Feb. 4 birthday: Lawrence Taylor

Rosa Parks was born 100 years ago today. So that probably trumps all other American birthdays.Lawrence Taylor was actually the second pick in the 1981 NFL Draft -- behind Heisman Trophy running back George Rogers. Apparently, Bum Phillips -- who was coaching and basically running the Saints -- did not want Taylor, for whatever reasons. It should be said that the Saints did not exactly miss with that first pick. Rogers led the NFL with 1,674 rushing yards his rookie year, and he would have four 1,000-yard seasons in New Orleans and Washington. He was a big and bruising runner with speed, so he certainly was no bust.It's just that Taylor was a revolutionary player. Right away, he dominated -- he was defensive rookie of the year AND defensive player of the year in 1981. There have been only a handful of players in sports who literally changed the way a game is played. I'd actually be curious who you think have been those players in various sports … but I would say most people agree that Taylor changed the game. He wasn't the first linebacker to be used as a blitzing weapon, but it's probably true that no linebacker had ever blitzed so often and that he disrupted quarterbacks passing more than any linebacker before him.

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