        I’m saying that neither Smith nor Taylor seems to realize that reality also exists outside of their own personal cocoons. This makes for a pointless and unsatisfying interview.

        This is so true…and so typical of celebrity “gets” by the media…that I had to paste it twice!

  3. Barb says:

    I was in the booth that night, and think of you and Jo & especially Bease every time I see a story about L.T.. And sadly, there’s always another story.
    This one –including the shameful interview – almost makes the drugs seem quaint and old-fashioned.

  4. Mary says:

    Perfectly said Gerry, wrong & wrong, trying to put a spin on it, and thinking we are dumb enough to go along with it. As a diehard Giants fan ( by marriage ) I won’t remember what he did wearing big blue, I’ll remember how he tried to manipulate his actions. As for his upbringing, at some point you have to have a conscious.

  5. Terry says:

    He should have just taken his punishment and went away- far away… yikes. What is up with Fox even asking him for interview!!?? What don’t I understand?? Sounds like they were asking him for his “tips on prostitution”.

  6. Good stuff to throw on the table for discussion. Li’l em scores some good points here. Most sportscasters ( Marv Alpert excluded ) don’t have the street smarts and cred to have a valid opinion on the bizarre behaviors of athletes they cover. It’s like Wolf Blitzer taking notes and trying to do a two minute report after spending an hour in that bar scene in Star Wars. Two different worlds.

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