What Might Have Been...
The travails of former USC and Raider quarterback Todd Marinovich have, once again, taken a turn for the worse. Last week he was arrested again, this time for a violation of his probation. This photo is his recent booking photo.
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
Here are some headlines we MIGHT have seen over the past two decades:
"Marinovich guides Trojans to national championship, wins Heisman Trophy as a sophomore"
"Marinovich leads Trojans to second championship, repeats as Heisman winner as junior"
"Marinovich jumps to NFL following outstanding junior year- signs with Raiders"
"Marinovich Rookie of the Year after guiding Raiders to first Super Bowl victory in a decade"
"Marinovich named NFL MVP for 6th time"
"Marinovich breaks Marino's passing record"
"Marinovich named to Pro Football Hall of Fame on first ballot"
Instead, we've seen the following headlines:
"Bred To Be A Superstar"
"Todd Marinovich Was Raised for Football Glory, but a Cocaine Bust and a Sacking by His Coach Mar the Dream"
"Marinovich saga fails to go by script"
"Ex-USC quarterback Marinovich arrested in Newport"
"Todd Marinovich back in jail"
"Todd Marinovich - Sacked By The Law Again"
IT'S AN OLD STORY
In August of 2007 I wrote about the sad tale of Todd Marinovich the last time he ended up in the pokey for a drug-related offense. Once again, he has recently been arrested, this time for a probation violation.
THERE IS NO GREATER BURDEN...
I suppose sport is full of stories of unfulfilled potential. Quarterback Ryan Leaf comes immediately to mind, as does Adam (PacMan) Jones, recently of the Dallas Cowboys. However, the Marinovich story strikes way, way too close to home.
He was raised from the womb by his father to become THE quarterback. Every phase of his life was controlled by his father - so much so that he was frequently referred to as "Roboquarterback" - and the result was the finest high school quarterback I've ever seen, and that includes other local heroes Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer, who went on to win Heisman Trophies while at USC.
STARDOM DESPITE LEGAL PROBLEMS
Marinovich was a star on the USC football team as a freshman despite some missteps which appeared to be the result of finally being out from under his father's thumb. Nonetheless, he had a great freshman year and then jumped to the National Football League with the Oakland Raiders. His troubles with USC followed him and his time as a Raider demonstrated again that, while a prodigious athletic talent, he lacked the self-discipline to follow the normal rules of society.
A SAD TALE, INDEED
Here we are now, with Marinovich at age 39, and perpetuating his long trail of difficulties with drugs and the law. We, once again, wish him and his family well and hope that he will soon realize how self-destructive his behavior is and get some help resolving his problems. It's very, very sad, indeed.
Labels: Todd Marinovich