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On the Messy Life of Todd Marinovich

Two years ago I made fun of Todd Marinovich because he was picked up for skateboarding where he shouldn’t have and then got busted for felony drug charges. If my count is accurate, the former USC and Raiders quarterback has been arrested nine time, mostly for drugs. Much like Josh Hamilton or Dock Ellis, anytime a talented athlete is derailed by drugs or accomplishes a lot with drugs, we make a big deal of it. That, along with Todd’s Robo QB history, makes him so intriguing.

As Deadspin pointed out to me, Esquire did an in-depth feature on Marinovich. If you’re at all interested, I suggest taking the 30 minutes to read it. You’ll get to read some crazy things and find out more about the guy. For example, I didn’t realize that Todd was groomed to be USC’s QB not only because of his dad, but also because of his father in law and entire family’s tie to SC. Anyway, some of the most absurd stories from Marinovich’s life were touched on in the piece. Here are a few of those excerpts (warning, language and subject matter is strong):

As a baby, Todd was fed only fresh vegetables, fruits, and raw milk; when he was teething, he was given frozen kidneys to gnaw. As a child, he was allowed no junk food; Trudi sent Todd off to birthday parties with carrot sticks and carob muffins. By age three, Marv had the boy throwing with both hands, kicking with both feet, doing sit-ups and pull-ups, and lifting light hand weights. On his fourth birthday, Todd ran four miles along the ocean’s edge in thirty-two minutes, an eight-minute-mile pace.

At the conclusion of Raider training camp that summer, as tradition dictated, the first draft pick threw a party. Todd had gone twenty-fourth in the first round and signed a three-year, $2.25 million deal, including a $1 million signing bonus. He rented a ranch and hired a company that did barbecue on a huge grill on a flatbed truck. He turned the barn into a stadium with hay-bale seating. He hired strippers, ten white and ten black. The grand finale: three porn stars with double-headed dildos. “They say in the history of the Raiders, it was the best rookie party ever,” Todd says.

Todd returned to football for the last time in the spring of 2000 — a mercurial stint with the Los Angeles Avengers in the Arena Football League. His first year, he tied the record for most touchdowns in a single game despite undergoing severe heroin withdrawal; after shitting his pants during warm-ups, he came out and threw ten touchdowns to win a game against the Houston Thunderbears.

Believe me, that’s only a sample of the madness! This guy was a full-blown junkie. It’s amazing how professional athletes can be that messy yet still play. How do the people around them not realize what they’re doing? There’s definitely no question why he didn’t make it. What a mess.



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  • SpinMax

    Holy crap! so to speak :/