We here on the stoop, we love debate. You present your case, someone else gives their opinion, and you have to be ready to think on your feet and be able to formulate arguments on the fly.
When you think about it, just about anything can be debated: DiMaggio vs. Williams, Republican vs. Socialists, (I mean Democrats), and Creation vs. Evolution. You can even debate whether a nation should go to war.
Plausible arguments for each side can be made in any of the above debates. (That's not to say there is no right or wrong in the issues above, just that reasonable arguments can be put forth.)
However there is one subject that is beyond debate. It is unquestioned. I have never heard anybody dispute it. And if they ever did, they would expose themselves as a Madoff-type level of fraudster.
Here is the statement that is beyond debate:
Lawrence Taylor is the best defensive player in the history of football.
Think about it: have you ever heard anyone ever say : "So and So is better than LT"? It's never been said in my presence. I have never read any football writer write it. I have never heard any broadcaster say it. I have never heard any whacked- out sports radio host or caller proclaim it.
Its the one indisputable fact in American sports. And it even transcends sports.
Lawrence was Babe Ruth in a Giant Jersey on the defensive side of the ball. He did things every Sunday that no man has done, before or since.
In a sport that requires 22 participants on each play, Lawrence stood out on every play like he was Wilt Chamberlain in a police lineup filled with midgets.
When you watched a Giant game on television in the 80's, Lawrence was High Definition TV 25 years before its time, and the other 21 players were in black & white, and you had to adjust the rabbit ears antenna to see them.
You know how when you look at sports highlights from 30-40 years ago, the athletes, being products of their era, look slower & weaker? That does not apply to LT. His highlights stand the test of time.
You know how one bright guy figured out why not put a washer & dryer together? LT was the first football player to simultaneously viciously sack a quarterback and go for the strip. Until LT, guys tried to either tackle the QB or attempt to strip the ball away from him. LT DID BOTH. AT THE SAME TIME.
He would chase down the fastest of running backs, and beat down the strongest of Redskin Hogs. When he crept up to the line, his ability to intimidate QB's was so legendary, if he walked into a Monday Night Football broadcast booth today, Ron Jarwowski would forget the names of the teams playing, as well as down and distance.
The Giants defense with LT went something like this: the ball was snapped, and 2.5 seconds later, bodies were scattered all over the ground, like a tremendous train crash had taken place. Thank you, LT.
I often feel cheated when I thin that as a fan, I got to watch Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe slightly after their prime. But then I think I got to watch LT's whole career, from '81 thru '93. What do I have to complain about?
After all, I got to see the greatest defensive football player of all time.
And there is no debate about that.