At halftime of the New York Giants home opener, a special ceremony was conducted to honor the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Giants Super Bowl team. Among those on hand included head coach Bill Parcells, quarterback Jeff Hostetler, running back Ottis Anderson, tight end Mark Bavaro, linebacker Carl Banks and many other fan favorites from that beloved squad
The most notable star from that team, Lawrence Taylor, had some interesting thoughts about the current conundrum facing defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and his injured right hand.
While Taylor downplayed the significance of JPP’s amputated index finger, the Hall of Fame linebacker admitted that a mutilated thumb is a whole other story.
"I don't think the index finger is that important," Taylor noted. "The most important thing is the thumb. If your thumb is damaged — and I know how it is when you have a damaged thumb– that's no good.
Taylor acknowledged that he hasn’t been monitoring the Pierre-Paul saga intently, but he understands the impact that a damaged thumb could have on the pass-rusher’s future in the NFL.
"The index finger, I think he can fight through that," Taylor stated. "He might not have the grabbing but he can still slap and swim and still tackle. But if your thumb is bad, that is very hard to play with."
The two-time Super Bowl champion didn’t pretend to impress with his medical know-how, but spoke from personal experience trying to play with serious thumb issues.
"I am not a doctor but listen, try to pick up a glass without a thumb," Taylor offered. "You can't grab anybody without your thumb. And when you go to tackle, if your thumb keeps falling south, you are going to miss a lot of tackles. Of all the extensions on your hand, the thumb is the most important."
A small group of reporters gathered around Taylor at the New York Giants Legacy Club, and ironically the 10-time Pro Bowler answered a question about his own legacy in Taylor’s patented style.
"I don't really give a f---," Taylor told Rick Laughland of TheGiantsBeat.com. "I played hard and played clean. From 8 [a.m.] to 4 [p.m.], I am going to work hard. And from 5 to whatever, I am going to play hard. And that is part of life."
Taylor, 56, brought the capacity crowd at MetLife Stadium to its feet as he reunited with fellow teammates and coaches on the field. Twenty-five years after capturing the Lombardy Trophy, Taylor wanted to savior the moment as he didn’t know when he’d be back at the Meadowlands.
“I think this is my last hurrah in this stadium," Taylor said. "Because hey, I damn sure won't be here for the 50-year reunion."