Saturday, November 20, 2010

Twenty-five Years Ago

Their paths diverged from here

Thursday night was an important night for former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. It was his second game as color analyst for the NFL Network's Thursday games, Joe had been out of the game game since getting shitcanned by ESPN after the 2006 season in favor of Ron Jaworski on Monday Night Football. Up to that moment Joe Theismann had been a color commentator for NFL games dating back to 1988, an eighteen year streak that ESPN had to end because Tony Kornheiser is a whiny brat that does not get along with anybody and whom the network mistakenly thought was carrying the broadcast.

How ESPN later canned Tony for another football guy in Jon Gruden tells you all you need to know about how wrong the network was to stick with that loser for so long.

Frankly though Ron and Jon does not work for me either, it is one hardcore football mind in that booth too many and with Jon trying to keep his options open for another coaching gig someday the posturing by that guy in the booth is enough to make me sugar vomit.

But I digress, that is not really the point, nor is Joe Theismann getting back in the booth for live games really the occasion of importance in Joe's life.

Twenty-five years ago Thursday night, 18 November 1985, was the night Lawrence Taylor broke Joe Theismann's leg live on Monday Night Football in one of the most gruesome career ending injuries that has ever been witnessed in football.

Joe's football career was ended that night, Lawrence went on to make the Pro Bowl that season, and every year for the next five seasons, he would win two Super Bowls, be named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team and to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. A first ballot Hall of Famer, Lawrence's number is one of only eleven retired by the Giants, a team that has been in existence since 1925.

Three years after his injury, Joe Theismann resumed his football career in broadcasting, becoming ubiquitous in the sport for better or for worse. Lawrence Taylor turned to partying and drugs and a hard lifestyle, while a player he tested positive twice for cocaine, legend has it only the threat of a lifetime ban for a third positive forced him to quit.

After retiring he did lots of drugs and became the shady character that goes with the lifestyle, he was arrested twice for trying to buy from undercover officers and went through rehab at least twice in the 1990s. He lost lots of money in bad investments and became a caricature of himself in pop culture. Last year he was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident then this year it got worse, he was arrested for statutory rape of a sixteen year old admitted prostitute, he is facing trial on these charges. In a sign times are tough for Lawrence, he went to court, or rather technically did not go to court, to try and get child support payments for his twelve year old daughter by his first wife reduced.

Kind of seems like Joe Theismann got the better of that whole deal from 1985. Not judging, just saying.

The immediate aftermath of Lawrence Taylor's career ending hit on Joe Theismann: George Gojkovich / Getty Images from here.




Joe and RGIII were in town tonight chatting football --- we wish them well