NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, November 20, 2015, 6:00 AM
The leg has long healed, but even after all these years it’s still painful to watch Joe Theismann’s horrific, career-ending injury.
This week marked the 30th anniversary of that fateful play that took place on Nov. 18, 1985 and to this day is considered a benchmark of gruesome sports injuries.
A run-of-the-mill flea flicker went horribly wrong when charging Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor snatched Theismann from behind and unintentionally snapped the veteran Washington QB’s right leg in two while slamming him to the ground for the sack.
With a national TV Monday Night Football audience watching in horror, Taylor desperately motioned for doctors to help Theismann.
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But there was no saving his career, as Theismann would never play another NFL game as a result of the injuries suffered that night: compound fracture of the right leg (tibia and fibula).
Thirty years later, however, Theismann looks back at that fateful moment in a surprisingly positive light.
“It was not a tragedy… Actually, it was a blessing, because I had served my purpose,” Theismann said in a recent radio interview.
“I look at it this way: we all serve a purpose on this earth for the good Lord’s reasons. I’d served my purpose. I had become a nationally known individual. Now it was time to go out and talk to people about their lives, what are they doing, how can they help someone else. And for me, that’s what that night meant to me.”
That doesn’t mean he’d like to go through the ordeal again.
“The pain was excruciating. I’ve had people come up and say ‘Did it hurt?’ And my suggestion to anyone, if you want to know what it felt like, go hang your foot over a curb and let somebody drive a car over it and you’ll get an idea of the severity of it.”