His story is so fascinating and sad, this recap will be a bit longer.
He was almost literally programmed by his obsessive father to be a quarterback from the day he was born. All of his decisions were made for him by his parents and I believe that is what eventually led to his demise in the NFL.
Take this quote Marinovich said as a teenager going into college: "This is the biggest decision of my life. It means not only where I will play football but, most likely, who I will marry, who my best friends for life will be, where I will live. It means everything. And the one thing I know for sure is I'm too young to make this kind of decision by myself."
Sounds like a pretty smart and grounded kid.
When he went to birthday parties as a child, he brought his own ice cream and cake that didn’t have sugar or processed flour. It has been said that he teethed on frozen kidneys as an infant.
His father was stretching his son’s hamstrings when he was less then two months old. The excessive restrictions and eventual pressure to succeed were astonishing.
It eventually caught up to him when he, away from home and on his own, was arrested several times for cocaine possession, suspicion of growing marijuana, and then for heroin possession in 2001.
In 2005, he was arrested yet again in a California public bathroom with drug paraphernalia. His getaway vehicle? A child’s bike. At the police station he stated his profession was that of an “anarchist."
While skateboarding near Newport Beach, California in 2007, he was once again arrested for possession of methamphetamines.
If not the biggest bust, it may be one of the saddest stories in professional sports. Who knows what would have become of Marinovich if he were allowed to have a normal childhood.
Note to overwhelming “sports” parents trying to live vicariously through their children—ease up a little.