Lawrence Taylor and Mariano Rivera are two of the most successful and most popular athletes in New York history. Taylor brought unmatched intensity and passion to the linebacker position while Rivera has always maintain his even-keeled demeanor for his 15 years worth of dominance. Both men were honored for achievements on Monday (Rivera for his save record, Taylor for his appearance with the 1986 Giants), but no one will mistake the paths that these two took prior to Monday’s events.

No One Wants To See LT Like This--Cmon Man!--AP Photo

1. Lawrence Taylor is the best defensive player in the history of the NFL. In 1986 alone, Taylor recorded 20.5 sacks, won the MVP award, and became a Super Bowl Champion. Busy year, right? The ten-time Pro Bowler is regarded by many as a Top 3-5 player of all-time. He was that damn good of a player.

However, Taylor’s off the field issues with drugs, alcohol, and the law have¬†overshadowed¬†all of his accolades. More recently, Taylor plead guilty to having ‘relations’ with a minor. The same LT that quarterbacks feared during the 1980s-90s is a conflicted felon and a registered sex offender. The player that so many Giants fans looked up to is a sex offender. And yet, people were going crazy for LT on Monday night.

Look, I get that Giant fans love LT the football player and they should. However, loving LT the man is near impossible. He is not a sensible human being and constantly finds himself in trouble. Will this ever end?

After analyzing a player who can’t seem to keep his nose clean, let’s focus on a player who has flown under the radar for his entire career, Mariano Rivera.

For me, Rivera has to be one of the most under-rated players I’ve ever seen. We all know he’s the best, yadda, yadda, yadda. But the Yankees don’t have any of those five shiny rings without Rivera’s lockd own ability in the ninth inning. As fans got more and more accustomed to Mo’s dominance, his success really hasn’t surprised anyone as fans and coaches are more concerned about A-Rod’s health and Jeter’s image. Mo just takes the ball in the ninth inning, throws a few pitches and hits the showers knowing he saved the game.

Rivera has never in any legal trouble and has never caused an issue within the Yankee clubhouse. Mo just takes the ball and does his job well, night in and night out. No girls. No drugs. No alcohol.

We live in a society where temptations are always apparent. The strong minded individuals will rise above and not participate in any foolish activites. The ones who are not strong minded will be sucked into this mess. I hope you witnessed this true-life examples on Monday and make smart decisions for yourself and your family.